How to Build a Bamboo Bookcase

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Thinking about making a bookcase to solve the clutter problem in your home office or living area? Do the environment a favor and use bamboo products. Bamboo is actually a grass and grows much faster than a tree. It is ready to harvest in five years, and works well as a substitute for plantation timber. Your bamboo bookcase will not only look great, but start a conversation.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheet of bamboo veneer plywood 4 feet by 8 feet by 1/8 inch
  • Bamboo veneer panels
  • Measuring tape
  • Marking pencil
  • Electric saw/jigsaw
  • Extra-strength bonding adhesive
  • Hammer
  • Furniture tacks
  • Roll of edge banding
  • Measure and mark out the veneer panels as described below and cut with an electric or jigsaw: Five panels 38 3/4 inches long and 9 3/4" wide. Two of these panels will form the top and bottom shelves of the bookcase, and the other three panels are the other shelves. Two panels 60 inches long and 9 3/4 inches wide. These panels are the sides of the bookcase. One sheet of bamboo veneer plywood 60 inches by 38 3/4 inches, which will form the back of the bookcase.

  • Lay the sheet of plywood onto a large table top or work bench. If there is no other surface large enough, as a last resort, lay it on the floor.

  • Mark out the position of the shelving on the plywood. The shelves should be equidistant from each other. Mark out the veneered side so that when the side panels and shelving are glued to the plywood, the veneered side will be on display.

  • Apply extra-strength adhesive to the narrow edges of the panels and place them onto the markings on the plywood backing. When the adhesive has bonded, tap small furniture tacks unobtrusively into the shelving as additional security that the finished bookcase will take the weight of heavy books.

  • Stand the completed unit on its base and finished the shelving edges with edge banding.

  • Attach a baseboard 2 1/2 inches wide by 38 3/4 inches long along the bottom to finish off the unit.

Tips & Warnings

  • When using the adhesive, follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that the materials bond securely enough to take weight.
  • Use wood clamps to hold the shelving to the plywood until the adhesive has bonded.
  • Don't use power tools unless you have been instructed in safe use, and always wear eye and hearing protection.

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