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Simple Cube Bookcase Woodworking Tutorial

The modern chic of a cube bookcase fits well in a game room, bedroom , basement or family room. But the symmetrical design can be intimidating, especially if you have no woodworking experience. This tutorial will walk you step by step through the process of building a cube bookcase that measures 37x37x11. The outer frame will be 37 inches all around, and each of the 9 cubby holes will be 11 inches all around. You can get a feel for the proportions by looking at the picture accompanying this article. The cube bookcase shelves are filled with movie DVD’s.

  • Step One: What You’ll Need
  • At your local home improvement store purchase 2 planks of lumber that are 37 inches long, 11 inches wide and 1 inch deep (37x11x1). In addition, buy 4 more planks that are 35 inches long, 11 inches wide and 1 inch deep (35x11x1). Finally buy 6 square planks that are 11 inches long and wide and 1 inch deep (11x11x1). You can use the store’s cutting services to cut down the lumber to the needed size. It’s a good idea to look for lumber at the shelving section of the store. You will also need 2 inch long dowels (wood pegs) and 2 inch wood screws.

  • Step Two: Prepare the Frame Dowel Holes
  • Position one long plank and one short plank to form an L shape. Use screws to fix them together. Next, drill dowel holes in both planks on the right and left. The holes will support the internal cubes of the bookcase and so should be 11 inches apart. For holes drilled into the frame of the cube bookcase, be sure not to drill all the way through. Instead, place a strip of tape on your drill 1/2 inch from the bottom. Then drill only until you reach the flag. For holes drilled into center cube sections, drill all the way through.

  • Step 3: Prepare the Cube Dowel Holes
  • Hammer the dowels into the holes, then drill corresponding dowel holes in the square planks of wood so as to slip them onto the dowels. The squares will form vertical dividers in your cube bookcase. Now rest a short plank (35 inches long) on top of the first row of vertical dividers. Mark where dowel holes should be drilled and proceed with drilling all the way into the dividers. Slip dowels in and repeat this step for the next tier.

  • Step 4: Assemble the Enclosing Frame

Rest the last long plank on top of the second tier of cubes and secure in place with screws. Then turn the cube bookcase on its side and affix the long plank to enclose the square. Secure all the sides with screws along the middle to avoid running into the dowels on the sides.

Tip: You can also construct the cube bookcase by pre-drilling all the necessary holes, as the author did with her bookcase (see pictures). Though more labor intensive beforehand, this method makes the assembly easier. Whichever way you choose, be sure to test the pieces before drilling, to make sure everything is flush.

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