Picture of Louvered Plantation Shutter Bookcase

I really, REALLY needed a new bookcase (all of the books you see in this picture were either in a box, or crammed into shelves sideways on top of other books), but there were two problems. First, the only place I could fit another bookcase was in the spare bedroom, which is so small that I didn't want to overwhelm the space. Second, quality boards that are wide enough to make the sides of a bookcase are expensive. I quickly learned in my college woodworking classes that any boards more than four inches wide tend to get snapped up out of the supply room first. (In fact at one point an eight-inch wide board that I'd carefully planed and sanded was stolen and presumably chopped up for someone else's project. The perpetrator was never caught, NOT THAT I'M BITTER OR ANYTHING.) The paint-grade boards I bought for the shelves set me back more than thirty dollars, and I'd need something a lot nicer for the sides. Then at the Habitat for Humanity Restore I found a set of folding louvered doors, which would be wide enough for a bookcase AND the open design would work much better in a small space. Cost? Ten dollars for the set. And we're off!

Fair warning, this instructable is slightly image-heavy and VERY detail-heavy. I'm going to write this for the benefit of anyone who doesn't have much experience with woodworking, so feel free to skim.

ASE08089 days ago
I have my shutters and am ready to tackle this project! Thanks for the detailed post as this is my very first attempt at building anything!
Fandragon (author)  ASE08088 days ago

Awesome! I wanna see pictures of the final project :)

prickly vegan6 months ago

This is great. I appreciate that you put lots of details for every step in there, and made it seem simple for the uninitiated. I am no longer scared of my pile of wood pieces. They shall be tamed into a bookcase! Thanks for the confidence inspiring, and funny, instructable.

Fandragon (author)  prickly vegan6 months ago
You're very welcome, be sure to post pictures of the final piece!
I'm using quarter-round for the supports in mine. I have some left over, and it can be stained the same color as the shelves. I think your bookshelf looks amazing. And I agree with you about stain as opposed to paint. I like color, but when it comes to wood, I want to see the swirls and lines in the grain.
Fandragon (author)  whisperonthewind4 years ago
This is one of the things I love about Instructables; I didn't even THINK of using quarter-round, but that sounds like it would work really well!
For wood glue (and other water-based glue) removal, I searched the internet and found "De-Glue Goo" (http://de-gluegoo.com/) which does a really good job. You squirt on a thick layer (in perspective to the glue line), let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes, then scrape or brush the glue off. Allow it to dry, test a spot with a wet brush (water) to see if the wood is lighter from the glue, and maybe do this again. So far, I've gotten all the dried glue off my projects. And stain does just fine. I did have a couple that were already stained when I found the glue line I missed. I let the stain dry for a few days, then used the De-Glue Goo and removed the glue. A very fine brush with stain filled the resulting 'clean' space.

This project is around $10, and does wonders.
Fandragon (author)  whisperonthewind4 years ago
That's a great suggestion, thanks!
oops, I meant 'This product is around $10..."
Ah, something I can do. And I do need shelves... thank you immensely for making this instructable for those of us with beginner skills. I still don't know what 'paint grade' means, but that's not as important as sizes and supports.
eligriggs4 years ago
I really like to look of this; thanks for sharing!
foobear4 years ago
gorgeous! love it! great idea