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  • Writer's pictureDeepak Mulajkar

Workshop Notes : DIY Bookshelf

Dimensions: 5 ft x 5 ft

Material : 19 mm Pinewood blockboard, with pinewood face. Cost Rs 72 psft. Chose this material instead of going the veneer way, which would have taken cost and effort higher.

6 mm ply for backs @35 psft

6 mm x 22 mm teak wood beading

Vertical sides : 60” Each with grooves -19 mm wide, 6 mm deep - at a distance of 14 1/16 “

Top and Bottom : 59” Each with 3 grooves 19 mm wide, 6 mm deep at 6mm + 14 1/16” from each side and one in centre

Walls (Vertical): 59” Each with 3 slits (from back) 19 mm wide, at 6mm + 14 1/16” from each side and one in centre.

Width of all components till now is 30.3 cm

Shelves (Horizontal): Each with 3 slits (from front) 19 mm wide, at 6mm + 14 1/16” from each side and one in centre. Width of shelves is 28 mm.

The shelves are with lesser depth so as to be able to fix long doors on the bookcase if required. If sliding glass shelves are required, have walls with lesser width and shelves with full width.


Day 1 (5 hrs) : Cut all pieces and paste+staple 6 mm teak edge binding on all the edges, which would be in the front of the bookcase. Let dry over night.


Day 2 (4 hrs): Trim the teak beading with a trim router fitted with a trimming bit.

Trim the edge beading for all the shelves and walls – 6 mm for each side. This will make all the dado joins hidden.

Cut 19 mm wide slits with jigsaw – on shelves from front side and on walls from back side.

Length of cut- 14.3 cm

Used jigsaw for cutting 18 slits in 6 planks. Could have clamped the 6 planks together and used a circular saw to do 6 cuts in 1 go and then finish the remainder with jigsaw.


Day 3 (6 hrs): Assemble walls and shelves

Paste the top and bottom and clamp them to shelves with sash clamps

After drying, paste the sides and clamp them to walls with sash clamps

I had just 2 nos of 30” bar clamps. More nos could have helped faster assembly

Fixed 6mm plywood back, with 2.5” screws for rigidity of the frame.

The frame had a tilt of about 3-4 degrees, without the back panel on. Corrected this by applying force diagonally and clamping the frame in the correct position. Glued and screwed the plywood back so the frame would hold the correct alignment (2.5” screws).

Back can be polished/coloured same as wall colour/fixed with mirrors at back to give very different effects in each case. You can also fix yellow LED spot lights in the top shelves/mirror shelves to give the bookshelf a chic look.

Stay tuned for updates related to polishing and installation at site.

Location : IKP-EDEN, Koramangala, Bangalore

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