Step 5: Drill the shelf holes

drill the holes «»
Prepare to drill holes in the side pieces for metal shelf pegs by first making a hole-drilling template out of ¾-inch pine cut to the same length as the bookcase sides. Using a drill/driver fitted with a -inch spade bit, bore a series of equally spaced holes in the template board.

Mark a line at the center of the template board and on each bookcase side piece. Clamp the template to the inside surface of one side piece, lining up the center lines. Outfit a plunge router with a ¼-inch straight bit and -inch-diameter collar.

Set the collar into one of the template holes, turn on the router, and plunge down to make a ¼-inch-diameter by -inch-deep hole in the side. Repeat for each template hole.

Unclamp the template, flip it over and drill mating shelf-peg holes on the opposite edge of the bookcase side. Repeat this hole-drilling process in the other side piece.
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    Tools List

    • 100-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • circular saw
      Circular saw and guide
    • hand clamps
      Spring clamps for holding saw guide
    • plunge router
      Plunge router fitted with 5/8-inch-diameter guide bushing, ball-bearing-piloted rabbeting router bit, and ¼-inch-diameter straight-cutting router bit
    • speed square
      Speed square
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw for cutting arches in toekick and side pieces
    • iron
      Iron for adhering iron-on birch veneer edge banding to plywood
    • j-roller
      J-roller for adhering iron-on veneer
    • Double-sided Veneer Trimmer
      Double-sided veneer trimmer
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with 5/8-inch spade bit
    • pocket hole jig
      Pocket-hole jig for boring angled holes for pocket screws
    • miter saw
      Miter saw (or miter box with hand saw)
    • paintbrush
      Paint brush

    Shopping List

    1. 3/4-inch cabinet-grade birch veneer plywood for the case and shelves. One 4x8 sheet will make the whole bookcase

    2. 1/4-inch-thick birch veneer plywood for the backing. One half-sheet will cover the back of the bookcase.

    3. 8-foot piece of pine bed molding to trim around bookcase top.

    4. 1¼-inch pan-head pocket-hole screws

    5. 6d finish nails to attach the bed molding.

    6. 3d box nails for fastening the plywood back.

    7. 1/4-inch-thick x 3-inch-wide hardboard strip used to mark arches onto toekick and side pieces.

    8. 7/8-inch-wide heat-activated birch veneer edge banding, used to conceal edges of plywood.

    9. 1x pine, for making hole-routing template for shelf pegs.

    10. 8 metal shelf pegs

    11. 120-grit sandpaper

    12. Primer and paint,
    or stain and varnish