Shelfomatic (Bookshelf With Adjustable, In-rail Bookends)

About: I am a person who loves the outdoors

Intro: Shelfomatic (Bookshelf With Adjustable, In-rail Bookends)

This instructable is my first instuctable that I have ever done.

It is a bookshelf that has adjustable bookends that follow a rail system in order to keep them straight and upright. My inspiration for this came from needing an idea for my school project and a question whether a bookshelf like this has ever been done on this site before.

I constructed the shelfomatic using a laser cutter and 3mm thick plywood. Measurements may vary based on the size you want the shelfomatic to be.

All of the pieces were designed on Fusion 360. The part files can be found on GrabCad, or will be soon.

Heads up! All measurements being discussed are in millimeters.

Step 1: Designing the Shelf Body (Base Piece)

The shelf itself is three layers: the base piece, the middle pieces, and the top pieces. This is the base piece.

  • The base piece has a length of 254 mm and a width of 127 mm. Square holes that are 3 mm by 3 mm are cut with a 10 mm offset from their centers in from the right and left side. Each column is comprised of four holes, with the outer ones being 10 mm away from the top and bottom edges, and the inner ones being 41 mm away from the outer ones (51 mm from the top and bottom).

Look at the picture to get a better idea of all the measurements.

Step 2: Designing the Shelf Body (Middle Pieces)

The shelf itself is three layers: the base piece, the middle pieces, and the top pieces. This is the middle piece.

  • Two middle pieces, that are 254 mm by 57.15 mm, are used to make the large foot gap needed for the rail system. 3 mm by 3 mm square holes are also cut into each of the pieces. The top holes have an offset of 10 mm from each side of the corners, and the bottom holes are offset 6.15 mm from the bottom and 10 mm from the sides. Remember! These distances for the holes are taken from the center-point of each hole.

See the picture for details on the measurements.

Step 3: Designing the Shelf Body (Top Pieces)

The shelf itself is three layers: the base piece, the middle pieces, and the top pieces. This is the top piece.

  • Two top pieces, which are 254 mm by 61 mm, are used to enclose the bookends to guide them along a straight path. 3 mm by 3 mm holes are cut into each piece. All of the holes are offset 10 mm away from each corner.

See the picture for detailed measurements.

Step 4: Designing the Bookend

The bookends are what keep the books squished together on the shelfomatic.

  • The main body is a 101.60 mm by 101.60 mm square.
  • The foot comes down 6 mm from the main body and is centered on the bottom of the main body. The foot has a neck that comes down 3 mm and is 5 mm across. The bottom of the foot is 12.70 mm across and comes 3 mm down as well.
  • There are two, rectangular holes which are 2.80 mm by 6.15 mm in size.

See the picture for exact measurements on the placement of the holes and other measurements.

Always be looking at the pictures.

Step 5: Designing the Support Bracket

The support bracket is made to prevent the bookends from wobbling and to disperse the force of the books leaning against the bookend.

  • The support bracket is 38.1 mm by 107.6 mm in total size.
  • The left side has pegs that are offset out 3 mm and are 6.35 mm tall.
  • The reason for the groove on the bottom right corner is to hold the support foot.

See the picture for all measurement details.

(I added my school's logo just for fun, but you do not have to add anything to your support brackets.)

Step 6: Designing the Support Foot

The support foot was designed as the place where the support bracket connects to the rail as a final means of stabilization for the bookend.

  • Its total size is 12.70 mm by 6 mm
  • The support foot has a 3 mm by 3 mm groove centered at the top that fits nicely with the groove in the support bracket.

See the picture for measurement details.

Step 7: Designing the Pegs

These pegs are designed to fit into the 3 mm by 3 mm holes of the shelf body pieces so they do not shift out of position.

  • The total size of the peg is 4 mm by 9.75 mm
  • There is an overhang on the peg that extends .50 mm on each side and is .75 mm tall. The reason for this is to keep the peg level with the rest of the shelf body pieces. (This will be sanded down later.)

Look at the picture for clarification.

Step 8: Cutting Out the Pieces

In order to cut out the pieces, I used a laser cutter. The wood I used was 3 mm thick plywood.

The program I used for it was K40 Whisper. Power at around 30% and speed of 10 mm/second

Each of the sketches need to be saved in dxf format.

Make sure to add a layer of painter's tape on the top of the plywood in order to prevent the smoke from staining the wood.

Step 9: Sanding

For this, I used an electric sander, but you can use regular sandpaper as well.

  • Make sure to evenly sand down the parts or else the pieces will not be level.
  • Sand until the wood feels smooth. Also, make sure to sand down the exposed tips of the pegs once the shelf body pieces are glued together.

(Sanding can also remove smoke stains from the wood)

Step 10: Staining (optional)

If you do not like the color of the plywood as it is, then you can stain it the color you want.

  • For this you will need a paint brush, rubber gloves, a cloth (which you never plan to use again), and the wood stain.
  • I used Varathane Premium Fast Dry Wood Stain in a traditional cherry color. You want the stain to dry quickly. Also make sure you do not let that stuff touch anything important to you because it will stain it that color and probably not come out.
  • To stain: dip the pain brush into the wood stain, coat the piece with the brush (nice and even), take the cloth and wipe the piece off. The wood will be stained and all that is left is to leave it to dry.

Step 11: Gluing

Gluing the pieces together is the last major step you will need to do for this instructable.

  • Wood glue is ideal, and I used Gorilla Wood Glue.
  • Glue the shelf body pieces together with the pegs in the holes so they do not shift. (make sure the overhangs are sanded away) Place something heavy on the shelf body that covers it completely in order to press the pieces equally and prevent warping.
  • The support bracket pegs will fit into the holes cut on the bookend.
  • The support foot will fit into the groove on the bottom of the support bracket.
  • Keep the parts on a level surface to prevent warping.

Step 12: Putting It to Use

Now that you have constructed your own shelfomatic, it is time to put it to use.

I am using mine to hold some books right now. (Images include a stained and a non-stained version of the shelfomatic)

If you want to have dividers for your books then cut out a few more of the bookends and line them up between the fully constructed bookends. That way, your books can stay even more organized.

I hope you have found this instructable interesting. Happy bookkeeping!

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    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    6 months ago

    Cool. It would be perfect if you could make one of these that is as wide as the full length of a shelf.