A simple, sturdy and interesting looking bookcase built entirely with 2x6s, that's what this project is. Not only is it cheap to build (which makes it the perfect beginner project, you can afford to mess up a board or two!), it's also great if you're just starting out and don't have a lot of tools. In fact, you can build this entire project simply with a jigsaw! Also, don't forget to watch the video that goes over each step in detail for a more thorough view.
Step 1: Lumber
For this entire build, I'm using kiln dried 2x6s, and it's a good idea to find the straightest ones you can. I went through 20 or so in the store and picked out the best ones. This project will be a lot more annoying if your boards are all twisted.
Step 2: Cut List
The first step is cutting the boards to size. You could use a jig saw, a miter saw, a handsaw for this step....
- Four 2x6 boards measuring 47 inches
- Four 2x6 boards measuring 36 inches.
Step 3: Marking Out the Joinery
I've been fascinated for a while by this concept of over-sized joinery that you make with rough materials and power tools. Here's a simple sketch of what you need. Four pieces of the shelves, four pieces of the sides. They are all marked identically, these are the measurements I used.
It's a good idea to mark out the cuts on ALL sides of the boards.
Step 4: Cutting the Notches Out
Next step is cutting out all the markings. A jig saw is the perfect tool for this, or you could use a handsaw and a chisel.
If you use a jig saw, it's important that the cuts are really precise. To accomplish this I recommend cutting on one side first, and then turning it over to complete the cut on the other side. Since the wood is so thick, the blade tends to bend slightly, and you solve this problem by turning the board over.
Don't make the fit too tight, I cut on the line, it's easier to assemble if nothing is too tight.
Step 5: Assemble Each Section
FIrst of all, make sure that each cut isn't too tight, by doing a trial fit. If it's too tight a squeeze, use a chisel or the jig saw to carve out the notches slightly.
Once you have a good fit, glue the sections together, assembling one section at a time.
You can combine two clamps to make a super long clamp if you want to ensure that the wood goes together nicely. Don't overclamp however, or you might twist the wood.
Step 6: Combine the Two
Next, using leftover scraps of the 2x6s, cut up four pieces that measure 1.5 x 6 inches.
Then place the two glued-up sections next to each other and glue in the connecting pieces. Use clamps if you have to. Start with one side, then flip the bookcase over and add the other. If the wood seems a little out of alignment, simply use the clamps to force it in place. Remember, this is framing lumber, so some twists and weirdness is to be expected!
If you want, you can add a few pins with a nailer or screws to the side to secure the boards in place.
Step 7: Routing & Sanding
To round over the protruding sections, use a hand-held router with a round-over bit in all the corners. Next, use a sander and sand all over to get a smooth surface. Next up, finish the piece if you'd like - shellac, polyurethane, stain, paint, there are a ton of options!
Step 8: Conclusion - Watch the Video
To check out the final result, and get a better perspective of the entire build, make sure to watch the video!