Hey everyone, this is Susan and today I'm back with a new DIY project. We made a vertical spine column bookshelf for our home using Pine and Padauk. It's actually a quick and easy project if you have the wood ready.
The vertical spine column for the bookshelf is made out of Padauk and the shelves are made out of Pine wood. We used a Padauk lining at the front edge of the shelves for balancing the colors.
If you are not a subscriber yet, definitely subscribe to Mellowpine for getting free DIY project plans in your mail every month!
MellowPine is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.
Things you need for this build
- 1 in. x 12 in. x 8 ft Common board (buy it at home-depot)
- 4 inch wide piece of Padauk Wood with ¾" thickness and at least 34 inch length. ( buy it at amazon or home-depot or local lumber store)
- Wood Screws -1 ½" long
- Wood Glue
Plan for this build
How To Build The Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf
Step 1: So for this column shelf, we need four pine boards of final size 11" x 8 ¾" x ¾" size. ¾" is the thickness. This is drawn in the plan above. This is the size after planing, so you need to get pine boards with an actual thickness of 1" and at least 12-inch width.
We had two Pinewood pieces of 30 inch and 10-inch length. Both had a width of 12 inches and a thickness of ¾" inch. So we used these boards to make the four pieces we needed. If you are buying a 1 in. x 12 in. x 8 ft common board from home-depot, you can build all the shelf pieces from that one board.
As the first step, we planed both the pieces of pine to ¾ inch thickness.
Step 2: Next, we had to bring it to the correct length and width. We used the table saw to bring the length to 11 inches and the width to 8-¾ inches. This can be alternatively done using a circular saw as well.
From the first Pinewood piece of 30-inch length, we cut off ½ inch width from both edges to make it 11 inches in width. Then we cut out three pieces of 8-¾ inch length each. So at this point, we had three pieces of the correct size.
Then we took the 10-inch length piece (10" x 12" x ¾") and made it to 8-¾ inch in length and 11 inches in width.
At this point, all the four shelf pieces for the column bookshelf were correctly sized.
Step 3: The next part was making the vertical spine column and the front edge lining for the bookshelf. So on to the Padauk!
As per the plan, the Padauk vertical spine column for the shelf would be 34 inches in length. We need 1 column piece of 3 inches width and ¾ inch thickness. The other Padauk pieces we need are the front edge lining pieces. These measure 11 inches in length and ¼ inch in width. The thickness should be the same as the pine board, which is ¾ inch.
What we had with us was a Padauk piece of 4 ¼ inch width and a 36 inches with ¾ inch thickness. First, we sized it to 34” length on the miter saw.
Then we took the piece and re-sawed it with the blade at ¾ -inch height. We did this to make the column piece (3-inch width) and the front edge lining pieces (¼ inch) from the same piece of Padauk.
If you are new to using a table saw and wondering how to use a table saw safely, check out this comprehensive guide on using a table saw safely- How to Safely Rip a 2x4 With a Table Saw.
After this, we ripped the piece at ¾-inch rip width to get two pieces of Padauk measuring 34" x ¾" x ¼" size and one piece of 34" x 3" x ¾". Actually the thickness after ripping would be slightly more than ¼”, but it should get to ¼" after a bit of sanding. We will be making our four front edge lining pieces (for the four shelves) from these two pieces.
We will be using the 34" x 3" x ¾" piece for our vertical spine.
Step 4: Now we marked a 3 inch slot at the center of each pinewood shelf using tape for marking the location where the Padauk vertical spine column should go in.
Next we had to make the slot in the front edge of the pinewood for fitting the padauk lining inside. For this we used a marking gauge (sometimes called a mortise gauge) to scribe the thickness of the padauk strip (¼") on to the front edge of the pinewood shelf pieces. We did this for all the 4 pinewood shelf pieces.
An important step here is to mark a 45 degree line to mark the mitered edge of the front lining piece. We used a framing square to mark this. If you are confused by this step, check the second photo in the plan again and check the 45° angle at the corner.
Tip: Using a marking gauge is more accurate than using a tape.
Next we did the same process using the marking gauge to transfer the thickness of the vertical spine column on to the shelf for cutting the slot at the back edge of the shelf.
Step 5: The next was to mark the locations of the shelves on the vertical spine column. As per the plan, we marked the first shelf, 3 inches from the top and the fourth (last) shelf, 3 inches from the bottom of the padauk column piece. Then we spaced the other two shelf locations equally from the other two shelves.
Step 6: The next part was routing the front edge slots for the padauk lining and the slots at the back for the vertical spine column based on our markings in the previous step.
Now, if you don't have a router, you can just use a jigsaw and do some sanding afterwards to make it perfect.
We used the router to make both the slots at the front and back.
Although the router removes almost all the wood that we need to take off, it won’t give a square corner. The corner would still be rounded due to the way the router operates. So we need to take that small bit of piece off from the lining edge as well the column slots using the jig-saw.
After this we did some light sanding to remove the strands of wood that were left after the routing.
Step 7: The next step was making the front edge lining pieces from the padauk pieces we made earlier (34" x ¾" x ¼"). The width and thickness were correct and we had to make four pieces of length 11 inches with a 45 degree miter at the ends from these pieces. We used the miter saw and set it at 45° angle and sized the pieces down to 11 inches with miters on both ends.
Now we had the 4 lining pieces ready.
Step 8: With the pieces ready, we tried a dry-fit of the shelf pieces and the front edge lining pieces and it all fit together nicely.
Since the dry fit was good, we decided to glue up the front edge lining pieces to the the shelves. We used Titebond II wood glue to stick everything together and clamped everything neatly using pipe clamps.
Tip: Use paper in between each shelf to avoid them from sticking together. Also when using a pipe clamp, use a wood block in between to avoid marks from the clamp on your wood piece.
After the glue dried, we scraped off the excess glue and the paper from the shelves.
Now the pieces were ready with the front edge lining.
Step 9: Now we had to sand everything, we sanded all the way from 120 grit to 320 grit.
All pieces were now ready after sanding.
So we made a small error at this point, we had marked the locations of the shelves in the column piece, but we sanded over that. Now we marked it again.
Step 10: Next we drilled some pilot holes in the column piece for screwing it to the shelves. We used a drill guide to ensure the pilot hole was vertical. After this we used a countersink drill bit to do the countersinking, for ensuring that the screw head was flush with the wood.
Next we did a dry-fit check before screwing the shelves in
Next part was screwing the shelves on to the column. We decided to use glue as well for added strength. So we applied glue in the slot joints and screwed them in aftewards.
Step 11: So the final step was to finish the vertical spine column bookshelf. We could have used a stain on the pinewood, but we wanted a nice contrast between the Padauk and the Pinewood, so we decided to go for a clear finish. We used our Homemade Paste-wax for finishing the bookshelf. Another good choice would be using a clear water based polyurethane finish if you don't want to make Paste-wax. Don't forget to buff well with a cloth after applying the wax.
We used paste-wax for two other DIY projects. If you missed it, here it is:
Tip: I made the homemade paste-wax using boiled linseed oil and natural bee's wax. I made it by boiling linseed oil and bees wax in a 3:1 ratio at home.
Yep, our vertical spine column bookshelf is ready. We loved the colors on this project. Hope you liked them too.
Check out other easy DIY projects of ours:
If you liked this project, please take a moment and pin the photo below to your DIY/Home Decor/Wood Projects board.
Printable summary-DIY Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf
- 1 in. x 12 in. x 8 ft Common board
- 4 inch wide piece of Padauk Wood with ¾" thickness and at least 34 inch length
- Wood Screws -1 ½" long
- Wood Glue
- Table Saw or Circular Saw
- Miter Saw
- Speed Square
- Marking Gauge/ Mortise Gauge
- Random Orbital Sander
- Plane the pinewood boards to 3/4" thickness.
- Use table saw to size the boards to 11" x 8-¾" size to make the four shelf pieces.
- From the Padauk wood, make a 34" x 3" x ¾" piece for the vertical spine column.
- Make 11" x ¾" x ¼" padauk pieces for lining the front edge of the shelves.
- Mark the slot for the front edge lining and the slot for the spine column using a wood marking gauge on each shelf piece.
- Rout the front edge for the lining and then rout the slot at the back edge for the spine column.
- Miter the edges of the padauk lining pieces at 45 degree angle.
- Glue up the lining pieces to the shelves using wood glue and clamps.
- Sand everything to 220 grit.
- Mark the slots on the spine column for the shelves to go in.
- Drill the pilot holes for the screws and countersink the holes.
- Screw the shelves into the spine column after applying wood glue at the joint.
- Finish the vertical spine column bookshelf using homemade pastewax or water based PU.
Use jigsaw to make the slots, if you want to avoid router.