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Zigzag Bookshelf

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Project by Adam D posted 01-02-2015 02:40 AM 1912 views 7 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A really good friend of mine got engaged, and I knew I had to do something really special for a wedding present. He’s always been a fan of thinking outside the box with his projects, and so I thought I’d follow suit with this gift.

The shelves are red oak, and the “hidden” vertical supports are black walnut. Both are finished with boiled linseed oil that I let dry for a week before applying shellac. The vertical supports double as book-ends, and have mortises that hold some walnut wedges which support the shelf.

I ran into some design hurdles along the way; I wanted to keep the whole thing collapsible to make it easier to move, but I also wanted it to be strong, recognizing that books can weigh quite a lot. I ended up using pocket holes to secure the shelves to the dadoes they lie in, but instead of using the wood screws that they recommend (I thought they’d strip out), I bought some brass threaded inserts and some allen-head machine screws. The threaded inserts I had to screw in at an angle (in the dadoes) to match the angle of the pocket holes, and it took a lot of trial and error to get them lined up perfectly. In the end, the thing holds books, and both myself and my friend are thrilled with the results.

Thanks for checking it out!

-- Adam, Rochester NY





7 comments so far

View BikerDad's profile

BikerDad

284 posts in 3064 days


#1 posted 01-02-2015 07:49 AM

That’s a very interesting design. I’ve seen wall mount shelves in that pattern before, but never a free standing bookshelf. I’m curious, do the walnut vertical supports run all the way to the floor?

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

View Adam D's profile

Adam D

103 posts in 1736 days


#2 posted 01-02-2015 01:39 PM

@BikerDad My vertical supports stop at the bottom shelf and sit in the pictured mortise. My friend pointed out that this directs a lot of additional weight to the bottom shelf, which will probably start to bow with time and enough weight. If I had to do it again, I think I’d probably make the bottom shelf a little thicker.

-- Adam, Rochester NY

View longgone's profile

longgone

5688 posts in 2771 days


#3 posted 01-02-2015 08:58 PM

a

View longgone's profile

longgone

5688 posts in 2771 days


#4 posted 01-02-2015 08:59 PM


@BikerDad My vertical supports stop at the bottom shelf and sit in the pictured mortise. My friend pointed out that this directs a lot of additional weight to the bottom shelf, which will probably start to bow with time and enough weight. If I had to do it again, I think I d probably make the bottom shelf a little thicker.

- Adam D

Very nice design and build. You could always add a centered recessed brace between the bottom shelf and the floor to liminate” any possibility of future bowing

- Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist


View DW833's profile

DW833

190 posts in 1345 days


#5 posted 01-02-2015 10:52 PM

Interesting design. I have a room that needs a bookcase. Will add this my options.

View pjones46's profile

pjones46

986 posts in 2105 days


#6 posted 01-07-2015 07:25 AM

Looks exactly like one I saw in a magazine recently.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View Adam D's profile

Adam D

103 posts in 1736 days


#7 posted 01-07-2015 04:08 PM

@pjones46, I’d love to see that! Can you post a scan or a photo?

-- Adam, Rochester NY

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