Step 1: Cut The Pieces

exploded view of a ladder bookshelf with parts highlighted
Illustration: Gregory Nemec
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Download a printable cut list here and follow it to make the assembly pieces. First, make all the straight cuts for the shelves. Then set the miter-saw blade to 10 degrees and cut the uprights and cleats at parallel angles.

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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • circular saw
      Circular saw for cutting the poplar panels
    • miter saw
      Miter saw for cutting the shelf pieces, cleats, and uprights
    • brad nailer
      Brad-nail gun and compressor
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • sandpaper
      Sandpaper
    • nonskid foam pads
      Nonskid foam pads

    Shopping List

    Carpenter's glue

    1 ¼-inch screws to attach shelves to uprights

    1 ¼-inch and 2-inch 18-gauge brad nails to attach shelf sides and backs

    Two ¾-by-20-by-29-inch poplar panels to make shelves Five 1x3x8 poplar boards to make the uprights, cleats, shelf sides, and backs

    Wood filler

    Paint