Attaching Build-in Bookshelves

I am building some built-in bookshelves in my living room and was wanting to know the best way to attach them to the wall. The bookshelves will be resting on a bench that is about 19 inches high and about 19 inches deep. I've already installed the bench (which will have a row of drawers). The bench case is made out of 3/4 birch plywood and then topped by tongue and grooved yellow pine to match the flooring. The bookshelves will rest on this.
Again, the base is about 19 inches deep and the bookshelves I will build will be normal depth (11.5" deep + facing). I am planning on backing the bookshelves with 1/4" beadboard plywood.
Should I hang the beadboard to the wall and paint it first? It really doesn't seem like screwing through the beadboard into a stud will be the kind of support I want.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
One sturdy way to solve your attachment problem is to install a ledger strip to the rear of the carcase. The ledger should be about 3" by 3/4" and glued and nailed to the carcase, it can be installed either in front or behind the bead board back. Then locate the wall studs and you will be able to run a screw through the ledger and into the stud. The main weight of the carcase will be carried by your bench, the ledger will serve to hold the the bookcase against the wall (ie prevent tipping).
Joe G jo_jo wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

For a bookshelf that is going to be about 7' tall (above and beyond the bench), it seems that one ledger strip near the top would hold? I'm thinking poplar for the entire thing, as it will be painted the color of the trim. I could use a 1x2 for the ledger strip?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A 1" by 2" poplar ledger would work however I prefer a wider one as it lets you install more than one screw per stud You also could install a second ledger below a fixed middle shelf. The load of the books will be carried by the bench, you only have to overcome the tendacy to tip forward. Joe G jo_jo wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Now that I think about it, a 1x4 size will look fairly decent as well. It will all be painted. Thanks a bunch for your input. I suppose I will have to notch out each section of bookshelving where that strip runs across the back.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You do not need to notch out the side panels of the cases but rather size the length of the ledger to fit precisely the distance between the two inner faces and you can nail through the sides into the ends of the ledger along with nailing through the top..
Joe G jo_jo wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Depending on the exact design/layout, you might consider screwing a strip to the studs just *above* the top of the book shelves. Then fasten the book shelves to the strip. You might even use some kind of quick-release fastener.
You don't need massive strength just to prevent tipping, even in an earthquake zone.
--
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Done deal. Thank you Joseph and Malcolm. That sounds like the way I will go. I appreciate your input. Wish there was a place to post pics so I can show off my first built-in!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jo_jo wrote:

I have some bookshelves that are similiar.. The unit rests on the floor instead of a bench. The unit is 64" wide and 7' feet high. I used a 1/4" plywood board as a back My shelves were fixed instead of adjustable, so I stapled the back to the shelves as well as the vertical sides/middle. I ended up putting two screws in the top through the 1/4 plywood just as a little insurance from tipping. It's pretty solid, since the back is firmly attacked to the unit. Remember that the screws really aren't bearing any weight, they are just there to prevent tipping. I think that's plenty strong, but maybe someone else has a better idea.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bf wrote:

I was thinking about using the strips from more of a countersink/woodputty route. I dunno how much you can countersink a screw in 1/4 beadboard plywood. Maybe you'd never see it anyway. This section of shelving is 14' 6" long, and I will probably build it in three or four sections, or more (I might make one colume into more cubbyhole type shelves). I have a layout of this drawn up, but am just not completely pleased with it yet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jo_jo wrote:

On my shelves, I made the back slightly taller than the unit (Maybe about 1/2-3/4"). So I was able to drill the screws in over the "top", and thus they are unseen.
The plan was to eventually build a crown molding top for it, but that got pushed to the end of the priorities, so it may never happen.
Anyhow, the screws are not visible, because the unit is 7' high and the top blocks the view of them. Just a thought you might be able to use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm with you now. That would seem to work. Mine will be fairly high as well, and hell, since I'm barely 5'9 I will never notice! I don't plan on crown molding, but will probably top the piece with the 5" pine boards like the floors and have them overhang the unit by about a 1/4 inch on the two visable sides (this unit sits in a corner, so only the front and left sides will be visable. Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
http://www.frontiernet.net/~blkbear/Home/small%20bookcase.jpg
The tall bookcase is resting on the floor, and screwed into the side wall and layout benchwork (which is screwed into the studs on that wall). The smaller bookcase is screwed into the big bookcase, and will be attached to another smaller bookcase to its left (once it is built). This will continue all the way to the left corner of the room, where it will be anchored again into the side wall.
These bookcases are rock solid. Even my weight pulling against them can't get them to budge.
jo_jo wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The way I have done it is to get a small piece of angle iron, screw it to the top of the bookcase and then to a convenient stud (more or less in the center of the case) Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.