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How to put up bookshelves?

Building bookshelves is a fairly easy DIY task that most people should be able to manage. There are different types of bookshelves, such various bookcase designs, but if you are a beginner, your best bet is to simply fix the shelves to the wall, rather than going for a freestanding bookcase or a cube bookshelf. This article looks at building book shelving step-by-step.

In advance of the actual building of the shelves

Decide where you want your bookshelves to go. You need to measure the space, and work out the lengths and widths of wood which will be required. If you are fixing your bookshelves to the wall, make sure that the wall is sound, and mark the positions of the shelves carefully.

Assembling the materials and tools

Wood You can buy wood for bookshelves at any DIY store, or you may be able to find unwanted wood for free. You need to decide what type of wood you want, and whether you want solid wood or chipboard, which is much cheaper. Brackets If you are attaching your shelves to the wall, then you will need brackets. These are usually made of metal, but can also be bought in wood. Two brackets are usually sufficient, but if your shelves are going to be very long, you may want more. Other materials and tools You will also need screws of the right length, rawlplugs (unless you are fixing the shelves to a wall made of wood), a saw, hammer, drill, screwdriver, and possibly, sandpaper and paint. Bookshelf kits Some DIY stores sell kits for making bookshelves, which consist of lengths of wood with matching or toning wooden brackets. These can save you a little work, but are not really necessary.

Fixing the shelves to the wall

Attaching the brackets Mark the area where you want to fix the brackets, and then drill holes carefully. Hammer in the rawlplugs, making sure that you don't break them. Then attach the brackets to the wall using the screws. Test them carefully for strength; books are heavy items, and you don't want your bookcase to fall off the wall! Putting up the shelves Now, place your shelves on top of the brackets and screw them on. Check carefully to make sure they are horizontal. Finishing touches If you have had to saw the wood to the correct length, now is the time to use your sandpaper to smooth off the ends. Then, paint your bookshelves if you wish to. Finally, stand back and admire your handiwork!

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