Introduction

how to build a small bookcase
Photo: John Gruen
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It's a shame to closet your collectibles when open shelving puts those prized possessions on proud display. And it doesn't take much to build yourself a custom bookcase: A few sheets of veneer plywood and some inexpensive molding, and you're well on your way to creating a proper showcase for your hardback favorites and treasured curios. Or you can find one that suits your space in a range of styles and materials, from unadorned models made of engineered wood to hardwood beauties with adjustable shelving and fancy molding. Either way, consider an attention-grabbing color to ramp up the statement.

Pictured: oak veneer bookcase finished in Empire Red from Gothic Cabinet Craft, about $320
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    Tools List

    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • drill
      drill driver

    Shopping List

    1. ¾-inch plywood,

    Get a 4x8 sheet to make the top, sides, and shelf supports



    2. ½-inch plywood,

    Get a 4x4 half sheet for the back



    3. 1x3 Get a 3-foot board for the crosspiece4. 1x4 Get a 6-foot board for the mitered base trim

    5. fluted casing Get 8-feet

    6. chair rail molding Get 8 feet

    7. wood glue

    8. 1-inch trim head screws