Picture of Stack O' Books Box
Not just another box made of books!! This one has style, this one has class... and it hides your stuff!!

I was inspired for this project by some of the other Book Boxes here on Instructables,

However, I hadn't found an Instructable that used a stack of books to make one large box. So I figured if I lay the books on their side (less conspicuous than four books stuck together standing upright) and make the box compartment out of more than just one of the books, I could achieve a bigger more covert box, able to be seen from all sides and still seem as if it were an ordinary stack of books. Vuala, The Stack O' Books Box was born!!  

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Step 1: Materials/Tools

Picture of Materials/Tools
You will need for this project:

    *Stack of Hardcover Books (each 1 1/2" to 2" thick)
    * (optional) Package of Basswood (can be found here)
    *3/8" wooden dowel
    *Piece of 100 Grit Sandpaper
    *A bottle of "Puzzle Preserver" (found here) (This is essentially watered down Elmer's Glue but the "Puzzle Preserver" does have a handy brush attached to the inside of the lid and it's pretty cheap)
    *A Tube of E-6000 Glue
    * (optional) Wood Glue (not pictured)
    * (optional) Wood Stain and Polyurethane

    *An Ex-acto Knife
    *PVC Pipe Cutter (optional - you can use a saw) (not pictued but one like this)
    *Drill with a 1/2" Paddle bit
    *Dremel Tool w/ Cutter and Barrel Sanding Attachments
MaskMarvl1 year ago
Cool idea... :) I would suggest adding a couple of hinges to the the top and second books instead of the dowels.
Treknology2 years ago
Thank you for this clever approach. I now having a valid use for L. Ron Hubbard books. Way less class but, who's going to want even to touch them?
Trouble is, that would mean having L.Ron's crappy books on display in your house...
DeeRilee2 years ago
Love this...but not sure I have the patience! lol
I have made several of these for friends, some with concealed safes (that part is a trade secret). The first few, I cut up old books, but I love books, and hate cutting them up- old or not. Besides, the whole "it's a bear to cut a book". So I came up with the idea (I'm also a photographer) of taking the book covers, spreading them out on my photo stand and making a laser copy. Looks just as good as the original. Cover the wood (or steel) core with fiberboard and then just kinda "lay" on the "cover" with craft glue. Photocopied and laser-printed edges look legit, too. Top it off with a real book from the owner, and good to go. The core is bolted down, so if a thief even figures it out, he's still gotta get away with it. And it looks "purty". Maybe I'll do an Instructible one of these days!
Definitely would love to see an instructable for that!
I would be interested in seeing that intructable and the pics of that. I would hope that you would include the 'trade secret' concealed safe as well.
CrLz2 years ago
Classy & elegant solution! Perfect use for coffee-table art books.
BigMrTree (author)  CrLz2 years ago
Thanks!! Coffee-table books would make a great box.
lfiorentin2 years ago
I am also an ardent book lover, however there are always extra copies of books available at thrift stores, library sales, yard sales, etc. I love your instructable and will be trying it myself soon!! Great job!
BigMrTree (author)  lfiorentin2 years ago
So glad you like it!! make sure to post a pic of your finished product!!
ibwebb2 years ago
Great project and love the way you present it! The only thing I can think of that I would have liked to see more of is of you actually doing the cutting, but I understand it isn't that easy to cut and take pics at that same time. You got my vote and I marked this as a fav too! This is something I want to do! I see a visit to my local Half Price Books store!
BigMrTree (author)  ibwebb2 years ago
Yeah that would be somewhat difficult, maybe when i build another I'll get my wife to snap some pics and i'll update the 'ible. I'm glad you like the project and thanks for the vote and fav!!
framistan2 years ago
Hello bigmrtree... Your book box is pretty cool. I like the wood lined interior too. I own a lifetime collection of about 500 books. Some of them are beautiful. Some of them are priceless (to me).Some of them are rare rare and expensive. I would find it difficult to choose 4 worthy of sawing holes into. I guess it would be ok to use something obsolete like encyclopedias or law books/medical books though. I am curious about how you made the choice. Do you consider all books as obsolete? How did you choose those 4 out of your collection?
@framistan: I would imagine that you wouldn't use books that had value (whether it is value just to you or monetary value) but instead go to a booksale, half price books, etc and find some books that fit what you want. Maybe titles that speak something about your style/room or just ones that look good stacked together. Some books that are either no longer wanted or perhaps some of those books out there that were published but flopped. I know that I have a stack (not literally) that I could never get rid of even though I also have them on my fiancee and I's Kindle.
haugenka2 years ago
Great project and nicely done. Just a thought: why not put the dowels in the lid instead? That way, more of the interior is useable for storing blocky stuff... I want to try this idea with my kids to make some birthday and holiday gifts! PS - it's fun to hunt through the books at Goodwill to find titles like, "City of Thieves" or "Crime and Punishment" for projects like this...
Crime novels are a nice thought, got to remember that. Might be a give-away, though.
chuckyd2 years ago
I could never bring myself to cause such harm to a book. Well, unless it was written by a Democrat. But then, I would never have a book written by a democrat.
Libs, I have found, are happy to share books.......
dll9322 years ago
Just a thought: How about making rectangular frames out of scrap wood and COVERING them with book bindings, painting the edges gold so it looks like a real book?
thumpik2 years ago
I like it! Cool way to hide something.
woofman2 years ago
I like the tone of this project---lite hearted and fun. Thanks!
ithica20122 years ago
just an idea wouldent it be easer to glue the padges and book covers togher drill four holes and cut out with a coping saw ?
BigMrTree (author)  ithica20122 years ago
possibly, i didn't think of that. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. The ex-acto knife gets the job done but is time consuming.
Instead of making the entire top book the lid, why not make its cover the lid? That way, you don't need to take a book off to open it.
BigMrTree (author)  stevenvachon2 years ago
I had thought of this but after cutting through the other two books I really didn't feel up to the task of hollowing out another, especially one that was twice the size!! But yes that would be a nice feature, maybe the next one I make I'll use a smaller book on top and incorporate the "cover lid". Thanks for the suggestion!!
That's exactly what I was going to suggest: Open the top cover (along with a number of pages, glued together on the edges as in your instructions) and there's the interior of your box.
1inspirit2 years ago
BigMrTree (author)  1inspirit2 years ago
Make sure to post a pic when you're done!!
Jooks2 years ago
At the post secondary I attend the library often has old text books that they want to get rid of. Whenever I walk past I try to pick something out from the free pile. Maybe other schools work like this too...
BigMrTree (author)  Jooks2 years ago
That's a great way to get some "project" books!!
Minxie32 years ago
I love your book box!! But I too, have a hard time cutting into books! I did go to Goodwill & buy some books for a project I wanted to do (decoupage/mixed media books) but I didn't have the heart to cut them up! lol.
Excellent! As someone who worked in a used bookstore for most her life, thanks for destroying Patterson and Brown to do this. :D
BigMrTree (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thanks!! Yeah I guess there's enough copies of their stuff out there huh?
hjjusa2 years ago
Good Idea, I think I will do this, line it with metal and a combination lock and make a pistol safe.
BigMrTree (author)  hjjusa2 years ago
Very Cool, I like That idea!!
BigMrTree (author) 2 years ago
I have a collection of books as well. while not quite as extensive as yours i wouldn't want to cut any of them up either. So when I decided to do this project I went to Goodwill and picked out a few books that were the right size and the right price. The Da Vinci Code in particular was surrounded by 5 other copies!! That's pretty much it. Thanks for looking at my instructable and I'm glad you like the box.