My recent renovation of my home office left me with a bare wall. I decided to build an open wood bookcase to display my favorite books. To save money, I built the wood bookcase from 2×4 lumber instead of profiled, expensive wood. By sanding and staining the bookcase, I was able to give it a beautiful finish despite the cheap lumber I used. Here’s how you can build this simple yet elegant open wood bookcase yourself.
Lumber You’ll Need
Four 2×4 lumber, 59 inch long (for the sides of the bookcase)
Four 2×4 lumber, 8 inch long (for the side connectors on the bookcase)
Six 2×4 lumber, 26 inch long (for the back connectors on the bookcase)
Five 26 x 12 inch hardwood boards to build the shelves
Nails (I prefer headless nails)
Sandpaper and sanding block
Sponge paint brush
Wood conditioner and stain
Build the Sides of the Open Wood Bookcase
To build the sides of the open wood bookcase, lay the 59 inch long pieces on their 4 inch sides and parallel to each other. Connect them at the top and bottom with the 8 inch pieces, also laying these on their 4 inch sides. Hammer the pieces together with headless nails. Now repeat this step to create the opposite side of the open wood bookcase.
Connect the Sides of the Open Wood Bookcase
To build the back of the open wood bookcase which will connect the bookcase sides, rest the two sections that you just built on their 2 inch sides and parallel to each other. Now insert 26 inch long lumber between them, laying the lumber on its 4 inch side. Connect one 26 inch piece at the top and one at the bottom using headless nails. This will complete the outer frame of the back of the open wood bookcase.
Build the Back of the Open Wood Bookcase
Now use the remaining 26 inch pieces to connect the bookcase sides at the center as well. Once more use the 26 inch pieces on their 4 inch sides and space them 7 inches apart. When you finish this step, the open wood bookcase you are building will have its sides standing perpendicular to your work surface, and the back of the bookcase laying flat on the work surface.
Build the Open Wood Shelves
It’s time to build the bookcase shelves using the hardwood boards. Slip the first board between the open bookcase sides and position it 3 inches below the top back frame. Use headless nails to secure the shelf firmly in place. Next, position the remaining shelves down the wood bookcase always 3 inches below the next back frame.
Sand and Stain Your Wood Bookcase
Now that you’ve finished building your open wood bookcase it’s time to make it look elegant and beautiful. I used a palm sander and P-220 grit sandpaper to smooth down the wood. Then I painted the bookcase with wood conditioner first, and only then followed with three coats of cherry wood stain.
If you enjoyed this woodworking project, here are 20 free easy woodworking projects from the same author.