Introduction: Plywood Square Floating Book Shelf

About: I love creating and making things. From leather wallets, wooden rings to DIY projects. I also make videos of everything I make, have a look at my YouTube channel.

In this Instructables I show how I made this Plywood Square Floating Book Shelf. It has a simple modern design and hidden screws to mount it to the wall so appears to be a floating shelf. It can be sized to fit your own books, and would look great if you made a couple of them in as display.

For this build you will need;

I love the look of exposed ends of plywood and think it makes such an interesting style. For a more details view make sure to watch the YouTube Video.

Step 1: Cut Wood

I started with a sheet of 18mm thick plywood. I new I wanted the overall width to be 40mm wide. I laid out some wide masking tape into the wood. This was to help make sure I got a clean cut from the circular saw, it also meant that I could draw markings into the wood without marking it directly, and having to clean it off later.

An upcoming project I want to make soon is a cutting sled to make ripping down sheets a bit easier. But for now I used one of my metal clamps as a guide and ripped strips out at 40mm wide.

Step 2: Glue Up, Cut Down

I then laminated the 4 pieces into 2 pairs. This made them 36mm thick each. I laid down some parchment paper on my worktop to step them sticking to that. I then also put some more parchment paper in between to the two, this would stop the pairs glueing together, and meant I could clamp it all in one go.

I added 6 clamps on the whole thing, and left it for a few hours till it was fully dried.

I was then left with 2 strips that were 36mm thick, 40mm wide but around 600mm long, which was obvious far too long. So I took them to the mitre saw and trimmed them down to 250mm long, and I needed 4 of these to make a square.

I then quickly ran over all the pieces with an orbital sander to square off the edges and make sure they were lined up.

Step 3: Drill

I took one of the pieces, and marked out 2 holes to drill. I measured 2 equal distance holes on the length of piece. I then staggered these holes, one closer to the front, and one closer to the back. This meant it added a bit of strength to the wall mount. But also if I had drilled them there middle (where the 2 bits were laminated) there would be a strong chance of it getting pulled apart).

It is not usually a good idea to drill sideways into the plywood like this, but I needed to do it for the look of the project. It held on fine not a problem. But I started with a very small pilot hole, then used a counter sink bit, this means that the screws sit perfectly flush and are completely hidden with there is a book against it.

Step 4: Clamp Up, Sand Down

I then added some wood glue to the ends of each corner, and added some clamps. I made this into a box shape and added clamps all the way round. I made sure to line up the layers of plywood as best as I can. I think it might have worked better to do mitred edges here, as it didn't line up as well as I wanted.

I then gave the whole thing a sand down, I started at 80 grit with the orbital sander, and went up to 120 grit. I knew I would be putting a couple of coats of varnish on so going up to any higher grits would have been a bit pointless.

Once the glue had fully dried I added a few layers of varnish on to seal in all the plywood.

Step 5: Final Photos

This was great fun to make, and I'm really happy with how the exposed plywood looks. I have a few design changes in mind if I ever make another one of these. Firstly I would probably add mitred corners, also I might make the 2 bits of wood that come off the wall a little shorter; at 25cm it does stick out quite far. Where I have put it, it works fine as it is high on the wall.

If you make you're own please share photos with me. And make sure to check my YouTube Video.

Epilog Challenge 9

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge 9