How to Make a Bookshelf From Reclaimed Wood

Dan Faires shows how to make a ladder-style bookshelf from reclaimed wood.

Danmade: Ladder Bookshelf 03:42

Dan makes a simple ladder-style bookshelf out of reclaimed wood and pipe.
Ladder-Style Bookshelf

Ladder-Style Bookshelf

Make a ladder-style bookshelf using reclaimed wood, and attach it to the wall to save floor space.

and Danmade

Materials and Tools:

  • 4x6 x 3' reclaimed lumber
  • tape measure
  • carpenter's square
  • circular saw
  • goggles
  • gloves
  • palm sander with 220-grit paper
  • polyurethane
  • 2' pre-threaded black metal pipe, elbow piece and ends
  • drill and 1" screws


To create the steps in the ladder, measure and mark 2 inches from the bottom of the board. Draw a line across the board using a carpenter's square. Set circular saw at a 45-degree angle, and cut along the horizontal line. Mark the second half of the step, and cut again at a 45-degree angle. Repeat these steps to create a staircase.

Cut each end at a 45-degree angle so that it sits flush on the floor and wall. Sand the entire piece, including inside the steps, using 220-grit paper to remove rough spots without ruining the patina of the reclaimed wood. 

Ladder-Style Bookshelf

Ladder-Style Bookshelf

Make a ladder-style bookshelf using reclaimed wood, and attach it to the wall to save floor space.

Brush polyurethane on all sides, and allow to dry. At this point, you can lean the bookshelf against a wall. To make a freestanding shelf, follow the next steps.

To make a kickstand, mark midway up the back of the board. This will be the location you will connect the leg. Screw the elbow piece onto the 2-foot pipe, and attach circular ends to each side. Attach the end of the pipe to the board using screws. Style with your favorite books.

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