Ideas for Building Tall Bookshelves

Tall bookshelves in your home can be an asset if you have a large book collection; need shelving storage space; display statues or small antiques; or want to support framed photos at eye level. While large bookshelves purchased commercially can cost hundreds of dollars, you can make a large bookcase on your own solid wood in an afternoon. When your bookshelf is designed, you will be able to dye or paint the shelves that fit your room interior.


Place two 5-foot-long boards side by side on the ground. Select one end to be in the bottom of the bookcase. Measure from the bottom by 6 inches, and mark a line horizontally across the face on both boards. Measure from this line 18 inches, and mark a second line across the boards. Measure from the second line by 12 inches and mark a third line. Measure from this line 12 inches and mark a fourth row. Turn the discs on their 1-inch width opposite each other with the marked lines facing in. Space the boards 30 inches apart to be the pages of the bookcase. Place a 30-inch board between the two sides as a shelf. Aim the shelf at the bottom so that the upper surface of the board runs along the lowest marked line. Use the drill to place three evenly distributed screws through each side board and at the ends of the shelf board to secure.

Set the next 30-inch shelf on board between side rails and direct the other row from the bottom. Use a drill and screws to secure the shelf to the side boards. Continue with the remaining two 30-inch discs. Place the 3 foot long board over the top of the bookcase to limit the ends of the side boards. Adjust the board so it overhangs each side by 2 inches. Place three evenly distributed screws on each side by screwing through the top board and into the side boards below with your drill. Sand all over the unit to level wood; pay special attention to the lower ends of side rails where they will be in contact with the floor. Apply a bite or color to boards, as desired, or leave the play with a natural look.

Tips and warnings

Add additional support by placing a 1-in-4-inch board that is 56 inches long vertically along the back of the bookcase running down in the middle. Screw through an inch of 4-inch aboard at each point where it touches a shelf and the top of the bookshelf. Use felt bags under the base of the bookcase to protect wood floors.

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