Jan/Feb 2006
Volume 49
Issue 1
Project Articles
The Adjustable Shelf Bookcase
The Nesting Tables
The Lantern Holder and Toy Top
Ask Smitty
Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
Making Picture Frames
Service Pointers
Speed Changer
What's New
Shopsmith Router Arm
Find A Shopsmith Woodworking Academy Near You
National Woodworking Academy in Dayton, OH
Online Accessory Catalog
Request Printed Accessory Catalog
Links Worth Visiting
Free Woodworking Tips
Contacting Shopsmith
Copyright 2006
Shopsmith, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Hands On

The Adjustable Shelf Bookcase
Five shelves (or more if you like) give you plenty of space for your favorite
volumes and decorator artifacts, too

Simple bookcases are easy to build. A couple of sides, some shelves and a back…usually
held together with some glue and a few nails. However, add just a bit of extra effort and you can dress-up that simple carcase with some accents that are sure to fit in with virtually any room décor. And, when you’ve finished, you’ll have more than a simple bookcase. You’ll have a top-quality piece of furniture that’s sure to endure for generations.

A note about style and materials

As you can see from the photo, our example began with a simple, box-style carcase, then added bead-and-cove top and base moldings to give it a colonial or Early American look.
For a more contemporary look, make a box-style base with a straight-edged front (J) and sides (K) and a flush-edged top. For an oriental look, form 45-degree chamfered edges on the carcase, base, top and shelf edges. The design is so simple, that making changes for differing decors is an easy matter.
It’s also important to note that we built our bookcase carcase (except for the back, of course)from solid red oak, although the sides, top and bottom could just as easily be built from 3/4" solid-core, veneered plywood. So, let’s get started.

1: Stock preparation. Cut the sides (A), top (B) and bottom (C) to width. Note that all three pieces are the same 11-1/4” width.

2: Build the Case. Start by cutting the two sides (A), Top (B) and Bottom (C) to length. Next, use your Dado Set to cut the 1/4" deep by 3/8” wide rabbets in the back edges of these sides. These rabbets will house the back for the assembled carcase.
Next, cut the 3/4" wide by 3/8” deep dadoes in the sides to accept the Top (B) and Bottom (C).
Note that the Bookcase has adjustable Shelves that are supported by a “hole-and-peg” system using 3/8” dia. by 1-1/4” long dowels. These dowel holes must all be positioned in precisely the same locations for the shelves to rest flat on their support pegs (dowels) without wobbling.