In this instructable, I'm making a rustic modern bookshelf. There is just something satisfying about creating your own piece of furniture. I‘m excited to show you the steps I took to create this bookshelf; this can also be used for storage. This bookshelf is designed to be broken down for easy transport. The nice two-tone finish quickly draws attention to the eye with lots of storage. This can be used for all sorts of applications. Maybe you want to show off your art, valuables, your camera gear etc.
(4) Shelves – (11 1/8 inches ) x (48 inches) x (1.5 inches)
(4) Frame Front Back (68 inches) x (1.5 inches) x (1.5 inches)
(4) Frame Top & Bottom (11 1/4 inches) x (1.5 inches) x (1.5 inches)
(2) Cross Support (67 inches) s (1.5 inches) x (1.5 inches)
For more info on this build (free plans, material list and tools used click here)
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Step 1: Making the Cut
You can find a complete material list above. When making the shelves, one thing to keep in mind the dimensions may vary. I took the width of the smallest shelf then ripped the other shelves to match. You can use a table saw or a circular saw with an edge guide to rip the shelves. I only used four shelves but you can use more. This design is fairly easy to modify.
Cut all the 2 x 2 to be the same length. Then cut the bottom and top part to complete the frame. As a way to keep the design clean, I used dowels. I have mixed feelings about them, mainly because there is no room for error. For me, I find that a dowel center works great, especially where you cannot get a dowel jig to work. After drilling the holes glue up the parts, then add wood glue and clamps.
Step 2: Making the Cross Support
To create the cross support I temporary laid out the shelf as it would be completed. I took a 2 x 2 lumber and placed it diagonally across the back. With this piece of lumber in place, I then marked it where it intersected the two frames. Then cut it at that mark. Next, I used this piece of cross support to mark the other one.
Make the cross with both parts cut to size. Set them in place as if there were installed, placing one on top of the other. Now, mark both parts, then label them. I used a top and a bottom label.
Step 3: Cutting the Half Lap Joint
(Note: If you don’t plan to disassemble, you can glue this joint. I like the idea of being able to break this down.)
With both pieces being marked from the previous step, use a handsaw to cut inside the line. Prior to cutting, make sure you mark the halfway point on both pieces. Then, take a chisel and remove the unwanted areas. Put the cross support together then find the center of the intersection. Next, drill a hole for the connecting bolt. Do not drill all the way through both pieces. With half of the material being removed, I had to modify the threaded insert, making it shorter.
Step 4: Attaching the Cross Support
Since the cross support is not bearing any weight and just providing stability I felt this setup would be ideal. A threaded insert is one of my favorite hardware to use when connecting two parts. Driving a threaded insert in the end grain it surprisingly strong. I was able to drive most of the insert in at the right angle. I did notice one of them was at an angle, which I used a file to clean it up.
Step 5: Sanding and Applying Finish
Although I used a thickness planer in this project, you don’t need it! My lumber is not 100-percent flat; my main goal was to minimize sanding my removing a few layers. Keeping the thick look was important to me. An orbital sander or a belt sander will work just fine. After sanding the shelves, I then sanded the frame.
Step 6: Assembling the Frame
After allowing the stain to completely dry, assemble the frame, and then add the cross support. Make sure all bolts are tightened. If you notice any wobble in the frame, the shelves should add weight and make this more stable. Next, apply a coat of protection; I used polyurethane.
Step 7: Adding the Shelves
For spacing, I placed the first shelf four inches from the very bottom. I then used a piece of wood as a template to space the shelves apart evenly. I spaced them 16in apart but this is personal preference. After installing the brackets take the frame to your desired location and then add the shelves. The bracket comes with screws, which will work, but I used longer screws to attach the shelves.