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I built the bookshelf in the attached picture.  Dimensions are as follows.  I used 1x 12's with 1/4 in sandeply backing.  Sides are 29 in tall.  Horizontal shelves are 36 inches across.   

I made best guesses along the way on some things.  I did use Titebond wood glue where I could.

So I can learn, I wanted to get feedback from the more experienced woodworkers on these questions:

  1. When assembling shelves such as these, does one attach all the horizontals to one vertical side first, then attach the other side board?
  2. Can you use a router on a finished piece like this?  Or is it better to route the boards beforehand?
  3. I used at least 5 screws on each side.  For a 1 X 12, what's the correct number of screws per side in an edge-joint?
  4. What's the proper way to attach 1/4 inch plywood as shelf backing material ?
  5. What's the correct nail to attach the plywood backing?



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1. Depends on the joints used. If the sides are using dadoes, Attach the shelves to one side first, then the other.  Using Kreg joints, you can go either way, but if doing one side first, be sure to support each shelf as you work up.

2.  You can use round over bits on the edges on a finished piece, but the router is a lot harder to control. It will also depend if you want the round over on the shelf to blend with the side panels (shelf together) or will be setting the shelves back slightly (boards routed as pieces beforehand).

3.  Depends on material, size of the screw, the width of the completed shelf (length of each shelf board) and whether it is glued also.  On my plywood cabinet shelves, I used three 1-1/4" screws per side on 18" deep cabinets 4 feet long.  The shelves are butt jointed, and the screws were primarily as clamps until the glue set.

4. & 5. There are many ways. Brads or screws are your best bet.  I avoid glue. You can use some #4 or #6 x 1/2" wood screws.  You can use some 1/2" brads.  I usually use 5/8" wire brads (18 gauge)  from my brad nailer. If you are using screws, be sure to pre-drill.

Thanks Tim.  Your post pointed out some missing needed detail.  I'll add it below. 

It's "whitewood" from the orange big box store.  So, I figure a white pine.  The top and bottom horizontals are glued.  The middle I didn't think to glue until after the fact.

1)No on the dadoes.  I made a square box first, putting glue and screws.  Then slid the middle shelf in and screwed.  That method did not seem quite right.  Now I know.

2) Understood on router. 

3) 3/4 in thick soft pine material.  I used the 1.25" coarse thread screws.  Each shelf board is 36 inches long.

4+5)I glued the back on while the shelves were face down.  Then I used #17 nails that were 7/8 in long spaced about every six inches.  Your suggestion makes sense.



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