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Diagonal shelves from commercial

Do you have plans for the bookshelf that is shown on the current ad running on TV.  It has diamond shaped cubbies for books.  I want to have my husband make me one of these for my brochures in my office.  I think it will be perfect.




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Posted 2011-07-14T14:26:49+0000  by ncnancyr ncnancyr

Hello Nancy,


Thank you for your great question and welcome to the community!


Just to make sure, I have the image of the bookcase from the commercial below to make sure we are on the same page....





As you can see, the bookshelf itself is actually built in the walls, so in my post, I will give you a slightly smaller version that is freestanding so you won't have to worry about tearing down walls to install them. Since it will be a freestanding unit, remember you can alter your measurements more or less than shown in the wall in the pic above.


First off, I would say measure out the size bookshelf you would like to put all your brochures for your office. You really have lots of options to choose from to get the best size for you. In this post, I'm going to attempt to recreate the size shown in the picture above as close as I can.


For any building project, it helps me to first visualize what I am attempting to do before I commit to it with wood and screws. Below is a sample pic of one of the thumbnail sketches I did to help me out, it's helpful and it goes a long way to help work out any issues even before you build.



After getting some rough ideas out on paper, now you'll want to move onto a 2nd more polished sketch/drawing to really see what measurements you will want. In the picture below, I have sketched out a design that closely resembles the image on the commercial, but remember, you can always alter the width or the height in the drawing to best suit your needs. diagonalbookselfblueprintsandspecs.JPG


If you go with the measurements given above, the next step is to grab a supply list of everything you will need to complete building in a basic frame. Now as for the mouldings and base, that can be up to you, as whatever moulding you decide to use will vary due to whatever you would like to put on the bookcase. In fact, the beauty of woodworking and building bookcases are that you have more than one option when it comes to assembling and finishing it.  In this instance, I chose a 12" by 12" squared cube to allow for many books and brochures in one compartment. Since it is a square you have almost 17 inches height in the middle of each compartment to allow larger materials. If you want more a true square instead of a rectangular bookshelf, you can go with an 8' x 8' shelves. By doing this, you can measure and cut all lengths of wood to form the 8' x 8' square.


With that said, not including the decorative mouldings or even a base, the first thing to do would be to start off purchasing the frame as well as the shelves themselves. I would recommend to go with a 1" x 10" boards that well in our lumber department. Most books and magazines are no more than 10" width, so this is why I chose this depth for you and your brochures. It is up to you if you want to go with a softwood like pine or a more hardwood species, such as maple or oak. To me, the hardwoods tend to look a bit better and are less prone to splitting if you are installing screws in them.


As for the things you'll need to obtain besides the wood, here is a list of things to get the bookcase assembled:

  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenters square
  • Hammer and nails (or screws)
  • Wood glue
  • Compound miter saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Brad nails
  • Hand-held sander
  • Paint or stain
  • Brushes
  • Paint rollers
  • Stud Finder
  • Level Small flat brackets




For the boards, you will need 108 linear board feet of 1" x 10"'s to ensure that you will have enough lumber to make the shelves and frame to go around it, going by the measurements from my rectangular drawing.  As for additional mouldings and bases, you can go as varied as small 2" x 10"'s cut down slightly smaller than the 10" depth to allow the base to be hidden so base moulding can be applied below. 



As for putting it all together, I tend to work with the shelves first and then the frames and the back board last. Glue and nail the boards together, using a carpenters square. 



 And again, you have options on things like where to mitre the shelves where they meet the frame, as well as how the shelves are put together. A traditional way of putting the shelves together in the middle without brackets is through the use of cutting the planks through the use of a router or using a dado blade. If you are handy with a compound mier saw, this can work as well.


The compartments are 12" wide, so you would need to rout out the shelves every foot to ensure that the shelves are perfectly squared up. Accurate measurements at this step is key.


Most people that have a shop or tools already have a router available, and to connect your boards after measuring them, simply rout out the boards at their halfway mark on their width, shown in the picture below...



To learn more about routers, our website has a Buyer's Guide on them, that can be found here

Clean up the notched boards from the router (or you can use a compound miter saw) with a jigsaw. 


At or around this step, you can use a mitre saw to cut the angles you would need to build the bookcase shelves that meet the edge of the frame. This is an important step in the building process. Carefully review the drawing or your own to discern when and where you would need these. The boards will need to have one inside and outside 45 degree angle cut to make sure it fits properly in the frame. To do this, measure and cut one length of wood to fit diagnonally inside the square, corner to corner. Cut more lengths of wood to fit inside the square, keeping them parallel to the first. Make sure to keep the boards 16 inches apart. Once these boards are cut to fit into the square frame, repeat the process, measuring and cutting the boards that will be set perpendicularly. 


After cutting and before you install, use a high-strength wood glue and clamps to make sure your shelves are secure using the notches as guides Once all the boards are pieced together they should be pinned with small brad nails. Now you are ready to place the back of the shelf on. Remember to clean up any excess glue with a damp cloth and allow time to dry. Since this will be helping out with the weight distribution,  you can use a 1/4" Luan plywood or similar to get the back covered. Or to keep it contemporary, you can leave the back open, it is entirely up to you to how you would want to do that. If you choose to cover the back, I would grab 2 sheets of plywood to cover the back. To give it a real professional and seamless look, you can mount the plywood diagonally as well, placing the points where the back meet over a shelf. You can install them on center of the shelves with items such as a coarse thread drywall screw to secure the back in place. 


If you don't have a router, or cutting those notches seems too much, consider using wood filler pieces instead. These are small 3/4" high triangles that will fit into corners of the shelves, then you can screw them in or bond them together with heavy duty wood glue. You would cut them to be the same size of the shelf , if not smaller. They look good and can be used from the same wood, allowing for the stain or paint to be blended in seamlessly to other shelves.


So again, choose whatever way you would prefer to fasten them and have decorative bases or simply a smaller 1" x 6" frame for the base to support the weight of the wood. You can do it in many styles and options, and the choices are all up to you.


After assembling the bookcase, clean up any excess glue as soon as you see it, and allow time for it to dry. Now,  you can sand any rough areas and apply a primer coat of paint. Next, apply a top coat of paint with a small roller to avoid any drips. Then, use a stud finder to local wall studs for proper installation, and a level to confirm evenness of the wall. Let the paint dry, stand your shelves up, and slide against the wall...and there you have it, your own custom made diagonal bookcase!


I hope I have helped you out and anything else, please let us know.



Posted 2011-07-18T19:36:25+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Thanks for giving us the how-to of building this bookcase. I saw it on the tv ad and it brought back memories of one of my favorite tv shows. I first saw it on the set of the CBS drama 'Moonlight'. This bookcase was on one entire wall in the lead characters Mick St. John's home. I would like my husband to build it for me so appreciate the specs on it!


Here's some trivia. There was a Q & A iinterview with the set decorator, Chris Marsteller so thought I would include what he said about the bookcase.

"Of course, Mick's bookcase is custom built. It was designed by our production designer Alfred Sole and is (as most of Mick's place) a defining part of the set. 


If I may make one suggestion. I don't know what size most of your books are, but I would take an average and tallest measurement of your books. The squares in Mick's bookcase were built at 16 inches. 


This requires a large size (table or art) book to fill it properly, which became one of our biggest challenges given our time frame and budget. 


As far as purchasing something like Mick's bookcase I think it would be difficult to come by. 


Depending on your budget and resources I would try to find a carpenter or cabinet maker to handle the project.


For a lower budget perhaps some modular wine storage cubes would give you a similar effect."





Posted 2011-07-20T06:21:27+0000  by Silverchex

The link to the project guide was removed. I've searched on the site and it cannot be found. Is it still available?  Thanks...

Posted 2011-07-23T18:10:38+0000  by cbellcqA

Hello to all of you DIYers out there.


Here is the project guild to the Diamond Wall Shelf unit that was featured on our TV commercial.


Diamond wall shelf instructions.JPG 

I hope this will get all of your books organized and looking really cool in your custom built shelving unit.:smileyvery-happy:


Let me know if you have any other questions on this project or any other one. I would love to help.

Posted 2011-07-27T17:46:32+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

Oh this is great!!!! Thanks for reposting the project guide! I was also inspired by the commercial to build this for my home office.  Thanks again


Posted 2011-07-29T03:39:44+0000  by EmBacon

 Hello Em and welcome to the community!


We are glad to have you join the forum.

Please keep us updated on your projects and feel free to join in helping others.

Thanks for joining the community,


Posted 2011-07-29T13:22:27+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

I love the shade of green in the living room right at the end of the commercial. What is the name of the color?

Posted 2011-08-13T23:04:25+0000  by frannie

Hi Frannie!


Tara*, one of our Moderators, went through channels to identify the colors in the commercial.


They are:

  • Shelves – BEHR Premium Plus Ultra, French Roast, Semi-Gloss (UL140-1)
  • Back Wall Behind Shelves – BEHR Premium Plus Ultra, Fashion Gray, Flat (UL260-6)
  • Foreground Wall Left of Bookcase – BEHR Premium Plus Ultra, Atmospheric, Flat (UL220-20)

We're glad you like the color(s).


Keep in mind that unless you color-balance your monitor regularly (which most people do not), the colors you see on-screen may vary. So use the paint chips at the Store as a more accurate guide to these colors.


When you settle on a color, have your local Paint Associate mix a sample to try on your walls.


*Thanks Tara, Laura, and Justin!

Posted 2011-08-16T14:40:51+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Would you explain the construction using the wood filler pieces?


You said:

If you don't have a router, or cutting those notches seems too much, consider using wood filler pieces instead. These are small 3/4" high triangles that will fit into corners of the shelves, then you can screw them in or bond them together with heavy duty wood glue. You would cut them to be the same size of the shelf , if not smaller. They look good and can be used from the same wood, allowing for the stain or paint to be blended in seamlessly to other shelves.

Posted 2011-08-23T13:39:57+0000  by hart

Hello hart,


Welcome to the community.


Here is a diagram showing you what AboveaverageJoe was referring to.

                                                                   diagnal shelf.JPG

You will use a nailing block (wood filler pieces)at ever intersection. I would glue and nail it to keep everything in place. 


I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you have any other questions.


Thanks again for joining the community.

Posted 2011-08-24T16:40:18+0000  by Christine_HD_OC
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