Book Case Building

Somewhere around October or November, I built my first book case from a 27-dollar Walmart kit. It was horrible, but I leanred a lot. I decided then to make book cases from scratch with cheap wood.

I could not find a working jig saws in my house so I went to home Depot to get one. But then after talking to the sales associate, I made the tough decision to buy a new circular saw so I could build my own book cases from scratch and since I was afraid of them because I know of someone who had to get their hand re-attached after they chopped it off with a circular saw!

Plus I thought circular saws were expensive, but I got a Ryobi at Home Depot for $39. What a deal! In the comment section I will track my progress on the book cases. I have so much clutter in the house, and so many books I could probably build twenty 79.5″ x 30″ book cases.

The bonus was I found two old jig saws in the house after buying the circular saw!

7 thoughts on “Book Case Building”

  1. I built two book cases using “cheap” wood and a big 8′ x 4′ subfloor plywood scrap that I was previously going to use in the family room but didn’t have to.

    The circular saw paid for itself by enabling me to use the plywood scrap that was just lying around in the garage taking up space and creating clutter! YAY!!!!!

    The wood I bought from Home Depot probably cost $52.48 to build the frame for 2 book cases plus a few shelves. Thankfully the subfloor plywood scrap was available since I think I could have spent another $20 more for this wood.

    I used 1 and 5/8″ dry wall screws that were inserted through pilot holes that I drilled.

    I then used a trick I learned from that horrible Walmart book case that used a card board back board to give stability by adding a very thin board in the back. It gave tremendous stability to the book case. I then used 1/4″ shelf spoons to put shelves on.

    I learned maybe it’s not so good to pre-drill the shelf spoon holes since I can mis-align them easily.

    I learned how to prop the planks in order to fasten them together.

    The hard lesson was that wood planks bend too much to make them usable for very straight looking book shelves.

    I thankfully found MDF boards!

  2. On 12/1/16 I got MDF boards. I learned the hard way that cutting an 8′ x 4′ board by myself is a royal pain. It took 3 hours to set up the cutting area, make measurements, draw lines that were straight, and then clean the cutting area. It also took a couple hours to travel, purchase and transport the 3/4″ x 8’1″ x 4′ planks.

    The cost for 1 plank is $30.98 before tax and $32.84 after tax cost.

    For the back I bought one 1/8″ 4′ x 8′ tempered board for $15.90 before tax and $16.854 after tax.

    I put it together, IIRC with 1 5/8″ drywall screws and 1 1/4″ wood screws.

    The MDF book case looked really good!

    I could cut two planks at a time to get the pieces identical, but I learned the hard way to pre mark the inside outside and front and back.

  3. I managed to buy 2 more 3/4″ x 8′ x 4’+1″ MDF boards.

    I went to Lowes first, but they would only make 3 cuts, so I had them cut the board length wise.

    I then went to Home Depot the same night and they were nicer about cuts, but wouldn’t cut out the 12″ x 30″. Also I realized that the measurements by the Sales Associate and his use of tremendous cutting machine they use was a bit off. I can’t count on them making ultra precision cuts.

    I also bought 2 1/8″ x 4′ x 8′ tempered boards.

  4. 12/14/16 I finished the frame for another MDF book case.

    The tally so far:

    1 Walmart book case
    2 Wooden book cases
    2 MDF book cases

  5. 1/4/17
    completed work temporary wall where table will sit in basement. This enabled me to now start arranging the book cases. This was a total of about 4 hours work, which included plugging the big hole in the floor over the French drain.

    on 1/2/17 I cut the main parts of the frame for bookcase MDF-3.

    sometime in the last few days I also cut 2 book shelves for bookcase MDF-2, but I’m still lacking 1 shelf for MDF-1 and MDF-2. I will have to get some 3/4″x96″x12″ planks just to create more shelves. I also like using the shelf support vs. the shelf spoons. I will get a lot more of those next time I go to home depot.

  6. 1/25/17

    Since the last report I added 2 shelves to MDF-1 and MDF-2. I completed MDF-3, but it had issues with too many redone screw insertions. There was one shelf that was tilted.

    I finished moving most of mom’s books except for Miller and McNaught’s books.

    It liberated a lot of plastic containers. I also managed to clean a little bit more and dispose of some things mom and I deemed no longer needed.

  7. 1/29/17

    made cuts for frame sides of MDF-4 and MDF-5

    on 2/2/17 while attempting to clean out garage since the roof water test could flood garage and damage MDF boards, I assembled frame of MDF-4, and put the rest of the wood on the floor in the van.

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