This Free, Kreg Bookcase Project is Made from Solid Wood.
DIFFICULTY RATING: Beginner
This is a small footprint bookcase - only 18 1/2 inches wide and 6 1/2
inches deep, but because of its height of 55 1/2 inches, it will give
you a great amount of storage space.
It is made with fixed shelves, so it is very sturdy. It will last a lifetime or longer.
It was designed to be made with solid pine boards.
A pdf of this plan is at the bottom of this page.
WOODWORKING TOOLS NEEDED:
You will need the following woodworking hand tools:
- woodworking clamps;
- tape measure;
- Kreg jig; and
- speed square.
The woodworking power tools you need for this Kreg bookcase project are:
circular saw and drill.
And don't forget to locate your safety glasses. Please use them every time you use your drill or saw.
Selecting the Best Boards
Since this bookcase project calls for solid pine boards, one of the most
important aspects in the bulding of this bookcase is selecting the
right boards, especially the ones that will form the bookcase sides.
The longest board needed is 6 feet long. It is much easier to find a straight 6' long board, than a straight 8' long board.
You can make this bookcase from pine select boards, which would make the
selection much easier, but would cost you more money. If you plan to
stain this bookcase, though, that may be the best option. You can also
make this project from construction grade pine boards, which is a less
Each of these Kreg plans are built using the Kreg pocket hole jig. When we started, we purchased the Kreg K4MS Jig Master System
which costs about $140. This set has everything you need to get started making your own furniture NOW!
The total cost using construction grade boards is about $45, plus 1 hour to sort through a pile of boards.
Before you go to the lumberyard to buy your pine boards, please read
'Wood Working Tips for Selecting Pine Boards'.
You will be glad you did!
Choosing the right boards can be frustrating, but if you take the time
to select the straightest boards now, it will save you alot of
frustration at assembly time.
Here is your list for your trip to the lumber yard:
- (4) 1 inch by 6 inch by 6 foot long pine boards;
- (1) 1 inch by 8 inch by 6 foot long pine board;
- (1) 1/2 inch thick by 4 foot by 8 foot pine plywood:
- (20) 1 1/4" coarse Kreg pocket screws: and
- (18) 1 inch nails.
Cutting the sides and shelves.
Take the two best 1" by 6" 6 foot long boards, and cut them to a length of 54 inches.
Use the cross cut jig to get the most accurate results.
It is important that each of your shelves be the exact same width. To
get them all of 5 of them 15" wide make a jig that will both "measure"
those shelves and be the circular saw cutting guide.
Use the directions on this page to make that jig. Just change the starting measurement from 23" wide to 15" wide.
Once you have your jig made, slide it on the left side of one of your
1X6s. Use your speed square to make sure everything is square. Clamp
the jig into place, line up the left side of your saw's base plate, and
make your cut. The resulting piece should be exactly 15" wide.
If it is off by an 1/8 of an inch, don't worry. Using the jig will make
all of your shelves off by the same amount. And all your pieces will
still line up squarely, when you assemble your bookcase.
Remove the jig from the piece you just cut. Slide the jig back onto the
left end of your 1X6, square it, clamp it, and cut. Repeat that until
you have all five shelves cut.
Do not cut the bottom and top yet.
Now that most of your pieces are cut, it would be a good time to sand
your pieces. Sanding, whether by hand or with an electric sander is
much easier before you assemble the bookcase.
Marking & Drilling the Pocket holes.
Choose the best side of each of your shelves. Make a light "X" on the
opposite side. You will drill your pocket holes on the side with the
Each of your pocket holes should be 1 1/2 inches from the long edge.
Make your mark for the pocket holes about 4 inches from the short end,
so that when you put the shelf into your Kreg pocket jig, you will be
able to see the mark.
Set up the Kreg drill bit at the 3/4 inch mark. Then set up your Kreg pocket jig for 3/4 inch. See the photos.
Drill two pocket holes on each edge of each of your five shelves. To
make sure you are drilling into the right side, the "X" side is the side
you will see when you put the shelf into your Kreg pocket jig.
Assembly of your bookcase.
To make your shelves evenly spaced from top to bottom, you need to make a spacing jig.
Making your spacing jig.
Cut a scrap piece of wood so that it is 8 3/8 " long, and not more than
6" wide. Take another piece that is about 4" long, and about the same
width as the longer piece.
Dirll 2 pocket holes in one end of the shorter piece. Connect the 2
pieces together at right angle, and your spacing jig is finished.
Using your spacing jig.
Lay one of your 54" long sides on your work surface. Put the best side
down as that will be the outside of your bookcase. Align your spacing
jig with the top of your board and clamp it securely in place.
Take your first shelf with the pocket holes toward the bottom, and clamp
that to the shorter end of your spacing jig. Use your speed square to
make sure your shelf is square to the bookcase side, and flush to both
the front and back of your long board.
IMPORTANT: Line up all of your shelves
with the pocket holes facing the bottom!
Unclamp your jig, and line it up on the bottom of the shelf you just
attached. Again, clamp the jig to the side piece. Clamp your next shelf
to the upright of your jig. Again, check that all is square and flush.
Then, drive your Kreg pocket screws.
Keep doing this until all five shelves are attached to the long side board.
Choose which side of your 2nd side piece is the best, and lay that side
down on your work surface. As before, align your spacing jig with the
top of the side piece, and clamp it in place.
Set the other side piece that has your 5 shelves attached to it on top
of the 2nd side piece. Align the first shelf with the spacing jig,
making it flush to the front and back of the side piece.
Clamp the shelf to the jig. Double check that all is square, and drive your Kreg pocket screws.
As with the first side, repeat until all five shelves are attached.
Now cut the top and bottom.
The bottom of this bookcase is wider and deeper than the shelves to make it more stable. The top is made to match the bottom.
Cut two pieces from the 1X8 board to a length of 18.5 inches. Use your
circular saw cross cut jig so that your cuts will be accurate.
Then cut 1 inch off the long side of each of those 2 pieces. Your final pieces should be 18 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches.
Marking and attaching the top and bottom.
Choose the best side of your bottom pieces, and mark an "X" on the other
side. Next mark a "B" on the long edge that will be at the back of your
Mark where the 4 wood screws will go into both your bottom and top pieces. Make small pilot holes where the screws will go.
Clamp the bottom piece to the short end of your spacing jig to hold it
upright. Align the bottom piece so it overlaps each side evenly, and
drive the screws.
Repeat the process to attach the top to the sides.
Cutting and attaching the back.
Cut the 1/4 inch plywood for the back using your plywood cutting jig.
If you have not made your plywood cutting jig, please read how easy it is to make.
Mark 54 3/4 inches from the right end of your 4 X 8 sheet. of plywood.
Align your plywood cutting jig just to the left of your marks, so that
your blade will be cutting along the line. Double check that your jig
is square to the plywood, and then use your circular saw to cut across 4
Next, measure from the left side of your 54 3/4 piece a distance of 15
3/4 inches. Your plywood cutting jig is only 48" long - a few inches
shorter than this cut. If you can clamp your 4' jig securely to your
plywood, use the jig.
If not, you could make a longer plywood cutting jig, or you could cut it the not-so-accurate way of following your pencil line.
Once your back piece is cut, lay your bookcase on its front. You will
now attach back to the bottom, top and sides of your bookcase using the 1
To keep from hammering your fingers, use a pocket comb to hold the nails in place.
Once the back is on, you are ready to apply the paint or the finish.
Click on the bookcase icon to reach the pdf diagrams for this free wood working plan.
These diagrams are easy to read when printed.
This pdf will open in a new window.
May you feel a
sense of accomplishment
every time you look at your
completed Kreg bookcase project!