How To Make A Mountain Bookshelf!

How To Make A Mountain Bookshelf!

Safety glasses
Circular saw / table saw / jigsaw / cross-cut hand saw
Power drill
Hand sander
Work bench
Wood drill bit
Angle drill guide
3/8” dowel centres
Measuring square
Measuring tape

5x – 8’ lengths of 1 x 10 softwood
14x – 6’ lengths of 1 x 10 softwood
132x – 3/8” x 2” hardwood dowels
24x – 2½” x ½” corner braces
4x – 2” corner brackets
4x – 4” straight braces
Wood stain and protection of choice
Wood glue
Wood screws

A thick plywood could be used instead of softwood.

The Design

The design we would be recreating for this mountain like design, is a non conventional one. On the left side, there is a set of straight bookshelves in descending  order with one of the shelves shorter in height to receive DVDs. On the right side, there is a set of multiple sized compartments for books, and  other things   such as knick-knacks.  The shelves  are 12 inches tall except the bottom level which is 18 inches tall. There is a T section which sticks out 4 inches from the shelf and is  two and a half inches high.  It helps divide the room into sitting room and a study area.



Remember to adorn yourself in safety glasses, as there is no greater safety rule than to be safe. There are no dados or mortise & tenon joints due to lack of a table saw or even a router. The boards are connected with dowels which were put into the ends and some corner braces at the back  to support the corners and prevent the entire construction from falling. Use the circular saw to do all the cross-cuts and to cut the boards to length.  A total of 49 cuts were made.  In order to speed up things , make a sled that your saw can ride in to make perpendicular cuts with your mark out line. Arrange the boards in a way that it is the best sides that are visible. Make sure that the boards are labelled after they have been cut too. This way, you have all the pieces for the plan.


Start Drilling

Drill holes in the dowels,  90 degrees to the end of the board using a drill guide. This way you have stops to drilling. Clamp the board down and fasten two scrap pieces on either side so you have more space for the drill guide to rest on. Using a proper do well center, drill the home in the end grain of the vertical piece first. Join it with the horizontal piece and mark where the corresponding holes would be.  Now that the home has been drilled, ensure the dowels are in line with the boards and use a glue to join it. This collapses the bookcase into a flat, easily transportable piece.


Assemble it.

After all the pieces has been cut, drilled and the dowels are fit, do a dry fit of the pieces and ensure it fits. Do not forget to label the pieces too to aid with assembling when you complete the dry fit. You can use V for vertical and H for horizontal, then you can add the number, in the order which they go from the floor up or from left to right, whichever works. Add the piece which the connect to at the corner of the wood.  Put the corner braces on the external intersections around the perimeter on the back side to prevent racking.


Disassemble it.

Oops, well you have to disassemble it again. You can actually just finish up here but it is soft wood and it can easily get stained as it is unprotected. However, we want to make it darker while adding depths and substance to the boards. Dismantle the shelf,place them  back side down onto some scrap wood cleats to raise it off the floor and allow better access.



Apply the polish, using a folded piece of T-shirt with stain grain. The first coat is dry, it is then sanded with 80 grid paper to remove stains from the high level grid. It is also to make the color pop out well. After this, another coat is applied the the desired color is achieved. This should give the boards more depths in appearance and it should also make them look rugged.  This is usually part of the finishing stage but it takes he same amount of time as the woodwork itself.



After the polishing, and the wood is dry, make a symmetrical cut in the edges of the board with a plane and utility knife to leave approximately a 2mm cut. Leave the edges of  the intersections square so the edges can merge when they are joined.



Join the pieces back in the order which you marked and arranged them. The T-section that sticks out is also connected by dowels at the intersection and also has flat connecting plates screwed on the underside to keep it joined.  It  also has a corner bracket on the outermost vertical board to keep it aligned with the other pieces.


Secure it 

The entire unit needs to be anchored to the wall to prevent falling down and trapping or injuring any small plants or children. There are three corner brackets left which are  screwed to the underside of a shelf. Use them and screw them  to a wall stud. Wall studs are usually next to a power outlet. When you knock on a wall stud, it is a solid all noise rather than a hollow one. Ensure that you use at least two screws to screw the bracket and the wall stud. Sometimes, in old buildings, studs are about twenty four inches apart.



After you secure the shelf, you can actually just sit and watch your shelf mountain. If you’re a book lover, put your favorite pieces on the shelf and let’s stare. There is no need to worry about uneven distribution of weight, the half is very secure and it holds tons of books.