Building wall to wall bookcases in your den, study, or computer room can be a great project to spruce up your living area. The effect that the bookcase will have on the feel of the room is quite striking and very functional to hold your books, nicknacks, or other items.
The best way to plan out the project is to find a long span of wall probably about 7 feet long that you can build one long bookcase on. By building on the entire wall of a room, it will come out looking built-in, especially if you screw it right into the wall after you’re done building it. You can also throw on a curved end piece for little items and nicknacks that can sit at the end of the bookcase and give it more of a homey, finished look.
While deciding which wall to put the bookcase on, please take into account the matter of any power outlets and switches that you would be covering. Also build into your planning where the furniture in the room would end up as that wall will now be not used to put desks, chairs or other pieces up against.
After you have found which area and space you want to build your bookcase on, you must then take measurements and decide what type of wood you are going to build your bookcases out of. Oak is one of the most popular woods to build bookcases with, as books are very heavy and the shelves are less likely to sag because of the strength of oak versus something like pine boards.
Measuring your area will be your next step. Keep in mind for the back of the bookcase you will probably use oak plywood material which is a little thinner than the shelving material. It comes in 4 foot by 8 foot pieces. So if your wall is a little under 8 feet high and about 7 feet wide, you will only need 2 sheets for the back of the bookcase.
Buying the material for the shelves will depend on the spaces that you want between your shelves and how deep you want them as well. By keeping your shelves about 12 inches deep you could get 8 – 4 foot shelves out of one piece of thicker oak plywood. Using 4 foot shelves across will require a vertical piece in the middle of your 8 foot wide span, but will increase the strength of the shelves and reduce that sag. You would also need 2 more pieces of plywood as you need an 8 foot top and bottom piece as well as 3 almost 8 feet vertical pieces, one for each side and one in the middle.
The rest of the measurements would depend on how many shelves you are going to have. Just try to take your height and divide equally so the spacing comes out uniform, perhaps even allowing for one taller space at the bottom for oversized books.
Putting the bookcase together can be done with screws but finish nails would be hidden better. Then the nail holes could be covered and stained over with the rest of the area.
The finishing touches can be some type of molding around all the edges that face out into the room. Just a 2inch wide strip would work but you could get fancy ones or other types of molding that is premade to make the piece even more striking.
Enjoying your bookcase for years will be even sweeter if you make it yourself and create a piece of furniture in your room that was built with pride.