Are you planning to build a library in your home, or do you manage a local library that needs more shelf space? Here are step-by-step instructions for building a simple single-shelf unit that is 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Build multiple units if you need a large amount of space. All that you need are a few carpentry tools, plywood, wood stain or paint of your choice and hardware.
Things You'll Need
- 4 or 5 sheets of 3/4-inch high-quality smooth-finish plywood, 10 feet long by 5 feet wide
- 3 5-foot-long 4-by-4 boards
- Measuring tape
- Circular saw
- Wood stain or paint of your choice
- 1 1/2-inch wood screws
Cutting the Pieces for Your Library Shelf Unit
Cut 2 pieces out of a sheet of plywood with the circular saw that are each 9 feet 10 1/4 inches long and 2 feet wide for the sides of your shelf unit.
Cut out a piece measuring 5 feet long and 2 feet wide for the top of the unit.
Cut out 8 pieces from 2 sheets of plywood that are all 4 feet 10 1/2 inches long and 2 feet wide for the shelves.
Cut 3 sections of 4-by-4 board that are all 4 feet 10 1/2 inches long. These make up the support system under the bottom shelf that adds strength to the sides preventing wobble.
Sand all rough edges off the cut pieces. Apply wood stain or paint of your choice to them and allow to dry.
Assembling Your Library Shelf Unit
Place the 2 side pieces of your shelf on the floor with the 9 feet 10 1/4 inch long edges down parallel to each other 5 feet apart. Attach the top piece on one end by driving five 1 1/2-inch screws through both ends of the top into the sides. You now have 3 sides of a 10 feet long and 5 feet wide and 2 feet deep rectangle.
Screw the 3 sections of 4-by-4 board in between the sides on the open end to complete the rectangle. Position them so they are equally spaced between the front and back of the sides. Drive 4 screws through the sides into each end of all 4-by-4 boards.
Stand the completed portion of your shelf unit up so the 4-by-4 sections are on the floor. Lay a shelf on top of these 3 sections and drive 6 screws through the sides of your unit into both ends of the shelf.
Drive 5 screws through the bottom shelf into each 4-by-4 board running underneath. The sides will be sturdy now.
Attach the remaining shelves inside your library shelf unit in the positions you want. Drive 5 screws through the sides into both ends of each shelf.
Your new library shelf unit is now ready to use.
Tips & Warnings
- If you want a back on your shelf unit, attach an entire 10-foot-long and 5-foot-wide sheet of plywood on the back with screws.
- Be cautious when using power tools.
How to Design a Home Library
When designing a home library, you need three basic elements: space, shelves and books. Custom build a new room or choose an...
How to Make a Personal Library at Home
Creating a personal library gives you a central place to store, organize and display your books. A home library is a rich...
How to Shelve Books in a Library
How to Shelve Books in a Library. Books must be shelved in a logical, structured system or locating specific books quickly becomes...