Thinking of adding library shelves to your home office, or perhaps the kids’ study room? Before you rush off to the hardware store to buy lumber and paint, here are a few tips on designing quality library shelves for your home:
Wood – What Type to Buy
When planning the details of your library shelf project, you will need to decide what type of wood to use. You can buy a finished or veneer coated plywood that is relatively cheap and easy to work with and can be stained or painted. However, it is often only finished on one side and the unfinished side will show on a bookshelf project. Even painted plywood does not have a smooth finish if it is not a veneer coated plywood.
On the other hand, you might opt for a higher quality hardwood. Hardwoods are more expensive, and can be difficult to work with, but produce beautiful results with a good varnish or lacquer finish.
Pine is an inexpensive wood, and finishes up nicely. It will accept most stains readily and can be finished with a luxurious look. It is a soft wood, and does dent and scratch easily, however.
For simple shelves, you may need only enough wood for upright sides, a top and a bottom, and the shelves across the middle. However, for a high quality library bookshelf, you will likely want to plan for decorative trims, side moldings and/or thicker wood for the upright pieces.
Draw out a plan on paper before you begin and calculate the number of linear feet of wood that you will need. Remember to plan for the length of shelves and sides and plan how they will be laid out on the boards. Boards come in 8 or 10 foot standard lengths, and you may have some waste at the end of the board.