set of 4 switchback bookshelves for my daughter

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Project by rweitz posted 08-19-2012 03:38 AM 2770 views 15 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A while back I made this bookshelf for my daughter’s first apartment.
She loved it but when we put it on the wall the wall seemed so empty and she has so many books that I went and made a set of four to fill the space.

Originally I was going to make three more to go with, but the first one was a bit “unique”. It had a definite slant to the right. Since I had made this up with just the adjustments on the Crapsman I was not surprised. I refined the cuts and dimensions from what I learned on the first build. Then I got the Wixley for this build and it made all the difference. Being able to check each and every glue up kept everything lined up for the finished wall. As you can see I could only glue up one level of shelf due to the number of clamps required so I built them each up at time to keep them building to align up. Even still, without the Wixley that alone would not have kept them aligned.

I used some furniture bolts from Woodcraft to keep the them bolted together for the install and some 1” “L” brackets to hold them against the wall. They don’t show since they are mounted on the very top shelf and being 7 feet in the air not many people will be able to see them. Other than that all dados and rabbets for the joinery.

She’s gotten a new kitty since the last build so we got them both in the pics.

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

14 comments so far

View Ryan Haasen's profile

Ryan Haasen

385 posts in 2600 days

#1 posted 08-19-2012 04:08 AM

That’s really cool! Your good with angles!

-- Ryan

View Hawaiilad's profile


3294 posts in 3220 days

#2 posted 08-19-2012 05:07 AM

You did a great job on the bookcase…I really like it

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View shopdog's profile


578 posts in 3684 days

#3 posted 08-19-2012 10:17 AM

Cool idea, and a great build.
Not sure how it’s going to work as a bookcase, but it makes a good cat house. (I love that photo)

-- Steve--

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2607 days

#4 posted 08-19-2012 11:34 AM

Very nice.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3003 days

#5 posted 08-19-2012 12:16 PM

This is krazy-kool!! Very unique and wild.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2559 days

#6 posted 08-19-2012 12:31 PM

Very cool! It looks like something that came out of a new furniture catalog, or something you would see on web site for modern furniture. I bet if you put something like this on Etsy it would sell in a heartbeat.

-- Steve

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3776 days

#7 posted 08-19-2012 03:03 PM

I like it,just don’t store any round objects on it. LOL

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2423 days

#8 posted 08-19-2012 03:07 PM

This will work GREAT as a bookcase – no need for bookends. I first thought the cats were cut out of wood and painted as decorations. I laughed when I read they are live. This is actually an immensely practical bookcase in addition to being extremely eye catching. great idea.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View majuvla's profile


13353 posts in 3066 days

#9 posted 08-19-2012 03:26 PM

Awsome bookshelves. I t would look very nice whit books in it.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Schimmel's profile


76 posts in 2651 days

#10 posted 08-19-2012 04:47 PM

That is great, don’t show my wife or I’ll be making one.

-- Chad, Gilbert AZ and

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3301 days

#11 posted 08-19-2012 04:59 PM

What the heck?? I wanna see it with books in it. I’ve seen these angled book shelves and the function works great…..............

-- mike...............

View rweitz's profile


116 posts in 3277 days

#12 posted 08-19-2012 07:51 PM

Thanks for all the nice comments folks!

Hey Redryder,
the first pic linked shows some book on on it.

Like Kookaburra says no need for bookends. We both liked the nooks and crannies that come when you mirror a few sets of these so she can place some knicknacks as well.

Hopefully we’ll have one more pic to post when she gets it loaded up.

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2576 days

#13 posted 08-19-2012 11:43 PM

Really cool design. I like it a lot. The only thing i would add is some level pieces in between where the 2 shelves come together and create the narrow section. They can hold all the nic-naks without sliding off. You probably thought of that already. I’m gonna favorite this one for later reference a.k.a. to copy. Looks like a fun project. Any other tips besides the wixley?

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View CreativeUnit's profile


1 post in 2304 days

#14 posted 08-20-2012 08:04 PM

Hey Russ! Nice job on these. And I love not needing bookends! (Except for cats of course… )

Keep up the great work!

Your friend,


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