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I've always liked the look of square bookshelves, like the ones Ikea sells, the EXPEDIT series, but when I created the shelves I was a year from graduating from college and looking at several moves in the future, which aren't fun with big furniture. My solution was to create individual cubes, which could easily be transported and then be stacked to form the bookshelf. Also it meant they could be reconfigured into various other pieces of furniture. So far they have been used as bookshelves, a media center (they hold an Xbox 360 perfectly), the base for a coffee table, end tables, and currently for expanding my desk space. Also, after I got married I added additional shelves in the middle of some of the cubes so they could be used as a shoe rack. They worked very well for this, holding 4 pairs each.

The construction is simple dowel-and-glue, two dowels per edge with wood glue along the whole edge to make sure the dowels don't slip. The wood came prelaminated which is a time saver but isn't with out issues; when you cut the boards you end up with a raw, unlaminated edge. To fix this you can buy the laminate in thin strips and apply it yourself on the cut edges.

Construction Tips
  • Check the sizes of laminate strips available and match your board thickness to that. The laminate didn't come in the size i needed so I had to trim all the edges after applying it.
  • If you are going for squares remember that half of the pieces will need to be cut shorter by 2 times the thickness of your board, or all of them by 1 times the thickness if you want a iris sort of look. Also remember the board thickness when deciding on final size. The affect is different depending on whether you are setting the inside or outside dimensions.
  • Get yourself a doweling jig, this will save you hours of measuring and prevent¬† the need for re-drilling due to holes that are off axis or misaligned.
Dimensions
  • Long boards - 14" x 9.75" x .625"
  • Short boards (And Shelves) - 12.75" x 9.75" x .625"

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Bio: Why buy when you can DIY? Educated a Mechanical Engineer and trained as a classical cellist I consider myself a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, dabbling ... More »
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