Bookshelf Desk

Bookshelf Desk

Use Carpenter David Leon’s instructions to build a custom desk with built-in shelves.


5 col

This custom bookshelf extends at one place to double as a desk.

Note: For this project, you must have a wall space to put the bookshelf with additional 4 feet to either the left or right for the desk.

Materials
(6) 1”x12” pieces of oak board, pre-sanded, and pre-cut to fit wall area where you will
put bookshelf (these will be the shelves of the desk)
(1) 1”x12” piece of oak board, pre-sanded, and pre-cut to fit bookshelf wall plus additional 4 feet for desk (this piece will fit in as a shelf and extend beyond to create desk)
(2) 2”x2”x8” oak ledgers (to stabilize)
3/4-inch wood screws
3-inch drywall screws
Drill
Oak wood stain and sealer
Tape measure
Ruler/straight edge
(14) 10-inch steel shelf brackets
(1) Adjustable screw in leg with brace plate
Sponge brush
Rag
Surgeon’s mask
Pencil
Hammer
1-inch finishing nails
Spray paint with primer – multiple colors
Stud finder

Instructions

Prep the boards, brackets and legs:

  1. Paint all 7 oak boards with wood stain and sealer using sponge brush and rag. The rag will ensure the stain doesn’t leave drip marks and also helps get into the crevices of the wood better than a sponge paintbrush can
  2. Allow the stain to dry
  3. Put on mask and spray paint shelf brackets and adjustable leg according to your color preference. Allow to dry and repeat for 2 coats

Build the first shelf:

  1. Take 1 of the 1”x12” oak boards for first shelf and measure 12 inches in from left and right sides of board with tape measure. Mark this point on back top of board with pencil. This is where you will be installing 2 shelf brackets
  2. Lay down bracket on oak board at pencil mark on its side so you can see where the underside brace screw needs to go. Mark with pencil where the screw needs to be
  3. Drill one 3/8-inch screw into oak board where you just marked.

  1. Place shelf bracket on oak board, hooking the underside of bracket onto the brace screw
  2. Drill one 3/8-inch screw through opening on top of bracket into shelf.

  1. Repeat steps 2-5 to attach next shelf bracket to other side of shelf
  2. This shelf will be the bottom of the desk/bookshelf unit and sit flush against the floor with the brackets attached to the back.

Build the second shelf:

  1. For next shelf, measure 8 inches in from left and right sides of board with tape measure. Mark this point on back top of board with pencil. This is where you will be installing the next 2 shelf brackets. Since this shelf will stack on top of the first one, you cannot place two shelves’ brackets both at 12 inches in because they will hit each other.
  2. Repeat steps 2-6 in “build the first shelf” section to attach shelf brackets to 2nd shelf.

Attach first and second shelves together:

  1. Align second shelf with first shelf so brackets are both in back and slide second shelf into the adjustable screw-in brace on the first shelf.

  1. Twist adjustable screw-in brace until it is tight around the second shelf. (See picture above)
  2. Set up these 2 shelves in space where bookshelf will go. These are the bottom 2 shelves.

Note: As you continue to build this bookshelf upward, it may be inclined to fall forward. Be sure to have a buddy to help stabilize as you build upward. At the end, you will install braces to hold the structure in place.

Build the desk piece:

  1. The desk piece will attach to the third shelf. The third shelf will not have any brackets screwed into it but instead attach to the second shelf and the desk piece via the screw-in braces
  2. Take the 1”x12” piece of oak board for desk piece and line up with 2 shelves you’ve built so far. You should have an extra 4 feet to left or right that will become desk.
  3. Measure 16 inches in from right side of board with tape measure. Mark this point on bottom front of board with pencil. This is where you will be installing the shelf bracket on this side
  4. Next, measure 4-feet 4-inches in from left side of board with tape measure. Mark this point on bottom front of board with pencil. This is where you will be installing the shelf bracket on this side.
  5. See steps 2-6 in “build first shelf” section to attach shelf brackets to the desk piece.

Install the desk leg:

  1. To support the desk (i.e. the longer end of the board that goes beyond the shelving), you will need to attach the adjustable leg.
  2. Measure 6 inches in from the end of the desk and mark this point on the underside of the desk. This is where you will install the adjustable leg.
  3. Place the leg at this mark with the bracket and holes flush against the underside of the desk. Drill in 3/8-inch screws through the screw holes in the leg bracket. (See picture below)

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  1. Now that the leg is attached, adjust the leg to the correct height to support the desk and twist to tighten until it sits at that position firmly.

Attach Third shelf and desk:

  1. Align third shelf with desk piece, sliding third shelf into the adjustable screw in brace on bottom front of the desk piece.
  2. Twist adjustable screw-in brace until it is tight around the third shelf.



Attach third shelf and desk piece to first 2 shelves:

  1. Now attach the third shelf to the second shelf by lining up and using the adjustable screw-in brace on back top of second shelf. Your bookshelf/desk should now have 3 shelves with the desk piece on top as the fourth shelf and desk.



Build fifth shelf:

  1. Measure 6 inches in from the right side of the board and mark this point on the bottom back of the board. This is where you will install the right shelf bracket.
  2. Measure 6 inches in from the left side of the board and mark this point on bottom back of the board. This is where you will install the left shelf bracket.
  3. See steps 2-6 in “build first shelf” section to attach shelf brackets to the fifth shelf.

Attach fifth shelf:

  1. Align fifth shelf with desk piece (or fourth shelf) to the far right. Slide the screw-in brace on the bottom back of the fifth shelf into place attaching it to the fourth shelf/desk.
  2. Twist adjustable screw-in brace until it is tight around the desk piece

Build sixth shelf:

  1. Measure 12 inches in from the right side of the board and mark this point on the bottom back of the board. This is where you will install the right shelf bracket.
  2. Measure 12 inches in from the left side of the board and mark this point on bottom back of the board. This is where you will install the left shelf bracket.
  3. See steps 2-6 in “build first shelf” section to attach shelf brackets to the sixth shelf.

Attach sixth shelf:

  1. Align sixth shelf with fifth shelf. Slide the adjustable screw-in brace on bottom back sixth shelf into place attaching it to the fifth shelf.
  2. Twist adjustable screw-in brace until it is tight around the fifth shelf.

Build the seventh / last shelf:

  1. Repeat instructions for the sixth shelving units

Install Braces into wall:

  1. Now that you have your shelf desk built and in place, you need to stabilize the structure. To do this, attach one 2”x2”x8” oak ledger under the edge of the desk piece (or fourth shelf) against wall.

  1. Locate stud(s) with stud finder and position brace 1 inch from under outside edge of shelf. Drill (2) 3-inch drywall screws through oak ledger into wall and into stud(s). (See picture above)
  2. Nail (2) 1-inch finishing nails through top end of shelf into the oak ledger to attach.
  3. Repeat steps 1-3 to attach other oak ledger under top shelf.

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