Celtic Design Bookshelf




About: IT manager, with a long list of hobbies and interests, as traveling, diy, electronic devices builder, Arduino, domotic, guitar stompboxes and tube amps designer, guitar player, reader, and paragliding flyer.


once I made a guitar amplifier named DiamondG. It was at least ten years ago.

I drawed on it a celtic shaped knot, symbol of Arianrodh celtic goddes. I used that amplifier for some time, then I dismantled it and I decided to cut the drawing, and use it somehow in a later time.

Step 1: The Tiny Santa's Helpers

Merlino was happy about the project, and he came to my tabe helping me with counts. Sibilla, oh, well.. she were not sooooo happy. She just looked at me and Merlino as we were two jerks.

Step 2: From My Old Guitar Amp to the Bookshelf Idea

That was the amp, and the drawing where everything had began, more than 10 years ago.

The idea stayed there in a drawer for long time, after I dismantled my amp. But I sometime need lot of time to let my ideas to mature.

So I thought to make it a little bigger and bigger, and make a designed "poor art" bookcase for my lounge wall.

But now these days, I was mesmerized when I found my bookshelf already built around the world. I discovered it after I drawed all my sketches. Yes, I understand that this is a common celtic shape, but I would't ever think to find similar bookshelves around the globe. So it was something like inventing something that already exist. But I don't mind. I'm very happy to be one of the few lucky ones.

Step 3: All the Projects and Bill of Materials

Here you can find all the project files, either in .ai illustrator file and pdf.

All the design are in 1:10 size, so, I plotted a full size print simply by scaling to 10 times the size.

I made two versions of the bookshelf, as you could find 18mm or 20mm thick fir wood tables (but the two version are very similar, so you could just print one and place the cubes centered in the drawing).

Keep in mind the size and the weight of the whole thing, which is 230cm x 230cm sized plasterboard panels and it weights about 140kg.

In the next step I'll show you how I build it.

Step 4: About Putting Everything Together


the idea quite simple:

I made 3 size of cubes, with different depth also.

Make a kind of frame where attaching a sort of biscuit of wood panel and plasterboard panels. Here you could optimize some weight. I choosed these materials, as in the end it was simplier to paint the panels, but you could only use a 12-13mm mdf panels and put down some weight (at least 30-35 kg of the plasterboard panels), without loose any stability of the structure.

However, I built a frame structure where screw the biscuit. the frame is 218cm x 218cm (all the project file are in the previsious step).

I screwed a 230cm x 230cm panel on it, to hide the frame and to have a place where diffused led could make a good nice eye looking.

So let's start the job.

Step 5: Ok, Let's Make the Cubes.

Here's what we want.

The cubes are sized with 18mm fir tables

12pcs of 16cm x 16cm - depth 11cm

12pcs of 20cm x 20cm - depth 14cm

12pcs of 28cm x 28cm - depth 18cm

Of course you could modify everything as you need / as you want.

I bought an economy Einhell electric saw which is not so accurate, but it is enough for some small jobs during a year (it's a cery cheap 140$ electr saw so I cannot pretend too much from it).

I counted more than 600 cuts, and I'm pretty happy that I still have all my fingers.

Be always extremely careful when using an electric saw. Wear earplugs and glasses. also, make some kind of rithmic repetitive movements, and never turn your eyes off from the saw. Your fingers are your friends. Don't lose a finger please. A bookshelf does't deserve a finger!

Step 6: 45 Degree Cuts

I spent at least two full days to make my cuts. If I had a better saw, It could be easiiiiiier,

as I needed to spackle lots of joints with a myx of vinavil and sawdust.

Use clamps or clamp ruler to keep in place the wooden pieces while gluing with vinavil and while screwing.
It is a very important step, to make good "squared" cubes.

Well, now we have got all our cubes painted and ready to be mounted.

Let' put all the cubes apart for a while. Now we are going to build the wall (ok, it doesn't sound good it's a small wall).

Step 7: The Frame and the Wall

I built the wall in the lounge. It is an easy build, but remember tu use long screws and glue all the joints with vinavil glue. It must sustain a huge weight!!!!!

The bill of mat:

- 2pcs 218x3x5 cm

- 4pcs 212x3x5 cm

- 1pcs 212x6x5 cm

- 12pcs 50x3x5 cm

- 4pcs dry wall panels 115cm x 115cm

- 4pcs wood panels 115cm x 115cm

An half kilo of scews

some spare screwers (you'll need for sure)

Step 8: Grouting and Sealing of the Joints (Part 1) and Painting - How to Steal a Property (part 2)

Clean the panels and start grouting the joints.

Be sure that when you'll finish everything, your cat will sign and steal your job with his paw and you'll have to discuss with him for the rights. :D

So never lower your guard or your cat will win :D

After the discussion we had to decide the color of the paint for the wall, so we opted for a very light cream color (maybe a bit more dark color could have had a better result and more noticeable). At the end I gave 3 hands of rollers for a perfect uniform result.

Step 9: Drill and Screws

We are almost at the end of the game.

Just use the plotted project and stick in the middle of the wall with some tape. Use it as a model where to position all the cubes. Use a drill to make all holes in the panel. Use the drawing stiched on the panels for reference.

Then you will need help and you need to put on feet the wall. You need someone screwing the cubes while you keep them in place on the other side of the panels.

Step 10: Attach to the Wall

Ok, this is the key of everything.

You have a more than 130kg structure (and you'll put on some books later too).

So, it is EXTREMELY important that you anchor the bookshelf on the wall with proper fishers and screws.

Please use at least 12mm fishers and thick and long screws to anchor on the wall everything. Choose the right fishers for your wall. they need to sustain a huge weight. I anchored 4 wooden bars on the wall with a couple of fisher each one, and use long screws (I used 18cm long ones).

I used also other 4 anchor points on the upper side of the bookshelf to be sure.

also, Once put the whole thing in place, I placed some screws on the top of the frame, anchoring to the bars on the wall, behind the panels, to make impossible for the bookshelf to move from his place.

At the bottom, I used also some iron "L" shaped stands where I latched the bookshelf.

Step 11: Quality Check Inspection

Sibilla, who were not so happy at the begin, tried herself the strength of the structure and finally approved.

Well, it was a huge project. But at the begin the drywall was not planned, and I had lot of difficulties with the cube joints, due to the lacks of precision of the electric saw. I lost lot of time also for the filling of the cubes, vith vinil glue and sawdust, and for the painting.

I now learnt that an expensive paint could let you save lotof time and have a better result too.

I forgot to mention that the whole cost of the bookshelf is around 340$.

I need a bit of rest now. But I'm satisfied with the result.

Here's also the link at my website: https://www.thepiper.eu/pr/una-libreria-celtica/



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    8 Discussions


    5 weeks ago on Introduction

    I like the lighting! A great idea for light articles. I’m sure it’s very heavy, especially with books. I would be very uneasy having it in a home with young children and tweens. Try acrylic for this project. Anchor it to the walls and layers.
    No offense meant.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Thanks, you are absolutely right. That was my main concern too. Yes, it's very heavy, but it's well anchored to the wall. The main wall is 60cm thick, and I used very long screws and fishers, and other more as secure "coefficient" (8 M6 screws 10cm long with bars ad 4 more screws 18cm long).
    Other fixings are positioned in the bottom, so the entire structure could rest on.
    The fact is that I have 2 cats at home, which like to jump everywhere, so I designed a structure that must keep anchored to the wall 140kg + books. In my maths, the structure could be safe with more than 500kg, but it's not a screws matter, Iron usually is stronger than the wall itself. So in these kind of structures you have to be careful to the fishers that "may" disanchor from the wall. Or in the worse case, the thickness of the wall itself could be the problem. So use more fishers in order to distribute the weight in a uniform way.
    You could use MDF instead of the biscuit of wooden tables and dry walls. MDF is smooth enough to be painted like a normal wall. You probably will save at least 25-30kg and some money with only this mod. Another thing. The wood essence matters. Fir wood is light and cheap, other kind of woods could be more heavy. Another possibilty, is to attach the cubes drectly to the wall. In summary, there are lots of ways to make a similar project, but brain is always needed to make an heavy structure. Also Sibilla say Hi!


    5 weeks ago

    Great project and very cool! I am scheming about scaling this down and using the boxes as component storage for my electronics...could use lighter/thinner wood. Hmmmm, guess I'll add that to my projects list.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    You must build it! I can ensure you that it will be a satisfaction. Show us the result too. At the begin I was interested in a smaller shelf too, so I'm curious to see a smaller one how it looks like


    6 weeks ago

    This is a really cool idea and the finished design looks great! Thanks for sharing. :)

    1 reply