Step 3: Attach The Cleats

exploded view of a ladder bookshelf with cleats highlighted
Illustration: Gregory Nemec
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Starting at the bottom of the uprights, glue the cleats in place, using scrap 1x3s to block out space for the shelves. Secure the cleats with 1¼-inch brad nails. To make the tops of the uprights sit flat against the wall, trim ¼ inch off their back edges, perpendicular to the 10-degree end cuts.
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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