Built-in bookcases – putting it all together

Posted by jerry on January 18th, 2007 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

Well everything is together now – all that remains is to fit the adjutable shelves, and that will be done when we move the books in so we can gauge the spacing correctly 🙂

Here is a view of the tall end


And here is the low end


Note – the apparent dip is an artefact of the camera!

So how did I get it to this stage?  I had completed the cutting of the rosettes. I needed one long plank to cover the low bookcases – and this proved to be a bit of a challenge. I went to my local hardware store and they said they’re not doing 4 metre lengths of 190mm pine anymore! Apprently something to do with standardising all their lengths. The second one told me the same story, but did steer me to an old-fashioned timber supplier in Fyshwick called the Fyshwick timber co-op – next door to Office Express stationers on Canberra Avenue – for the locals. I drove up a laneway into a timber yard big enough for a semi-trailer (big truck) to do a U-turn in.

I wandered into a covered area which seemed to have dressed pine in, and presently, a bloke inquired if I needed any assistance. This was a local family-run business with real service. I told the guy what I was after and he scuttled away up a ladder and called out I think I’ve got some up here – this do?

He had selected an excellent grade dressed pine board 4.2 metres (16 1/2 feet)long. Mindful of my 3 metre van I asked if he could make one cut … er around 3810mm (just over 3.8 metres) that was the length I needed for the shelf. Sure enough he dragged out a couple of saw-horses and and tape measure. marked it off twice and scribed a line with his hand saw. then cut it perfectly square and to the size I needed.

With the back of the van tied down, but open I drove home to varnish and fit the board.

The carcasses were in place, so the next job was to bolt the whole lot together using four bolts for  each of the low shelves and eight for the tall ones. The bolt heads were countersunk by first starting the hole with a flat bit large enough to fit the bolt head, then drilled through for the bolt shaft. I used 40mm bolts.


With all the units bolted together I then screwed the tall units to the wall through the architrave using 75mm screws. Now the whole thing was a rigid structure.

I then screwed the now varnished long board to the low units from below using 35mm screws – the right-angle drill attachment was very useful for the  narrow units!

Next came the long horizontal beading nailed in place with small bullet-head nails and nail-punched. This was followed by the rosette at the first join and then a short upright beading to the floor. Here is what the joins look like up close


When it came to the tall units I cut the wide trim to size and shaped it for the architraves and with some tricky mitering managed to get it round the top.

The rosettes followed and then the beaded trim. The holes for the adjustable shelves are already drilled – you would have seen that in the earlier construction phase.

And that is about it 🙂  Built-in bookcases in a week.



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