Built-In Bookcases Made Easy

What You'll Need
1 sheet, plywood veneer, 1/2 inch
8 x 4 feet 5 boards, FAS grade
1 x 10 x 96 inch 1 board, F1F grade
1 x 6 x 48 inch 3/4 inch wood moulding
1 8 feet 1/2 inch dowel
1/10 pound of 5d finishing nails
Small package of 2d finishing nails
1 small box of 2 inch wood screws
Wood stain brushes
Circular saw
Basic hand tools
Carpenter's chalk line
1/2 inch drill bit

 If you are looking to create more storage in your living room, bedroom or den, built-in bookcases are a great option.  Adding a built-in book case to a room not only gives you more space to place and display your books and other collections, but it adds warmth, creating a cozy, lived in atmosphere.

Step 1 - Prep the Area

Remove the baseboard and quarter-round floor moulding from the space where the back of the built-in bookcases will be fastened to the wall. Now, use the stud-finder to locate the studs in the wall, making a chalk line to mark where each stud is located, from ceiling to floor. The sheet of plywood will be attached to the wall with screws driven into the stud nearest the center of the plywood forming the back of the built-in bookcase.

Step 2 - Cut and Install Backing

Cut the sheet of plywood to 46-1/2 x 94-1/2 inches with a circular saw. Clean and stain one of the sides and the edges of the plywood. In order to achieve an even and high quality look, you should always use maple or oak plywood veneer. This will ensure that the stain does not go on unevenly, creating an unprofessional look.

Set the plywood against the wall and, using the chalk lines on the wall as guides, draw a similar line on the plywood. Drill four evenly spaced holes along the chalk line on the plywood. Set the plywood in place, align holes with the chalk line on the wall and fasten the plywood to the wall with screws.

Step 3 - Stain and Attach Side Boards

Clean and stain two of the 1 x 10 x 96 inch FAS boards and nail these two boards to the plywood back piece with 5d finishing nails, to form the sides of the bookshelf. Cut the remaining 1 x 10 x 96 inch FAS boards to form 5 shelves, each 46-1/2inches in length and 1 top, 48inches in length. Clean and stain all remaining wood.

Step 4 - Cut and Attach Dowels

Cut 20 2 inch pieces of dowel and then using the chalk line mark two horizontally spaced holes where you would like each shelf to rest on the sides of the bookshelf. Use the drill and 1/2 inch drill bit to drill out each hole. Now insert the dowels so the tips are flush on the outside face of the bookcase and protruding 1 inch on the inside.

Step 5 - Place Shelving

Lay one 46-1/2 inch shelf on top of each set of dowels.

Nail the 48 inch long top piece to the top of the two side panels. With finishing nails, fasten the 1 x 6 x 48 inch "kick panel" across the bottom front of the side panels. Clean, stain and attach the 3/4 inch wood moulding to the exposed plank edges with 2d finishing nails.

Repeat all steps to create several built-in book cases.