Introduction: Ceiling Bookshelf With Library Ladder

When I was remodeling my home I added this bookshelf to one on the bedrooms. The ceilings were just high enough to support it. It consists of essentially 5 screwed together with a trim piece and library ladder.

Step 1: The Ladder

I found a ladder for sale that was used in the store room of a department store that went out of business. It is made my Cotterman. It had all the hardware but I had to buy the rail separately from Cotterman's website.


When I got it, it was in rough shape with the horrid yellow powder coated paint pealing off. First I removed all the hardware and set it aside. I used an electric hand sander to remove all the paint (I don't recommend this method. It took forever. Take it to be sand blasted if you find a similar ladder). After I removed all the paint, I used a stray primer and then painted it with the color of my choice (Navy blueish).

Meanwhile, I did my best to remove all the rust from the hardware and took every nut, washer, screw apart. After servicing and painting I put it all back together.

Installation is very straightforward and instructions are available through Cotterman.

Step 2: The Ladder (Part 2)

Here are pictures of the finished ladder installed in the room.

Step 3: The Bookshelf

To make this happen you must take your wall down to the studs and do some modification to your walls. It is fairly simple to make a L shape structure to support the bookshelf though. Sorry I don't have any pictures before the drywall went up. There are many ways this can be done though. CAREFULLY measure the height and depth at any points BEFORE building the shelf. There could be small variations that would make your shelf not fit right. To look its best, it must fit snugly in place so every 1/8" matters a lot. Once you have your dimensions, determine how many boxes you want to make. In my case I made 5.

I used bamboo plywood because I really like the exposed ends and it is an ecologically sustainable product. This part is pretty simple. make boxes to your liking and screw together in place. Once they are screwed in you can add a trim piece to seal any gaps. I also recommend the Kreg shelf pin drilling jig. It is useful for getting perfect pin locations for the shelves.

Shelving Contest 2016

Participated in the
Shelving Contest 2016