Compartment Depot Bookshelf

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 03/29/2013 - 11:00
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Free plans to build a Land of Nod Compartment Department inspired bookshelf from

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The matching desk plans (with video) are here!

Enjoy the plans and have a great weekend!

Special thanks to Dinifan for the photo!



Shopping List

4 - 1x12 @ 8 feet long OR 1 sheet of 3/4" plywood ripped into strips 11 1/4" wide (you could actually go up to 11 3/4" wide but will need to adjust side shelves/trim cut widths)
2 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
3 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long *You'll need a couple more if filling in back pieces between back and shelves)
1/2 sheet of backing material (usually 1/4" plywood or other hardboard)

Recommend assembly with 1 1/4" pocket hole screws and 1 1/4" and 2" finish nails

Common Materials
Cut List

1 - 1x12 @ 6 1/2" (divider)
4 - 1x12 @ 41" (main shelves)
1 - 1x12 @ 9" (divider)
3 - 1x12 @ 12" (divider)
2 - 1x12 @ 42 1/2" (sides)
1 - 1x12 @ 46" (top)
4 - 1x4 @ 47 1/2" (legs)
6 - 1x3 @ 11 1/4 - OR width of 1x12 (small shelves)
8 - 1x2 @ 11 1/4" - OR width of 1x12 (side rungs/trim)
4 - 1x2 @ 40 1/2" - CUT TO FIT (front/back trim)
1 - 1/4" plywood @ 44" x 44" (back)
NOTE: you may also wish to fill in back shelves with 1x2 trim to get rid of spacing between shelves and back plywood - it's up to you.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Because you have to think about leaving room for the drill when attaching, start on the inside and work your way outward. Attach divider to two shelves.

NOTE: If you don't have a pocket hole jig, you may wish to attach bottom divider (see step 4) first because there won't be room to get a standard drill in between the shelves later on.

Step 2

Next, attach divider on top. If you don't have a pocket hole jig (recommend getting one, even the tiny one would do the trick here) you could also glue and nail at an angle from both sides to keep in place, or drill holes and secure with wood dowels. There's lots of different options, I just give the easiest.

Step 3

Now attach the upper shelf, following measurements.

Step 4

And the remaining dividers. As noted in step 1, the bottom divider will be tricky to get a drill in there if not using pocket holes, so do this first if you don't have a pocket hole jig.

Step 5

Step 6

Attach sides to shelves keeping measurements carefully aligned. Measure twice cut (or nail or screw) once right?

Step 7

Mark the top 1 3/4" in on both ends and attach to top.

Step 8

Next, add the legs. Note that the legs overextend the top by 3/4" and the side 1x12 by 2 1/2". This is to fit the side shelves (see following diagrams). Test fit shelves and rungs before securing. There's 3/4" gap to top of legs as well, and legs overextend bottom shelf by 3".

Step 9

Now add the side shelves. I'd just nail and glue these babies in place.

Step 10

And then the side rungs to keep everything in place.

Step 11

Finally the front trim - definitely measure and cut to fit here.

Step 12

For the back, there's a number of different ways you could do this. You could cut the plyood to fit inside the back frame, you could fill in the back shelves with 1x material, or you could be okay with a 3/4" gap and attach plywood to back as shown here - it's up to you. You could even leave the back open if you want.

Step 13

done deal!

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Sun, 03/31/2013 - 12:27

I would like to make this twice as tall. Will it be sturdy enough if I just replace the top piece with the bottom shelf from step 5 and make the sides 85 inches tall instead of 42.5?


Thu, 08/01/2013 - 21:03

I've been looking for a good bookshelf type thing to be the "legs" to a shorter kids loft bed. The plan is for shelving at the end of the bed, cubbies at the front and use the middle area underneath for hanging clothes (no closet in the kids room.) Would this be sturdy enough to hold the weight of a bed?

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