Built-in Bookcases

Create value, interest and storage space in three simple steps.

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Constructing your own built-in bookcases may be easier than you thought. Just follow these instructions:

Materials and Tools:

¾-inch paint-grade plywood
2-by-4-inch lumber
1-by-12-inch poplar lumber
1-by-2-inch poplar trim
toggle bolts
circular saw
plywood panel blade
decorative trim
level
miter saw
carpenter's square
nail gun or finish nails and hammer

Note: Since all rooms are different, specific dimensions are not available for this project.

Steps:

1. The main cabinet at the bottom is constructed out of ¾-inch plywood and 2-by-4's. Construct a 2-by-4 frame all the way across the wall first and secure it to the wall with toggle bolts. This frame is the starting point for the entire structure.

2. Secure plywood across the front of the frame (use a plywood panel blade in a circular saw for a smooth cut without a lot of tear-out). To cut the plywood, lay it on top of four 8-foot-long 2-by-4's and use a 1-by-4 clamped in position as a guide to ensure a straight cut. Make sure the shoe of the saw rests against the guide as you make your cut along the board. Also make sure that the blade is set no deeper than ¾-inch below the plywood so that the blade will not cut into the floor.

3. Boxes made out of decorative trim help make the cabinet look professionally finished. Draw the layout of the boxes on the plywood front with a square and a level. Cut the trim to length with a miter saw (most will be 45-degree angles). Attach the trim pieces to the plywood with a nail gun or finish nails.

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