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Custom Bookcase

Built – In Bookcase

During a recent renovation we were asked if we could build a custom bookcase to encompass two windows.

The customer wanted three bookcases with lower base cabinets on wither side and between the windows and wanted them connected by window seats under the windows.

The Design:

After looking through many magazines and looking at websites the customer gave us a basic idea of what the cabinets and bookcases should look like.  We suggested that the cabinets have flat door panels to compliment the beautiful flat paneled wainscoting in the adjacent room but visible the bookcase location.  They agreed.


Prior to building the bookcases we had the radiators removed and recessed them into the floor joists below.

Source: Reggio Register

To do this we purchased specifically designed recessed radiators.   After the book case is installed this room was to receive 4 inch wide oak flooring.

Everything was built modular and in the shop.  the cabinets, counters and  bookcases were assembled and fastened together on site.  See How to Build A Bookcase.

See:  Custom window seat Installation

Materials Used for Bookcase:

The bookcase carcase, shelves and counter tops were constructed using 3/4 inch, birch plywood.   the back panels are 1/4 inch birch plywood.   All of the carcase frames were tongue and dado construction for strength.

Anywhere that there was an exposed edge received a poplar edging or as in the case of the shelves a nosing.

For the door frames we used poplar with a cope and stick frame construction and flat 3/8 inch Birch plywood panels.

The cabinets and window seats were elevated to receive regular baseboard and base cap and we also wrapped the entire room in a 4-1/2 inch decorative crown molding.

Filler strips at the left and right side ensured that all eight separate units would fit together seamless .

We used brass pins to support the shelves and purposely drilled three holes per shelf for adjustment.  I hate when folks drill holes up the entire shelf carcase – it looks terrible.

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