Introduction: DIY Bookshelf Cabinet

About: Hey, This is Alpaca Studio.

I built this bookshelf cabinet last week in my workshop. And here is the video of the building process. You may prefer to call it a magazine rack cabinet because the limited space is more suitable for arranging your magazines and newspaper. Anyway, this little cabinet has mainly three parts, which are the small window shelf on the top, the middle book rack and the drawer at the bottom. This design allows a lot of space for organization.


I used 4/4 beech as the main material of this project. The length of wood is 90cm. Except for the drawer back and back panel of the cabinet, all the other part is made with beech.

Main part: 25mm*900mm*120mm beech

window: A small piece of glass

drawer back & back panel: 5mm plywood

Step 2: Dimension the Lumber

Most of my projects start with this step. All my rough saw beech needed to be strictly treated by my jointer, my miter saw, my planer and my table saw. After all these steps, I finally got some useful dimensioned boards.

Sometimes I might rearrange the order of this process. but this time, I started with the miter saw. I first cut the very end of each board to remove the split part of the wood. The blue paint is also removed at the same time.

Then I used my jointer to get two flat surfaces which are perpendicular to each other. I put the lumber on the table saw to square two edges. finally, I used the planner to bring all the boards to the same thickness.

At this time I don't care too much about the length of the board.

Step 3: Joint the Boards

According to the design, this project required 10 flat boards. They are the two largest sideboards, four mid-size horizontal boards, and four small vertical boards which used for the book separation.

It took me some time to make all these boards because too many clamps are required in this process. And I need to figure out the pattern of the large board. Personally, I prefer those boards with obvious grain. So I tried to put these kinds of boards together and let them appear in an important place. In this case, the top and side.

Tips: I used the miter saw to cut off the corner of the side panel. If you don't have one or not confident with this, use the circular saw instead.

Step 4: Round the Corner

Step 5: Cut the Joints

I used stopped-roove joint to connect all these large boards. But the joint is slightly different from what is showed on the illustration. I cut a little material on the shoulder to fit in the stopped housing. That's because I wanted to use my router to cut the stopped housing. Since the boards are 20mm thick and I only have 16mm router bit. I think it's more accurate to cut the shoulder rather than cut a 20mm wide grove with 16mm router bit.

Because even you made some mistake like cut the shoulder too thin, it won't be seen from the outside. You still have a chance to fix it.

You can find more detail about that joint in the video.

Step 6: Cut the Groove

Step 7: Mid Section Assembly

From these pictures, you may have another angle view of the joints I used.

I used titebond to glue all these boards together.

Step 8: Cut the Groove 2.0 on the Side Panel

There is a 5mm wide groove on reach side panel which is for the plywood.

Step 9: Round the Corner

The sideboard is too large for my bandsaw and disc sander. I think it's not safe to cut the corner on them. So I made a template first and clamp it to the sideboard. Then I use my template copy router bit to make the fillet.

Step 10: Assembly the Main Body

Step 11: Make the Drawer

This is the most common way of making a drawer. Half-blind dovetail at the front and dovetail at the back. 10mm thick sideboards and 20mm thick front board. You can find thousands of tutorial online tell you how to make this.

Step 12: Make the Small Window

I build a square frame first. The frame is joint together using mortise and tenon.

Then I use the router to cut the groove for the glass. The size and depth of groove depend on the size of the glass you plan to use.

And I cut another groove on the right and left side which is useful later.

Step 13: Build the Leg 1

This is the leg I built. I take the milk stool as a reference. All the process is very similar except that I used a pocket screw in the middle.

Step 14: Build the Leg 2

Step 15: Sand the Cabinet

I sand the whole piece thoroughly with #220 sandpaper.

This process helps remove the burn mark as well as smooth the surface and prepare for finishing

Step 16: Finish With Boiled Linseed Oil

I used boiled linseed oil to finish the whole piece. I really like how the color and grain turned out. I might apply some PU later together with some of my other projects.

Step 17: Final Assembly

Drawer pulls ☑

cabinet legs☑

Step 18: Final Assembly 2

small window ☑



If you like this one please check some of my other projects on my youtube channel.

Appreciate it if you give me a thumb up on the video.

If you have any question about the process, let me know in the comments.

Have a good day!

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