Build a Bookcase with a Bar

  • Build a Bookcase with a Bar

This combination bar and bookcase is built from scratch but the concept can be adapted to use fewer materials by modifying an existing bookshelf. The top row of shelves has foldout doors to hide the bar, leaving the lower shelves as open display space.

DIY: $340 (Have It Done for $1140)
SKILL: 2/5
TIME:  2 days

Buying the materials

The frame and doors are made from 19mm pine that is dressed all round (DAR), costing about $75. Have the timber cut to size by the supplier or use a circular saw with a straightedge guide. Maple quad is used as corner blocks to support the shelves, and the outer shelves are secured with screws through the sides and dividers.
An arissed mirror is positioned on plywood backing in the bar section to make it appear deeper when open. Have three 382 x 370 pieces cut by a glazier for about $65.
Doors are kept horizontal by jack chain when open and the 100mm satin nickel feet, about $85, lift the unit above skirting height so it can be pushed against the wall.

Securing the doors

Non-mortice hinges, about $1 each, have one leaf that folds inside the other, reducing the total thickness of the hardware. The design is easy to install as there’s no need to rebate housings. You’ll also need three roller catches and three small handles.

Step 1. Mark up the joins

Along the top and base mark the dividers 19mm from the end, 375mm, 19mm, 375mm and 19mm, drilling three 2mm countersunk pilot holes at the centre of the 19mm strips. On the sides and dividers mark 19mm, 387mm, 19mm, 387mm and 19mm for shelves.

Step 2. Assemble the frame

Secure the sides and dividers to the top with PVA adhesive and timber screws. Use a combination square to check the joints are 90o then secure the base with adhesive and screws. TIP Use an internal mitre clamp to square the top and dividers.

Step 3. Attach the shelves

Along the 19mm strips of the sides and dividers, drill pilot holes to secure the outer shelves with adhesive and screws then secure corner blocks to the shelves. Paint the unit then cut the backing, mark the shelf positions and secure with panel pins.

Step 4. Secure mirror & legs

On the back of the mirror apply Selleys Liquid Nails Mirror, Metal and Glass and position, leaving a gap around the mirror until the adhesive has cured before sealing with silicone. Drill 2mm pilot holes 10mm deep for the legs and secure.

Step 5. Hinge the doors

Position the hinges 50mm from the edge of the doors, drill 1.5mm pilot holes and secure with screws. Position the doors with an equal gap all round and secure the hinge to the shelf with each door fully open.

Step 6. Add door hardware

Use side cutters to cut 500mm lengths of chain, securing it 30mm from the edge and 40mm from the top of the sides and dividers, and 50mm from the edge of the door to hold it level. Attach the catch tongues and rollers then the handles.

Click on the diagram

Follow the labelled diagram to build the bookcase with a bar. It has the name of all the parts and the measurements to help you cut the components and assemble the bookcase.  

Click on the cutting list

Follow the cutting list to build the bookcase with a bar. It has the name of all the parts and the measurements to help you cut the components and assemble the bookcase.  

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