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How to Make a 13-Foot Tall Bookshelf with Rolling Bookshelf Ladder

John Malecki

How to Make a 13-Foot Tall Bookshelf with Rolling Bookshelf Ladder

I Build an Absolutely Massive Bookshelf with a Rolling Bookshelf Ladder

Projects
|
7
min read
|
Jul 26, 2017

In this video, I go BIG. And I don’t mean 300-pound offensive lineman running at you full speed big; I mean David and Goliath, towering so high over you you need a rolling bookshelf ladder to reach it, 13-foot homemade shelf BIG.

I built this gigantic bookcase for a local office space in Pittsburgh, PA. In this video, I feature all the techniques I used from start to finish. Scale this down for your home or contract out a massive giant like this one of your own. Either way, I’m sure you’re going to love this completely custom 13-foot bookshelf with a rolling bookshelf ladder. Check it out!

Affiliate links are posted on this page. For more information on my Affiliate disclosure, check out my Disclosure Page. 

Project Overview

How to Build a Massive Bookshelf with a Rolling Bookshelf Ladder

  1. Break Down Material
  2. Glue Up Parts
  3. Mark Shelf Locations
  4. Cut and Assemble Joinery
  5. Rough Cut Face Frame
  6. Final Glue-Up & Finish

What You’ll Need for a 13-Foot Shelf with a Rolling Bookshelf Ladder

How to Make a Bookshelf with a Rolling Bookshelf Ladder: The Step-by-Step

Break Down Material

Begin by breaking down your plywood into the dimensions of your vertical boards. I cut mine into 11.25″ strips from the large sheet, then down to final 11″.

Glue Up Parts

Rough cut down all your shelving to size. Stack them neatly so you can stare at how much work you put into the neatness of the pile, then destroy it by gluing everything up. I use 1.25″ 23g pin nails and tons of glue.

Mark Shelf Locations

Mark out all the locations for the shelves on your vertical partitions. Be sure to reference the correct faces so everything lines up. Use a jig, and drill perpendicular holes halfway through the partitions. Cut the coordinating holes in all of the shelves.

Cut and Assemble Joinery

Cut all of the dowels you will need, and begin assembling the largest part of the carcass. For my build, it was the center. 

Rough Cut Face Frame

Rough cut your face frame material (rough sawn soft maple) and cut it into 1.5″ strips. Start by jointing one face and a perpendicular side. Then cut your strips from the flat part as reference. This will leave the “rustic” top

Final Glue-Up & Finish

Glue the face frame onto the carcasses. Sand appropriately and finish with paint and a coat of water-based poly. Then Install, adding a rolling bookshelf ladder at the end.


If you liked this project, check out some of my other furniture builds:

Download the Plan

Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.

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Projects
|
7
min read
|
Jul 26, 2017
|
Sponsored by
John Malecki

I used to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, Now I run my own furniture business and am completely self taught. In my videos and posts you'll see a variety of wood and metal work as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy!