Instructables
I had a brainfart this morning that transformed a $10 spare scrap of plywood into a really cool 5' tall, designery bookcase that some yuppie idiot would probably pay a few hundred for.

Warning: this procedure involves extensive lame woodworking techniques such as glueing and stapling with nailguns. If you're a dovetail joint purist, you probably don't want to read any further.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Ingredients

Tools you will need:
- a table saw
- a nail gun

Material you will need:
- at least a quarter of a plywood sheet, 96" long x 12" wide x 3/4" thick.
- at least 60 1.25" brads for the nail gun
- wood glue
- sand paper
- pabst blue ribbon, to help you channel your inner bubba.

Note: User earay indicates that MDF might be a better substitute for plywood, as it is cheaper and easier to paint when complete.
1-40 of 145Next »
BLR_RAVI3 months ago
eye catching design..great yet simple ...nicely narrated and done...
innerbubba (author)  BLR_RAVI3 months ago

Thank you, I'm heartened that people continue to get mileage from this old design.

sarrabeth4 months ago

When I saw this bookcase, it reminded me of a picture I've been saving to try some day. It's a corner shelf, and lacks the brace pieces that InnerBubba has put in.

I haven't built it yet, but I thought I'd share it. Unfortunately, I don't have a scanner so I drew (on ms paint) a picture to send. Please keep in mind that I'm not an artist or a carpenter, and I was drawing from a catalog clipping.

corner shelf drawing.jpg
yogunny6 months ago

Not a bad project - esp. for tyro woodworkers. Some comments: Baltic Birch plywood is a good alternative - no need to use edge banding (yes, it comes in 4x8 sheets now vice the 5x5 sheets); waiting 24-48 hours for glue to set, not so - aliphatic glue (usually called 'yellow glue') sets up in about 10 mins.; crosscutting could be a problem, so as one person said, trim the strip down to 3 or 4 foot sections first to avoid kickback (although anti-kick back cauls are a big help - if you have 'em, use 'em); if you don’t have a nail gun, take a look at the 'gas' or even battery guns rather then investing in a compressor, etc.; drywall screws are a good alternative to nails - be sure to drill pilot holes; when gluing, a small about of yellow glue followed by rubbing the pieces together will help set up the glue much faster and will avoid creep while you’re waiting 10 mins. for the glue to set up sufficiently to use nails or drive screws; 'size' the edges of the plywood - cut the glue in half with water, apply it lightly to the edges that will be glued, wait 10 mins., very lightly smooth the edges with 180 grit sandpaper, and then glue - this goes a long way to avoiding the glue being absorbed by the very porous plywood edges which translates to a very weak joint; if you’re going to nail or screw immediately after applying glue - have fun - the pieces are going to slide all over the place - as said earlier, wait 10 mins. (no, although the glue will have started to set up it hasn’t started to significantly cure, so there’s still plenty of wiggle room between the time you apply glue and nail/screw 10 mins. later, and again, you’ll avoid creep (if you do the rubbing thing). WEAR GOGGLES!!

aloew made it!7 months ago

I don't really have a need for another bookshelf, but I really liked the idea. I changed the proportions and style a bit and built it out of foamcore.

IMG_8497.JPG
enigk9 months ago
Well written. Very humorous.
in spanish please. No hay solo ingleses interesados en estos proyectitos. Yo no me interesaria si no fuera obligatorio para aprobar tecnologia. LOS ESPAÑOLES SOMOS UNOS MANITAS. Y yo no tengo 35 años... se me fue el 3
google translate is your friend then.
breumer2 years ago
Great instructable ! Thanks !
boekenplank.jpg
Breumer you are right, I have made this one at my home. This was beautiful and take so short time but not 60 minute because we can cut and assemble with in 60 minute but not polished in this time. You know polish needs time because we need layers of polish and every layer need time for dry. and other thing .........I were forgotten about front "gola" which nailed with glue at the rough front side plywood place. And when we use glue at every step then you know glue needs 24 to 48 hours for dry, when we use formica and ply at doors then we need press that thing for that long time after that time that joint does strong. Anyway in short we can assemble in this short time, this was good and interesting project for me because its useful. When you will done any other project then please inform me as your friend I will do that as you can. Thanks, God bless you. Ameen!
KellyCraig1 year ago
I really like your design. It's simple, looks very nice and appears it should tolerate being moved while laid on its side. Since this is something which could be enjoyed for years of use, we'd do well to make sure we follow the instructions (e.g., keep joints tight and use glue).

I thought this was a nice enough project, many would might want to consider adding wood banding (e.g., 1/8" or 1/4" strips cut to the wide of the plywood) to cover the plywood edges. Alternately, some might prefer 1/2" round (doweling cut in half) or other molding, according to their tastes and preferences.

. If the joints are kept tight and everything were glued, the only weak spot of the design [when moved, suc (e.g., laid and carried on its side) should be minimized
timlawyer8 years ago
WARNING - DO NOT USE THE RIP FENCE to make the series of 6inch cuts shown here. Use a miter or cross cut saw guide. The way it is described here, you are essentially cutting off 6inch ends from a long rectangle that is perpendicular to the saw blade. DO NOT USE THE RIP FENCE because if the cut off piece pinches between the rip fence and the very back of your saw blade - THE 6inch CUT OFF WILL FLY BACK AT YOU AT OVER 100MPH - ENOUGH TO KILL YOU.
A properly equipped table saw should have a splitter behind the blade to help prevent this very issue. And most miter saws don't have the depth capability to make the 12" cut (only the 12" sliding saws can do it.)

There's no reason to not use the table saw IF you pay attention and use proper safety measures.

Personally, I wouldn't try to cut 6" pieces off the end of an 8' strip of plywood...use the circular saw to cut it into more manageable pieces first (say 2' long), then slice off the smaller pieces.
Based on my experience, as forty year cabinet saw owner and someone in the wood trades, I say:

All saws come with splitters, but get tossed because they take too long to remove and install. The have to be removed to make rabbit and dado cuts, or any cut in which the blade does not go through the wood.

Newer saws come with Riving knives that do what a splitter does, but go up and down with the blade, so don't have to be removed.

Like a large percentage of tradesmen, I ran without a splitter on my commercial saws because of the problem with installation and removal. I spent a not insignificant amount on a splitter (Merlin) which installs and removes in seconds and my kick back problem all but went away (it can still happen).

All that said, the advice to not use the rip fence to cut boards to shorter lengths (cross cuts) is sound - use the miter push. Add to that that to NEVER USE THE MITER AT THE SAME TIME YOU USE THE RIP FENCE FOR ANY PROJECT. The only exception is if you have a Unifence and back the end of the fence off for use as a stop gauge, with it positioned so the wood clears it before entering the blade.

kick, the advice above is critical. Rip fences are for ripping long cuts and miter pushes are for cutting
This can happen with radial arm saws, too, as I found out the hard way.

On radials, the piece usually shoots out the back, rather than the front, of the saw. While paying not nearly enough attention, I shot a small piece of plywood about twenty feet, almost hitting my partner's head. It made a quite visible dent in the new drywall, and scared the **** out of both of us.

Power saws are downright dangerous, and you have to pay attention.

My first and only kickback mistake with a table saw sent a six inch piece of particle board flying like a ninja star about 150 yards.  Luckily, I was outside and no one was in the way.
In our shop class there is a huge dent in the blackboard on the other side of the room from when someone did that. It's incredibly lucky that it didn't hit anyone.
innerbubba (author)  timlawyer7 years ago
Tim is right. I live dangerously, but my life is worthless. You should be careful.
Better yet, use a handsaw and wear boxing gloves.
So cool!
frannyloo5 years ago
this is a fantastic instructable! but i don't have the things needed to cut plywood, nor do i have the plywood. do you think this might work with with something else?? like cardboard maybe..?
If you buy the plywood through Lowes, Home Depot or most local hardware stores, they'll cut the wood for you.....unless you show up during the busiest times of the week like noon on Saturday.
  I just checked out lumber...you can by 1in. x 6in. x 8ft. length. 2 pieces would be enough to make this project. You could make wider shelves by using 1in. x 10 in. x 8 ft. boards (again, 2).
Buying this size lumber means you would only have to make 6 inch or 10 inch cuts across the boards to get your 1 foot pieces.
Thanks for the suggestion & the price quote (in your post below).

For those who don't have a saw, Lowes & Home Depot each have a cutting station where you can bring the board you are buying and they will cut it for you. I've been to different locations. One said the first cut per board was free, 50cents each cut after that. Another said all cutting was free (with the purchase of their lumber I'm sure.) Either way, it's totally worth an extra 50cents each cut for them to cut it on their nice big efficient apparatus, considering I live in a little 2-bedroom apartment with no yard (at least I have a patio!), no cutting table or saw horses, and the only power saw I have is a jig saw (can you imagine how long it would take me to make all those cuts??)
search "cardboard lumber" there's a great instructable on how to make "wood" out of cardboard
Your bookcase design was great. I used 2 of them to fill in a doorway that was not needed anymore. I backed it with sheetrock painted the wall color.
001.JPG
innerbubba (author)  David_n_Redena2 years ago
Wow! That looks great!
thanks!!
Nice and simple idea. I did my own variation on this design. They are stackable modules that can be rearranged at will.
Resize of DSC06160.JPGResize of DSC06161.JPG
Semper Fi2 years ago
Thanks for the great idea. Made these with my son in law.
2012-03-31 001.JPG
Love your design! I'm wondering what you might think of the structural integrity of this bookshelf if I was to put a mattress on top and 3-4 of these guys lined up. Im in desperate need of more bookselfs and under the bed is my only option now :o)
I'm giving these instructions to my husband so he can build his own bookcase and get all those giant auto manuals off my bookcase!! Thanks for sharing bubba :)
den1262 years ago
My "vertical" version
234.jpg
innerbubba (author)  den1262 years ago
Nice job! Yours came out looking great!
Cool bookshelf! We love it!
I plan to make one and paint the back board one
color and the other areas another bold color for a "funky- look". (I am so inspired that I may even start on it before I finish the other 50 projects that I am working on!! ha!)
Speaking of that "extra money" you don't have anymore-- you could always moonlight as a comedian! Reading your instructions, etc you have us cracking up over here!!
tradmer3 years ago
Built 2 of these this weekend - one for books, one for DVD's... found out too late that the large board my pieces were cut from was bowed. (Damnit Home Depot!) So.. unless you like that curved "it's a puzzle!" look.. make sure your board is straight. =/
gollihughj3 years ago
innerbubba... your life is not worthless... just in this Instructable you have given me hope that I might outfit my "library" wtih shelves that I REALLY need (to get my books out of boxes), in a way that will be attractive and super helpful to me and my family. I'm sure you so many other useful and even valuable things... like attracts like. Be more positive and you will attract more of that to your life! And so it goes and you'll feel and, even, BE an even better person than you already are in little to no time. :)
Thanks for the inspiration, nicely used up a plank I've had sitting around for a while. I might even go buy more so I can make it reach the ceiling now.
Saw this ages ago, then moved into a room with NO CLOSET and suddenly remembered seeing it. I constructed mine taller and deeper to hold shoes :) (Hey, I'm a woman!)
SkizMaroo3 years ago
Lol, cool brainfart. PBR never affects my creativity quite like that :-)
1-40 of 145Next »