Bookcase Joinery Help

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Forum topic by Gregdp posted 08-25-2011 02:42 AM 1635 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2085 days

08-25-2011 02:42 AM

I am building a bookcase from plans. Towering tomes is the plan name. I have modified it from having just the top, bottom and middle shelves fixed to having all of them fixed. Material is birch.

So far I have glued all of the shelves except the top and bottom into dados. What I am worried about is the face frame which attaches to the sides using a rabbet and dado. If I glue the top of the bookcase and bottom plywood shelf in will the movement of the case put undue stress on the face frame? Face frame will be joined using biscuits. Or do I need to let the top and bottom float a little.

I am a newbie when it comes to woodworking and dont want to overconstrain anything that might need to move.

2 replies so far

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2980 days

#1 posted 08-25-2011 03:39 AM

I don’t think you’ll have any problems, because wood movement in a longitudinal direction is nil.

-- Joe

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 2470 days

#2 posted 08-25-2011 08:20 AM


As Joe says, You should be fine. If you want to be sure, glue the front half of the shelves and leave the back half dry. This will allow the shelves to move, but only to the back. If you leave them 1/16” to 3/32” narrow, they won’t threaten the back, and no one will know if you don’t tell them. Birch is stable, and with modern central heating and cooling, you really don’t have to worry. Post pics when you’re done. I have that on my to-do list as soon as I can afford some walnut!


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

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