Friday, April 1, 2011

Free Woodworking Plan: You Can Build a Painted Bookcase

Dress up the basic box with moldings and simulated panels.

After building a few bookcases over the years, I have determined that a woodworker could make a decent income just by building bookcases. For people that like to read, there often isn’t enough storage space for books, magazines and other such items.

So, I thought it would be good to publish a free woodworking plan about the construction of a simple, but stylish bookcase I built for my daughter.I would put this project in the beginner category due to the simple joinery and easy to use materials and finish. I did dress it up a bit by using classic architectural elements like simulated panels and nice crown and base moldings.

This plan is eleven pages in length and I explain the construction process using illustrations and a few photos. At the time this bookcase was built, I was just beginning to use a digital camera and I only took a few photos of the process. I also never even considered that someday I would be creating my own woodworking plans. It has:

  • Seventeen large photos/illustrations
  • An exploded view
  • A full cut list
  • Links to web based content

You Can Build a Painted Bookcase is offered as a free download. The only thing I ask in return is that you consider subscribing to my posts via email (subscribe by clicking here). If you don’t like the idea of subscribing, feel free to download the plan anyway.

Example pages from the plan.

Here is what Tom H. had to say about the painted bookcase plan:

"Thank you so much for providing the detailed plans for the bookcase. I looked for plans everywhere on the web and the style of your bookcase was exactly what I was looking for. Your details were excellent and the pictures were very helpful."

A super cool project plan experience - Sawtooth
You Can Build a Painted Bookcase is available as a free download from Sawtooth Ideas. This new site provides a unique way to view project plans. You can download them in the normal way; as a PDF file, but the plan becomes interactive with their IdeaRoom software. You can see the finished project in 3D, a 3D exploded view, and even zoom in and find dimensions for specific components, again in 3D. Best of all their IdeaRoom software is available for use on a mobile device like a smart phone or tablet.

To get this plan free at Sawtooth Ideas, click here.

A note about my woodworking plans: I go to great lengths to organize them so they will be easy to follow. Prior to building a project, thoroughly read the plan and make sure you understand all of the process. If you find something to be confusing, all you have to do is email me so we can discuss it. My email address is

SEE MY LATEST BLOG POST by clicking here.


David Scott said...

Nice looking design. I am looking at something like this for myself but modified to also hold a LCD TV.

Jeff Branch said...

Thanks David. The design is very straight forward and could be easily modified to accomodate a number of different things.

Jason Herrick said...

GREAT book Jeff.

I just downloaded it. I am very very impressed. I love all the detailed lists, instructions, renderings and simplicity you've created.

I hope your proud of the results. Well done. Congrats!

Dyami said...

That's a nice looking bookshelf. I need to make some myself, some day. Unfortunately, bookshelves are on page 2 or 3 of the honey-do list.

Jeff Branch said...

Jason - thanks for the nice comment. I have just updated it since I found some typos in the last paragraph of page 11. I am pleased with it. I worked hard towards the end of the week making it look a little more in line with what other downloadable plans look like.

Dyami - I know you have a lot on your plate. I have been following your Twitter posts this weekend.

Laura L said...

Jeff, I stumbled upon your site doing a search for a how-to for making bookcases. I just wanted to thank you for the tutorial and also say that both bookcases (for your wife and the 8-footer) are absolutely stunning! I have never made anything myself but I am looking forward to eventually creating something as beautiful. Do you have a tutorial on the 8-foot case you just made? I would love something like that! :) Thank you for sharing! I bet your wife is very proud, as you should be!

Jeff Branch said...

Laura L: yes I do plan to offer an e-book on the "Massive Bookcase" as I call it. It will be early next year before I can complete it. Right now I am working on plans for the Tornado Bed.

Thanks for your kind words and stay tuned.