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Book Shelves

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Posted 2010-12-16T16:17:26+0000  by butchfuller1 butchfuller1

Hey Butchfuller1,

Welcome to the commuinty! Your question really didn't come through, but we have a lot of knowledge on shelving if you could ask your question again.-Gregg

Posted 2010-12-16T16:27:42+0000  by gotogregg

I have a question about bookshelves.  I have a brick wall in my living room with a fireplace in the middle.  I would like to build bookshelves on either side of the fireplace but I'm not sure how to mount them into the brick or even how thick the brick is on the wall.  I'm not crazy about the idea of huge metal brackets sticking out to support the bookshelves.  Can I mount adjustable shelf brackets to accomplish my goals?


I've never done anything like this and tend to figure things out as I go, but since it's nearly impossible to "patch" up brick I don't want to fly by the seat of my pants.

Posted 2011-01-05T21:46:47+0000  by LilLizzy79

Hey there LilLizzy79,


Let's see if we can get you situated on your shelving problem :)


We'll need to gather a few things before you start:

  • Level (preferably one at least 4' long)
  • Pencil or Chalk for marking
  • Hammer Drill or Electric Drill
  • Masonry Bit
  • Anchors

I would recommend renting either of the drills from one of our stores if you don't currently own one and if it's not something you plan on using real often, since they can be costly otherwise. Ask one of our rental associates to help recommend one, as well as demo how to operate it. They can help you pick up the bit as well.


The anchors you'll use also depend on how much weight you're looking at placing on the shelves. If they're mainly ornamental, then you can use masonry type nails. However, if you are planning on putting all those books on there, then I suggest either sleeved anchors or a masonry anchor that's rated for the weight you're looking at. Again, check with an associate at the store, and run by them the weight you're looking at. They'll recommend you the proper anchor.


Measure out how big of a shelf you're planning for, and make a line with your level. Be sure not to place it within the mortar joint though. Place marks every 24", as this is where you will be placing your bracing anchors. Again, if any of those marks come at a mortar line, move them over an inch or two. Make sure everything is level before moving on.


Now take your drill and make sure you're outfitted with the masonry grade bit. Measure out how long the anchors/screws you are using are, and place a piece of tape about 1/4" longer than that measurement on your bit. This will help make sure that you don't drill way too far into the wall, but still enough for the anchor.


Once your holes are pre-drilled, you can place your bracket of choice. You can find adjustable style shelving in our storage department, and they will come in varying lengths of standards. Be sure to pick up the actual brackets that your going to be supporting the shelf with too, they should be right next to them in the store and come in varying depths.


Hope that helps get you started on the project! Let me know if there is anything else I can help answer for you~


Good luck with it, and welcome to our community :)

Posted 2011-01-06T16:13:15+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

That was a big help!  Thank you so much!  Now time for me to get to work!

Posted 2011-01-10T16:02:04+0000  by LilLizzy79

I'm thinking about building a combination media cabinet and bookshelf.  The unit would be fairly large.  What type of wood would you recommend?  I'd like it to be sturdy but not so heavy that it can never be moved.

Posted 2011-07-09T00:15:00+0000  by martinex

Hey Martinex,


Thanks for joining us and sharing your project with us = )


Hardwoods such as maple or cherry make for great materials when building your own shelving units. They provide great finishes and add to the look of most any room. They're also great to use for shelves that are lengthy and need to hold quite a bit of weight.


Plywood is also another good alternative if you can't find the right type of wood to finish it. Typically you'd want to find a finished plywood so that it gives a more complete look. Also, adding trimwork to finish where the edges are helps as well.


Particle Board and MDF are also choices if you are on a budget, as both have relatively good tensil strength at a low cost to you.


Hope that helps answer your question. If there was a certain type of wood that you were thinking about more than the other, let me know and we can delve deeper into just those kinds. Best of luck with it!~

Posted 2011-07-14T13:34:53+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

I am really hoping that someone can help me. I would really like to build a set of diagonal bookcases. I can find pictures but I can not find out an how to's or directions. I am hoping that they are fairly easy to build and maybe even easy to disassemble so they can be movable. Thank you in advance for any help!!!

Posted 2011-07-17T03:34:24+0000  by cj3179

Hello cj3179 and welcome to The Community! 


Just yesterday aboveaveragejoe did a great post on constructing a free-standing diagonal bookcase.

You can find it here: 


Building a shelf unit like this to be disassembled is a much greater challenge.  Normally, when you purchase knock-down furniture the main structural joints are connected with a cam and screw system like these shown below:




You would need to use these to connect the sides, top and bottom together.


In addition, rather than glue, some of the diagonals will have to be screwed to the sides and bottom in order to keep them from falling out in use.  Using the router method shown combined with short “Allen” head trim screws at the edges will allow this unit to be knocked down, but still be strong enough to be useful.


I hope this helps.  We are glad to have you join the forum.  Please keep us updated on your projects and feel free to join in helping others.




Posted 2011-07-19T13:52:14+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

I have a heavy, 7 ft. tall wood bookcase that I use for books and glass beads, all very heavy.  I moved it to a new home lately and now the upright sides are too far apart for the shelf boards to fit the slide brackets at each end.   How will I be able to snug up the uprights so the shelves will fit again?  Also, since the back of it is not a thick wood, how can I install extra shelf support w/o giving up shelf space?

Posted 2011-07-25T21:02:18+0000  by TeresaLH

Hello TeresaLH and welcome to The Community!


It sounds like the uprights have separated from the top and bottom of the unit.  While pictures would help me here, these are often glued together, and over time can fail.


I think that what you will want to do is use wood glue and clamps to snug up the sides.

Scrape off what old glue you can, and apply something like this to both sides of each joint:


There are a number of options for clamping.  The cabinet width and depth will be a factor here:





As another option, you may be able to simply set the unit on one side, apply glue and then use weight on the other side to force the unit back together and hold it until the glue sets.

Let me know if this makes any sense, or post a few pictures and I will try to help you further.




Posted 2011-07-26T15:33:55+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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