This is part 3 of the PB media center build. We first built the TV Console, then the Cabinets & Toy Drawers for the PB media center. Now we are onto the bookshelves. The bookshelves and bridge are the easiest part of this build, they’ll be done in no time.
Media Center: Bookshelves
The media center has 2 shelves. Repeat these instructions for the 2nd shelf.
Cut all of the solid wood pieces according to the cut list. Make the marks for how you are going to join each piece together according to the diagram. For face frame joints, I use a biscuit cutter. Other common methods to join are 2 dowels (with a doweling jig) or mortise and tenon. You could also do a kreg pocket jig, however you need to be careful when using screws and dado grooves. You don’t want to hit a screw with your saw or router. You could install the screws after you dado cut the boards.
Apply glue to each joint and clamp the face frame together. Check to make sure your face frame is square. An easy way to check that is measuring diagonally corner to corner & the other corner to corner, they should measure the same if your rectangles/squares are square. Adjust as necessary. Allow the glue to dry.
Once the glue is sufficiently dry, the next step is to make dado cuts. If your face frame has a better side, keep that for the front. The dado cut is a groove we cut out to fit the plywood sides onto the face frame, it makes a strong joint. Each dado is going to be 1/4″ deep. Make a dado cut 1/2″ wide for the sides of the shelf, flush with the outside of the face frame. Make a dado cut 1/2″ wide at 1″ to 1 1/2″ from the bottom for the bottom shelf. Make a dado cut 1/2″ wide along the top of the face frame.
Cut 2 pieces of 3/4″ plywood that are 45″ tall x 15 3/4″ wide, these are the shelf sides. Make a dado that is 1/2″ wide and 1/4″ deep between 1″ and 1 1/2″ from the bottom, on one side. Make a dado that is 1/2″ wide and 1/4″ deep along the top of the shelf side. Repeat for the other shelf side piece.
You can make shelf adjustment holes now or later. The average shelf peg is 1/4″ diameter and 1/2″ long, I’d put the series of holes 2-3″ in from each side. I placed mine at about 13″, 14″, 15″, 27″, 28″, 29″ up from the bottom shelf. (add more holes as you like.) Remember to do the mirror image on the other shelf side.
Cut 2 pieces from 1/2″ plywood that are 23″ x 15 3/4″ for the bottom and top.
Cut 2 pieces from 3/4″ plywood that are 22 1/4″ x 14 7/8″. Glue a piece of molding on the front face of each shelf piece.
When I assemble cabinets, I like to glue the joints and put them together then use a 1″ – 1 1/4″ brad nail or finish nail to go through the plywood into the face frame where we dado’d. I also use clamps to hold it together while the glue dries.
Assemble the bookshelf by applying glue in the joints, clamp together and allow to dry. Add nails as necessary.
If you’d like, add a piece of molding along the front top and outer side of the cabinet. Remember to do the mirror image to the other cabinet.
Next fill any holes or gaps with filler. If you are painting, go ahead and use spackle or joint compound (for your walls). If you are staining, use the proper wood filler. Let the filler dry then sand the bookshelf, make sure to get any excess glue and filler smooth. End sanding your project with 120 -150 grit sand paper. Remove excess dust. If painting, prime the bookshelves and shelves and allow to dry. If staining, use wood preconditioner and stain as you like.
Once the primer is dry, apply the paint and let dry.
For the finish coat, coat pieces with 1-2 coats of polycrylic (it dries crystal clear). And let dry sufficiently.
We are done with the bookshelves!
Happy Building! I hope you enjoy building this media center plan.
Click for plans to the other components of the media center:
Linked on the DIY party