Step 5: Fasten base, back, and the divider

Picture of Fasten base, back, and the divider
C:\kumara\Images\2007-10-Bookshelf\4_Reinforced Back.jpg
Use beads of carpentar's glue at the joining surface. Start fastening the drywall screws to secure the two pieces together. Reinforce the base with the back using three right angle brackets for extra strength. The brackets I used, came with small size screws. Attach the divider piece with the glue to the back and base piece. Fasten it with drwall screws from each side. Wipe out the access glue with a paper towel. Note that the divider in the picture below is for the bottom shelf of my design. The divider is put on the left side of the shelf. For the top shelf, move the divider to the right hand side.
AntonioMDC5 years ago
given the beefy construction, you don't need those brackets—they will just end up mutilating the bottoms of your books :( as well as spoiling the smooth modern lines of your design. if you cut all your butt-end joints at 45° your glue joints will be way stronger than the brackets, though that can be an annoying chore and probably not necessary. actually your shelf is probably strong enough right now, as it stands, minus the brackets. think about it like this: the capacity of that shelf, before glue or the divider, just based on the end caps being screwed on, is something like 6 times the shearing force needed to make one screw fail. then add the pullout strength of all the screws coming up from below; and then you have the glue, which, as the old commercial used to demonstrate, is stronger than the wood itself! so, unless the 4 screws attaching it to the wall are a lot stronger than the ones holding it together, any further reinforcement is overkill. of course you could use more/stronger screws into the wall, this stout little shelf certainly has the capacity to take the extra weight.

if you want a feeling of extra security you could cut your end pieces so that the grain runs diagonally (from the top back to the front bottom corner, not from the top front to the back bottom.) make them the same size as the divider (will require a larger board to cut them from, or let the leading corner be cut off, won't hurt the strength, just a different look) and screw them from below and behind as you did with the divider. this way will both give you stronger glue joints than gluing onto end grain and somewhat hide the screw heads on the back and bottom. this is probably the strongest connection you can make without some sort of proper joinery involving fancy cutting.

however, if you are really attached to metal reinforcement, you could counter sink the brackets with a chisel or router (too fiddly) or put the brackets on the outside so they go behind and under (lumpy but the book are safe) or get the kind that are flat L shapes (much stronger than the kind you are using now, not that it is needed) and hide them between the end caps and the shelf/back, screwing through them as you put the end pieces on (still a bit lumpy if you don't want to cut notches for them, but it might be possible to hide the gaps with caulk or wood putty before painting.)

kabira (author)  AntonioMDC5 years ago
Thanks for the detailed comment. I acknowledge I designed the shelves to take load. To be honest, I am glad that I did, because I have a lot more stuff on them now, other than the books :). I liked your notch idea a lot. I will keep that in mind next time I make them.