Tips for building bookshelves include anchoring shelves to the wall for added stability, creating adjustable shelves that offer greater flexibility and using a polyurethane plastic trim to customize the look of finished shelves. Bookshelves wider than 36 inches may require additional center or shelf supports. Recommended thickness for plywood is 3/4th of an inch for all pieces except for the back and solid lumber construction provides larger shelves with additional stability.
Many lumber yards and suppliers provide cutting services for a small additional charge. These services ensure all pieces have been accurately measured and properly cut and can reduce the number of tools needed to complete the project. An 11-inch space between shelves is suitable for most books, but the installation of adjustable shelving mounts can ensure a wider range of display options and configurations.
Bookshelves are typically constructed using either solid lumber or of plywood. Basic designs utilize a bottom and top piece, two vertical pieces and a back as well as any number of shelves. Using plain butt joints, nails or a high-quality wood glue may simplify the assembly process. Use cleats for shelves that are permanently supported on strips and fasten slotted-metal standards about 1 inch from the front and back edge of the vertical sections when installing adjustable shelving mounts.