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1st off I love my Kreg jig.  I've had it since summer time and have built a few little projects.  Bookshelf for my son, candle rack for my wife and some little things.

My wife has asked me to build her a wall to wall bookshelf/library in our office.  I'm looking for advice on what materials to use for it.  

I've designed it in SketchUp and have a materials list.  It's going to be a fairly simple setup with a bench in between for sitting in front of a window if she wanted.

My plan was to build the frame out of 3/4" AC plywood and then build a face frame out of white pine.

It will be painted white after completion.  I'll dress it up with molding to make it look like it's been built into the room and has been in around for a while.  

Does this sound like a good plan?  How would you go about finishing this? 

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Heath, sounds like a great plan.  It really comes down to how nice your plywood is.  I am now building some built-ins also, a window seat with drawers beneath, file drawers on either side, and bookshelves on top of them.  The best plywood I could find was that junky Chinese birch at Slowe Depots.  The paper thin veneer is horrible to work with -- splinters and bows and voids.  Then I found some Baltic Birch at Rockler on sale, and it's much nicer to work with.  For face frames, I can easily get nice pine and poplar, so no problem there, both are nice.  It might be nice to add a valance above the window between the shelves.

Look good to me to. You need to choose the correct wood to make sure it's be a long term uses. Using some hardwood and you will be safe. Take a review here for choosing a suitable wood

Heath, I agree with all the others about this being a good plain. If you are going to paint it all you might want to consider MDF medium density fiberboard it is has very smooth finish and works like wood and takes paint very well. It comes in 49"x97"x3/4" so you have extra for saw cuts with almost no waste. It also is a full 3/4" thick. On the down side it creates a lot of very fine dust so wearing a dust mask when sawing is a must. It is also very inexpensive. You can find it at Lowe's i'm not sure if Home Depot carries it or not. Doug mentioned MDO which is two paper thin layers of MDF with a solid plywood core and is better suited for outdoor use. 

hope this helps



Thanks everyone for the suggestions and useful links.  I've thought about using MDF but just the thought of all that fine dust circulating in and around my garage covering the boat, tools, car and truck makes me cringe.  I don't have any type of dust collection or air filtration system.  That will probably be built later on.

We went to Lowes yesterday and looked at the 23/32" plywood they have.  I've calculated 4 sheets for the sides, shelving and window seat box.  I will have to dig a little to get better pieces.  The white pine at Lowes is pretty decent.  I just built a simple book stand out of it and it turned out nice.  I built a standing closet for my son also. Only thing is the screws started to pop out the opposite side of the plywood.  I'll have to set the collar on the bit for a shallower hole.

My thought was to put ledger strips under each shelf in the back so there would be support front and back.  The total span for the longer shelves is 47".  Finishing is probably my biggest concern.  I'm assuming a sanding, primer and paint will be sufficient.

I've looked at Ryans projects.  They've actually inspired me to take on this project.  I'm actually thinking of building an entertainment center like one he built.  

Our Lowe's carries BCX plywood which would not look nice except in your garage.  The C-side is fairly rough at times, and the B-side shows the grain thru the paint.  If you use their birch plywood, you need to have a sharp blade and a zero-clearance insert, since it splinters so bad when cut.  After priming, it helps to light sand the surface.  The other frustration with Lowe's plywood is the difficulty finding flat, straight boards.  Get them home and some start to curve.  If I really want decent wood from them, I hand pick twice as many pieces as I need, and then take the bad one back.

Just now, I was wrestling with the assembly of some cases.  For the Lowe's Birch Plywood pieces, I had to pocket screw both ends tight, and then pull the ply straight with a pipe clamp, hoping the end screws hold tight.  Ugh! 

The other problem with MDF besides dust is the 49 inch width which won't fit in minivans.  Plywood is a little better with dust, but you'll still coat your entire shop with a fine layer of dust every time you turn the switch on.

Heath, looks like a nice project.  I build alot of cabinets and when I plan on painting it I always go with Poplar.  It cost a little more than pine but there are so many advantages to it.  Pine holds sapp in it which could bleed through and there are no knots in poplar.  Good luck, Michael

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