Willy Bookcase Library

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Submitted by JLW on Mon, 08/06/2012 - 18:50

My wife wanted matching bookcases for our library rather than the hodgepodge collection we had assembled over the years. We looked at several different options but the trick was getting them to our house in a cost and time effective manner. We came across the Willy Bookcase plans here and, after pricing the wood vs. pre-built options, decided to strike out to build our own bookcases.

The library took 5 McMansions, 1 Highrise, and 1 3-Bed/2Bath bookcase. We liked Ikea's Billy corner bookcase set, so we purchased a corner bookcase bracket from them to create the effect and stabilize the Highrise between two McMansions.

We decided to do the entire length of the bookcase sides with shelf holes to allow for maximum flexibility in spacing of the shelves. We fixed the middle shelves across all units to match the top of the short 3-Bed/2Bath.

The simple design made the project simple overall - a single bookcase is an easy weekend project. Since we decided to use stain with wipe on poly, finishing took the vast majority of the time (four hours to cut, sand, and build, 44 hours to finish...) Purchasing a good shelf pin jig and making consistent measurements is a necessity for mass producing shelves with consistent spacing on the shelves.

Built from Plan(s)
Estimated Cost
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Type of Wood
White pine, oak plywood
Finish Used
Two coats of Minwax Dark Walnut with two coats of Minwax satin wipe on poly.
Recommended Skill Level
Starter Project

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