How to Build a Carousel Bookcase


A carousel bookcase is essentially an oversize Lazy Susan, like the ones found in kitchens. The bottom features a swivel base, which you can find at home improvement stores. The bookcase sits on top of the swivel base. Spin the base and gain access to books located on the back shelves. The finished design lets you store and organize multiple books in a limited space. Using four pre-made bookcases of the same size that you already own or purchase for the project makes building your own carousel bookcase a simpler task.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 plywood circles, 24 inches in diameter
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • 3-shelf bookcases, 4
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • 2 plywood boards
  • Circular saw
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Primer and paint or stain
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Swivel base
  • Lay a 24-inch-wide plywood circle on a flat surface. Coat the top of the plywood with a thick layer of wood glue and set a second plywood circle on top. Stack six plywood circles on top of each other with wood glue between each layer. Clamp the circles together. Remove the clamps once the glue dries.

  • Arrange four three-shelf bookcases together in a square shape. Arrange one bookcase facing toward the front, one facing toward the back and two bookcases on either side, with an open area in the center.

    Apply wood glue to the sides of each case and press the glue-covered sides together. You should have a large square made from bookcases with glue covering each side and holding those sides together.

  • Sink a 2-inch wood screw through the front bookcase and into one of the side bookcases. Attach two screws on each shelf, with the screws extending into the next bookcase. Once you have the screws attached to each bookcase, the pieces should hold together firmly.

  • Measure the top of the bookcases. Cut a plywood board to the same size as the top with a circular saw. Cut a second plywood board to cover the bottom. Sand the boards with fine-grit sandpaper. Apply primer and paint with a foam paintbrush or apply wood stain to match the bookcases.

  • Cover the top of the bookcases with wood glue and arrange one plywood board from the last step on top. Clamp the plywood to the bookcases until the glue dries. Remove the clamps, turn the bookcases over and attach the second wood board to the bottom.

  • Apply wood glue to the plywood circle and place it in the center of the plywood-covered bottom. Clamp the bottom and let dry for several hours. Set a swivel base in the center of the plywood circle. The swivel base has multiple screws spaced evenly around the edges. Sink 2-inch wood screws through the metal base into the plywood circle.

  • Turn the bookcase over so it sits on the swivel base.

Tips & Warnings

  • Buy a swivel base a few inches smaller than the plywood circles. If you use a base that is too small, you risk the base not providing enough support.
  • Use particleboard or MDF bookcases, as hardwood bookcases could place too much weight on the base.

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