Detail Of Rabbet

Rabbets join backsplash cleanly to side pieces.

Sides and shelves, 3A in. thick

You can build a simple, functional bookcase in no time using %-in.-thick stock from a local home center. Look for 1-in. by 12-in. clear pine, the boards that have the fewest knots. Make sure the boards are relatively free of cup, bow, twist, and crook.

Locating the shelves on each side piece is crucial. To make sure the dadoes line up properly, stack the side pieces on top of each other and mark each shelf location on the edge of both boards. You can cut the shelf dadoes with a router, but I prefer to use a dado set on the tablesaw so I can dial in the width of cut. Adjust the width of cut to match the thickness of the shelves. Rearrange the dado set to cut a 5/i6-in.-deep rabbet along the rear edge of each side to accept the plywood back. Lay out the decorative curves on the top and bottom of the side pieces using a compass or by grabbing a can, cup, or anything round that will form the shapes. Cut the curves with a jigsaw and clean them up with a file or sandpaper.

Before assembling the case, sand all of the parts and test the fit. When you're ready, run a bead of glue in each dado, set the shelves in place, drill pilot holes with counterbores, and drive in 1%-in. coarse-threaded drywall screws. Screwing the back into position will square the case as the glue dries.

Finally, glue and screw the backsplash above the back. Then plug the holes and trim the plugs flush. After a final sanding and the easing of all the sharp edges, the case is ready for finishing.

Dressed-up plywood bookcase

Front base piece, 3A in. thick by 5 in. wide by 3IV2 in. long, solid curly maple, with ogee-molded top edge

Submolding, 3A in. thick, hides fasteners.

Rear facing, V* in. thick thick

Apply The Ogee Molding

Top, 11 in. wide by 32 in. long, including curly-maple facings for moldings

Rabbet, V4 in. deep

Side base piece, 3A in. thick by 5 in. wide by 11 in. long, solid curly maple, with ogee-molded top edge

Glue block reinforces corner.

A hardwood plywood bookcase with adjustable shelves is a versatile, attractive piece. Preparing a scale drawing—with full-size details of the dadoes, rabbets, facings, and moldings—and selecting the right materials will help the process move along smoothly and efficiently.

A good-quality sheet of %-in.-thick hardwood plywood won't be cheap—the curly maple sheet I used cost about $200—but you'll only need one piece for this case. You'll need a couple of boards of solid wood for the facings and the base.

A tablesaw with a fine combination blade works well for cutting the parts from the sheet of plywood; it will leave edges with very few saw-marks. Rough-cut the solid lumber to length and width. The parts for the base should be planed to their finished thicknesses, but the parts that will become the facings should be planed only to within Vie in. of their finished thicknesses. The facings will be scraped to the same thickness as the plywood after they are glued in place. When gluing the facings to the front edges of the sides and shelves, bar clamps and a long batten (strip of scrapwood the length of the shelf or side) will help you apply even pressure along the length. Once the glue has cured, cut away any extra length to even up the facings with the ends of the plywood pieces. Note that the extrawide facings applied to the top have mitered front corners.

Set a marking gauge to the thickness of the plywood, and scribe lines across the side pieces to locate the rabbets for the subtop. Scribe with a heavy hand so that the gauge will cut through the plywood's face veneer. The scored line has the added benefit of helping to prevent chipout as the rabbets are cut. Also, scribe lines across the sides to locate the dado for the bottom piece.

Cut the rabbets and dadoes on the tablesaw using a dado set. Use shims

thick

Molding, 3/4 in. thick by 1 in. wide to dial in the exact width of cut. First, cut the rabbets and dadoes in the side panels for the top and bottom. Next, cut grooves from top to bottom for the metal shelf standards and then rabbets along the rear inside edges for the back.

The construction of the carcase, prior to adding the molded top and base, is similar to that of the bookcase on p. 19, in that dadoes and screws are used, but only to connect the top and bottom to the sides. Before the top and bottom are glued and screwed to the sides, lightly sand the exposed surfaces to their finished state (be sure you don't sand through the thin

Submolding, 3A in. thick, hides fasteners.

Top, 11 in. wide by 32 in. long, including curly-maple facings for moldings

Rabbet, V4 in. deep

Submoldings, curly maple, glued to case

Curly-maple facings, V* in. thick

Subtop, 10 in. wide by 29 in. long, rabbeted into side pieces

Shelf, 10 in. wide by 28V2 in. long, including 3/4-in.-thick solid curly-maple facing on front

Sides, IOV4 in. wide by 42V2 in. long, including Vi-in.-thick solid curly-maple facing on front

Bottom, 10 in. wide by 29 in. long

Side base piece, 3A in. thick by 5 in. wide by 11 in. long, solid curly maple, with ogee-molded top edge

Glue block reinforces corner.

Front base piece, 3A in. thick by 5 in. wide by 3IV2 in. long, solid curly maple, with ogee-molded top edge

Rear facing, V* in. thick

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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Responses

  • Lena
    How to fix a pine shelf with bow/twist in it?
    7 years ago

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