Small Built-in Bookcase

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Project by Paul M posted 04-24-2008 10:15 PM 1521 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

This bookcase was by no means hard to draw, or built. Just hard to make it work! Confused??

Okay let’s start at the beginning. My wife asked if I could make a small bookcase to fit in the back hallway and hold some of her books. Now these books are hardbound and about 6 inches deep, and the only space is between doors and is only 28 ½” of usable space. Now if I make a normal bookcase it will;
1. Stick out too far
2. Be in the way of the doorways.

If I make the bookcase small enough to just hold the books. It will:
1. Still be in the way of the doors.
2. Be VERY tipsy. (I know the cats will bump it and dump out all the books.)
3. Look like someone stuck a dumb bookcase where it shouldn’t be.

Now not wanting to admit defeat, I proceeded to think and visualize and think a bit more.

1. If I used the existing door moldings to fasten the sides to, I would not have to worry about tipping over.
2. If I brought the sides out slightly over 3” then went at a 45-degree angle the bookcase would not appear to stick out.
3. If I made the shelf’s 6 ¾”, they would hold the books and allow for ¾” upright supports to hold the front edge.
4. If I ran the shelves up to the existing doorframe top edge, it would gain space and “tie in”: better.
5. If I then ran a shelf across the top of the doors and around the corner, it would blend the bookcase into the “woodwork”. And add more support.
6. If I made some sort of a detail on the edges, the boards would appear smaller.

Even though some books ended up being larger than planned, the project worked out very well.

Used Poplar for entire project.

-- Paul from New England "No man is a failure who is enjoying life". William Feather

1 comment so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#1 posted 04-25-2008 03:06 PM

well done
it doesn’t look like it doesn’t belong – good job.

It’s an inviting area. I like it :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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