Barrister Bookcase

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Project by Randy Sharp posted 06-02-2008 10:44 PM 3621 views 6 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Barrister Bookcase - I’ve built two, this is the second. What I liked best about the plans I have is the building of sections, rather than the one-piece side. This allows you to add or subtract sections to fit your taste.

On the first one, I used solid oak sides and top. For the second one, I used Oak plywood for the sides, top, and bottom shoes. It turned out to work much better. I like the stability and the grain matching much better, and at a reasonable price. All styles, rails, legs, and trim are solid red oak.

Instead of buying the expensive door hardware, I sloted the sides to accept nylon pin door guides that allow them to slide sweetly into the top of each case section.

The first one’s doors were mortise and tenon. For the second, I used the Kreg pocket hole jig, with plugs.

Got the plans from Both were given away as gifts.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

18 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4016 days

#1 posted 06-02-2008 10:53 PM

Making what you need is a great to do it. Nice job!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4010 days

#2 posted 06-02-2008 11:13 PM

I like it and crisp clean work

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3796 days

#3 posted 06-02-2008 11:21 PM

i really like this and it is really nice to. i like the color on the oak a lot also. thanks for the post.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3756 days

#4 posted 06-02-2008 11:54 PM

If you don’t mind me asking, what finish did you use? the color is almost the exact same as a color I’m trying to match on my current project. Any advice would be appreciated. This really is nice. You would never know it is multiple pieces until you mentioned it. Very nice.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3827 days

#5 posted 06-03-2008 12:10 AM

Please tell us about the door hardware you used.

-- making sawdust....

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3801 days

#6 posted 06-03-2008 12:29 AM

I have always liked this style of bookcase. You did a beautiful job on them. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Randy's profile


62 posts in 3701 days

#7 posted 06-03-2008 01:03 AM

Nice job! Did you put in real glass?

I’m thinking on making a miniature version of these.

-- If you have gone through a whole day without learning something new, you wasted it.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4120 days

#8 posted 06-03-2008 02:34 AM

Classic piece done with great craftsmanship. Beautiful work Randy.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4105 days

#9 posted 06-03-2008 02:48 AM

randy this is really nice…last year PW had a Barrister Book case and I really like the idea of sectional building…the finish is very nice!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3849 days

#10 posted 06-03-2008 03:55 AM


This is a gorgeous bookcase. You did a beautiful job on the construction.

Well done.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 3789 days

#11 posted 06-03-2008 04:07 AM

Great looking bookcase Randy. Really like the finish

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#12 posted 06-03-2008 02:41 PM

I’ve always liked barrister bookcases. This is an excellent example.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 3700 days

#13 posted 06-03-2008 03:22 PM

Thanks everyone, for your encouragement. The finish is a coat of Minwax pecan, with three satin poly coats. The doors contain real 1/8” glass.

Additional notes on the hardware, saved a ton of money: Before construction of the section, I routed a 5/16 slot along the entire inside top of each side peice. When attached, the front trim acts as the stop. The top of the door frames get a small poly dowel pin found at Lowe’s. I trimmed it’s length to fit and ride smoothly in the section slot. For $2, it works beautifully, as smooth as the $20 hardware kit.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View Kipster's profile


1076 posts in 3781 days

#14 posted 06-03-2008 06:09 PM

Very nice job on an old clasic design, Thanks for the post.

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4274 days

#15 posted 06-04-2008 02:23 AM

Very nice designs on all book cases. You did very good work. I like the detail around the doors. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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