A friend asked me if I could build a bookshelf for her, and I was thinking about building something similar to my previous project (see:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Stylish-and-easy-to-make-bookshelf/ ). However, it turned out that there was only space for a corner bookshelf, which made things seem more difficult. However, with a little thought, I came up with a slightly modified, but very efficient project.

 Once again, the bookshelf is made without a single nail or screw, though this time it uses dowels. It took me exactly two afternoons to make. The project can be easily modified if you need the shelf to be wider on one or both sides, or higher.

- 3 wooden boards 2100x120x18
- 1 MDF board 2440x1220x18
- Paint and varnish

- Jigsaw
- Drill
- Files and sanding paper

Step 1: Got Wood?

Make sure you measure your room well and get the boards cut the right lengths.

I wanted my shelf to be door-frame high, so I simply bought classic 2100 boards. If you want your shelf taller, just buy longer boards.

As to the shelves themselves, my project had to fit a 1000 x 870 mm  space, and thus the boards were cut to the following lengths (I got them cut in the store, so that was the easy part - the picture shows how to cut them from a single MDF):

6 x 200x870mm - that's the boards for the shorter arm.
1 x 250x870mm - that's the bottom board for the shorter arm, made wider to hold oversize books.
6 x 175x800mm - that's for the longer arm.
1 x 200x750mm - that's the bottom for the longer arm

If you want to have a taller bookshelf with an extra shelf, it's easily done, just add one for each arm. If you want your shelves wider, because you have wide books, just modify the design. The though behind this one is that the shorter arm is a bit wider to hold hardbacks and album books, while the longer is for smaller paperbacks. The sizes are good for that purpose.

Remember about one more thing: if you have floor boards in the space where you want the shelf, and the boards are high enough to get to the level of the lowest shelf, make sure you take them into account, and cut the bottom shelf shorter by the depth of your floor boards.
<p>My wife asked for a bookshelf for our sons room, so I made it. She's in love with it so I'm happy. But using dowel pins was a pain to get them to line up perfectly. I'm a steel worker by trade, so I made brackets for supports instead of dowel pins. Probably just lack of patience on my part. All in all, great shelf and thanks for the idea! </p>
<p>Thanks! It looks great! This is perfect timing, too - just a couple days ago the shelf I made had to be dismantled due to a home move the a place where there was no space for it, so it's wonderful to see it live on in your work. </p>
Just wanted to check one more thing! Thanks for your responses. Is the cut on the vertical shelves for the bottom layer of shelves 40mm above the ground, so that the entire unit rests on the small under bits of the vertical shelves? Or are the bottom shelves touching the ground? Just wanted to get that clear. It's taken me a bit more time to blueprint cuz I'm converting to inches! Thanks again for this great design
I had them 40mm above, because I didn't like the idea of having them right on the ground. But I guess it's up to you. I have another shelf (not on instructables) which is made with the same method, but has no bottom shelf, so the books simply stand on the ground on the bottom level. It's really a purely aesthetic thing.
Oh gotcha! Thanks so much for getting back to me so quick, huge help. So does that mean you didn't put any glue between dowel joints? Thanks for clearing all this up. And mostly thanks for this awesome post, can wait to finish it :)
No problem!<br>No glue, because I was expecting to move home with it, meaning I had to dis- and reassemble it. And I did, twice already - it's still standing :)<br><br>Good luck with the building! I wonder how it will look like...
Hey can't wait to make this! Do you need to dowel all the connections or only the joints between the big and small shelves? Also how long did you wait for dowels to dry
Hi! Thanks for the interest :) <br>I only put dowels in the connections between the longer and shorter shelves. The shelf-to-vertical-board should hold without a dowel. <br>Also, they didn't need to dry - it's an easy connection, if you cut everything right, it doesn't actually bear much stress, because the shorter part of the shelf is 'falling' on the longer one anyway and presses the shelves in. Mind you, I have since moved to a flat which has a bit uneven floor which makes it fall the other way, so I added a small brace on the back, joining the middle short and long shelves.
Are these just free-standing? I don't see how they'd connect into a wall, but I just want to be sure before I get started. <br> <br>Thanks for the 'able!
Yes, they are. Good luck! :)
Pretty, they look so nice with the lilac painted walls.
The colours are of my friend's choice, so she's to praise for that one :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a lot of a philosopher, a good deal of a musician, a fair bit of a geek, a bit hippie, and in my ... More »
More by Natasz:Wooden bondage suspension frame A 6-poster poly bed Stylish and easy to make corner bookshelf 
Add instructable to: