DIY Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf

DIY Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf

DIY Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf

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.

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Things you need for this build

Materials

Tools

Plan for this build

Column Wall Shelf Plan
Vertical Spine Column Book Shelf Plan
Plan for the shelf piece

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. 

Planing the pine boards
Planing the pine boards
Planing the pine boards

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.

Resizing the shelf pieces
Resizing the shelf pieces

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.

Resawing the padauk piece at ¾" height
Resawing the padauk piece at ¾" height

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.

Ripping the padauk pieces at ¾" rip width
Ripping the padauk pieces at ¾" rip width

We will be using the 34" x 3" x ¾" piece for our vertical spine.

Shelf pieces, column piece and the lining ready after sizing
Shelf pieces, column piece and the lining ready after sizing

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.

Marking the slot at the centre for the vertical spine column
Marking the slot at the centre for the vertical spine column

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.

Setting the width on the marking gauge from the padauk lining piece
Setting the width on the marking gauge from the padauk lining piece
Transferring the width on to the shelf piece
Transferring the width on to the shelf piece

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.

marking the shelf locations on the vertical spine column
marking the shelf locations on the vertical spine column

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.

routing the slots in the shelf
routing the slots in the shelf

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.

shelf pieces
notice the rounded corner inside the slot. we need to make it square.
using the jig-saw for squaring the corners
using the jig-saw for squaring the corners

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.

sizing the lining pieces on the miter saw
sizing the lining pieces on the miter saw at 45° angle
sizing the lining pieces on the miter saw at 45° angle
sizing the lining pieces on the miter saw at 45° angle

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.

all pieces ready for dry-fit
Pieces ready for dry-fit
dry fit of the pieces
Dry fit was perfect!

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.

glue up of the shelves and lining
glue up of the shelves and lining
glue up of the shelves and lining
glue up of the shelves and lining
glue up of the shelves and lining with paper pieces between each shelf
glue up of the shelves and lining with paper pieces between each shelf
Clamping the shelf pieces together.
Clamping the shelf pieces together.

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.

scraping off glue and paper
scraping off glue and paper

Now the pieces were ready with the front edge lining.

Pieces ready after glue up
Pieces ready after glue up

Step 9: Now we had to sand everything, we sanded all the way from 120 grit to 320 grit.

sanding the wood pieces
sanding the wood pieces

All pieces were now ready after sanding.

All pieces ready after sanding
All pieces 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.

Marking the shelf locations again
Marking the shelf locations again
Marking the shelf locations again
Marking the shelf locations 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.

drilling the holes in the column pieces
drilling the holes in the column pieces
countersinking the screw holes
countersinking the screw holes

Next we did a dry-fit check before screwing the shelves in

checking dry-fit of the shelves
checking dry-fit of the shelves

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.

gluing the shelves to the column piece
gluing the shelves to the vertical spine column
screwing the shelves to the vertical spine column
Shelf ready after screwing

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.

appling pastewax to the vertical spine column bookshelf
Bookshelf after finishing

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.

Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf Fitted
Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf Fitted

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.

 Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf
Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf

Printable summary-DIY Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf

Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf

DIY Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf

Yield: Vertical Spine Column Bookshelf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: $20

Learn how to DIY a vertical spine column bookshelf in a weekend.

Materials

  • 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

Tools

  • Table Saw or Circular Saw
  • Router
  • Miter Saw
  • Speed Square
  • Marking Gauge/ Mortise Gauge
  • Random Orbital Sander

Instructions

  1. Plane the pinewood boards to 3/4" thickness. Planing the pineboard
  2. Use table saw to size the boards to 11" x 8-¾" size to make the four shelf pieces. 3-sizing-the-boards
  3. From the Padauk wood, make a 34" x 3" x ¾" piece for the vertical spine column. Making the vertical spine column
  4. Make 11" x ¾" x ¼" padauk pieces for lining the front edge of the shelves. Making the lining pieces
  5. Mark the slot for the front edge lining and the slot for the spine column using a wood marking gauge on each shelf piece. Marking the lining slot
  6. Rout the front edge for the lining and then rout the slot at the back edge for the spine column.routing the slots on the shelf
  7. Miter the edges of the padauk lining pieces at 45 degree angle. miter the edges for the lining and sizing it.
  8. Glue up the lining pieces to the shelves using wood glue and clamps.gluing up the lining pieces
  9. Sand everything to 220 grit. sanding everything to 220 grit
  10. Mark the slots on the spine column for the shelves to go in. marking the slots on the vertical spine column
  11. Drill the pilot holes for the screws and countersink the holes. drilling pilot holes and countersinking
  12. Screw the shelves into the spine column after applying wood glue at the joint. Screwing the wood into the shelves
  13. Finish the vertical spine column bookshelf using homemade pastewax or water based PU. finishing using pastewax

Notes

Use jigsaw to make the slots, if you want to avoid router.

About V Susan

Hi! I'm Susan. I am passionate about DIY projects and dark chocolates! Welcome to MellowPine. We play around with basic woodworking projects, home improvement ideas, and decor for you to try out.

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