Bookcase questions

This fall I'm going to start on a built-in bookcase in my unfinished den. It'll be around 16' long and 7' to 8' tall. Shelves probably 36" long. I'm expecting to either paint it white or use maple plywood for the construction and shellac or verethane (whatever) that. Facing on the shelves etc will be solid maple(if carcass is maple plywood) or oak(if carcass is painted) 2x strips either way. I'm leaning towards the maple as opposed to paint finish though. Den (17x22)will eventually be done in a Nautical motif as time and funds permit.
Questions: - since the horizonal strips will be adding strength to the shelf pieces, whats the best way to attach them to the shelves? Biscuits, nails, dowels???
- since I do not yet have carpeting in the den, and since I don't plan on moving the bookcase sections, it would seem prudent to let them set directly on the concrete floor slab and when I have it carpeted just go to the base of the cases themselves as opposed to putting carpet under the cases, then attaching them back to the walls. Comments?
Assumptions: - attaching the case sections to the wall along the top and bottom of each section should be sufficient. IOW, no need for a 1x crossmember of sorts along the middle of the cases for anchoring to the wall.
All other comments and sites for 'inspirational' purposes only welcome.
Grandpa John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Comments in-line below.
--
Alan Bierbaum

Web Site: http://www.calanb.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 27 Jun 2004 12:12:41 -0600, Grandpa <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote:

I put my edges on with biscuits. I feel this to be a strong connection and the biscuits help to register the intersection of the solid stock to the ply (or mdf, which will save you some money, if you go the way of paint.) It's worth spending some extra time during the glue-up to get the top edge flush with the shelf material, rather than relying on sanding.

It's better to rest on the solid floor. If you sit the units on carpet, the carpet will compress under load, over time.

You really only need to screw the units in at the top, in order to keep them from tipping. I usually put a few screws in down lower, to help snug the box to the wall.

http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/page2.htm
I have some bookcases there that I made. I don't know if they are inspirational.
Regards, Tom.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.) tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nope, no inspiration there at all...
</smartasscomment>
Damn, you do great work, Tom.
djb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tom Watson wrote:

I could do that.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@XXXXcarolina.rr.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<sounds of jaw dropping> Inspiration is an understatement!!! Awe, jealousy, motivation, wonderment, bewilderment, dazzlement (a word???) etc, etc, etc.... Damn fine crafstmanship, Tom.                         Mark L.
Tom Watson wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I like to cut the bottom of the sides of the casework higher in the back than the front. This makes the case lean against the wall
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG
"Grandpa" <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

know the OP said he didn't have carpet yet, but...
I don't agree with carpeting to the edge of the bookcases. "I don't plan on moving" strikes me as famous last words :-).
Build them now, but plan on moving them out and installing the carpet all over. So cut the notch.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 27 Jun 2004 16:29:39 -0700, Larry Blanchard

My build-in bookcases are truly built in. The bases are a part of the framing and they are not coming out short of destroying them and probably the wall they are against. IMO that is the best way to handle *large* bookcase units. If they can actually be tied into the studding at the top it is even better.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
"It's just eighth-grade Sewickley." Chuck Knox
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Larry Blanchard wrote:

Grandpa
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 27 Jun 2004 12:12:41 -0600, Grandpa <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote:

Biscuits, splines, or plugged pocket holes from below would all work fine.

You have to decide if these are truly built in, or separate furniture. When I construct a built-in, I build them, or rather a base for them, directly on the sub floor. If the unit has any possibility of leaving when I move, being moved to another wall, etc... It sits on the finish flooring.
It sounds like you're going built-in, so think of a short base, ala toe kick, that will sit on the floor. You can install this, level it with shims, then enjoy a much easier task of building straight, plumb bookcases, rather than trying to sit them directly on the concrete. The base is easily made of jointed 2x lumber or plywood strips, with a facing that matches the rest of the work applied to sides that can be seen.
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<snip>

This also helps with tipping up tall cabinets into place, when they are nearly the full room height. This is a lesson more easily learned from others, rather than from personal experience.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Grandpa" <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message

The best IMHO would to cut a grove, rabbet on the top back edge of the board to fasten by glue to the front of the shelf.

I positively hate to set bookcases on top of carpet. The carpet tends to give a spongy foundation to the bookcase and it takes time to "settle in". If you immediately attach the bookcase to the wall and have the bookcase setting on the carpet, the weight may eventually be totally supported by the wall. Better to have a solid footting IMHO. Also, if you replace the carpet the old normally remains under the bookcase. If you carpet up to the bookcase, plan on leaving the book case if you move. If you carpet under the book case and take it with you when you move you may have to replace all the carpet because the indentations in the carpet may never come out and surely wil not be faded like the rest of the carpet.

Agreed, maybe overkill as at the top is plenty. Your main concern after it is filled is that it does not tip over.
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.