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T8522_Bookcases_160A few weeks ago, I went down to our basement and was greeted by a large sloppy pile of back issues of Martha Stewart Living. A plastic shelf pin had sheared off, pulling the rest of the flimsy hardware out of the cheap particleboard bookcase, avalanching issues full of advice on keeping canaries and recipes for grilled striped bass across the floor.

It was not a Good Thing.

I love the look of a full bookcase; the unread volumes promise adventure ahead, while those already read are often lifelong companions and comfort. What I don’t love are the catenary curves flimsy particleboard shelves from the big-box store take under the weight of even a few books.

It’s time to start building some real bookcases. A bookcase is basically a box – but like most things in woodworking, the details make all the difference.

The five articles collected in our new digital magazine, Bookcases, will show you how to build an array of bookcases, from small stylish homes for your books to large showpieces – and it’s only $3.99.

Robert W. Lang shows you how you can build one basic bookcase design, but use different woods and mouldings to give you four different style options – contemporary in maple, Shaker in cherry, Arts & Crafts in oak and formal in mahogany.

From our “I Can Do That” series, Megan Fitzpatrick and Glen D. Huey offer a set of Shaker shelves that can be built in a few hours – and even an expert can use the tips on drawing arcs without a compass.

Robert also takes a deeper dive into the Arts & Crafts style with a Stickley book rack that will show off your joinery skills.

Barrister bookcases, with their glass  doors, are an elegant addition to any room – and Glen shows you how you can simplify their construction. Glen’s stackable design adds portability and practicality to a classic home for your books.

And Robert rounds things out with a Stickley-inspired bookcase with a frame-and-panel back – and a secret drawer!

T8522_Bookcases_250To buy Bookcases, click here.

And you’ll find many more articles, books and videos on making bookcases at

– MIke Wallace

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