Big Bookcase for Small Books

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Project by Thuan posted 11-11-2009 08:36 PM 2262 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife has a collection of Chinese paperback novels. We purchase these during our trips to Asia, so her friends are interested in borrowing some since the local book store and libraries doesn’t have any. She wanted a bookcase that can display the books nicely in the living room so the guests can easily select what they want to borrow. Since We were having a gathering a week away, I had a deadline to meet.

The design criteria was to be able to hold a mass of these smaller 5×8” books, along with other larger full size books we also have. I wanted a bookcase that was easy to build so I can meet the deadline, but different enough to show that this is a unique piece. My type of Project! I took the different size books as the basis of the design and played off the staggering effect. I have 6”, 9”, 12” and 18” deep shelves which holds all the different size books.

This cabinet without doors, stands freely at 7 feet tall by 8’ wide and took about 25 hours to build. The bookcase is made of HDOA ( Home Depot Oak Assortments). Stained with Minwax of some dark colors I just do not remember, finished in two coats of shellac and two coats of past wax to save time. I made a photoblog of the building process here.

-- Thuan

7 comments so far

View djwong's profile


176 posts in 3215 days

#1 posted 11-11-2009 09:27 PM

Really well done. I especially admire your work and the use of relatively simple tools. I also am impressed by how uncluttered you manage to keep your garage.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3280 days

#2 posted 11-12-2009 01:43 AM

Nice design and very well done. Looks great.

-- John @

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#3 posted 11-12-2009 01:48 AM

Good work

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3191 days

#4 posted 11-12-2009 05:31 PM

Great job. Is that a crab carving on the bottom shelf?

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Thuan's profile


203 posts in 3813 days

#5 posted 11-12-2009 06:32 PM

Rex, yeah it’s a carved mahogany crab, I got in a Hong Kong Toy store that sells German carved wooden toys. I like to travel, eat and work with wood, so it was the perfect souvenir.

-- Thuan

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3668 days

#6 posted 11-14-2009 05:09 PM

Nice bookcase.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3870 days

#7 posted 11-22-2009 09:50 PM

nicely done!

-- Happy woodworking!

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