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DIY industrial wooden bookshelf with various decorated items on it.

Overview

This industrial style wooden bookshelf not only looks great, it's the perfect home for those bits and pieces that would otherwise be on the floor. Find out how easy it is to build a modern bookshelf like this in just a short amount of time.

Steps

1Cut your timber

To make this D.I.Y. project even easier you can have the timber pre-cut to size at your local Bunnings. First, we had our 42mm x 19mm pine cut to:

Large triangular frame

  • 330mm x 7
  • 245mm x 2
  • 700mm x 2
  • 2030mm x 4

Small triangular frame

  • 330mm x 5
  • 245mm x 2
  • 700mm x2
  • 1750mm x 4

We then cut our 240mm x 45mm Tasmanian Oak to:

  • 2030mm x 4
Slats of timber in various lengths lying on the floor.

2Cut the mitre join

Set the mitre saw to 10 degrees. Take one of the 2030mm lengths of timber and make a mitre cut at the end. Measure and mark the desired length of the A-frame on the timber. Make another mitre cut, making sure it's a mirror image of the first. Repeat this for the three other lengths of timber that make up the frame.

Person using circular saw to cut piece of timber.

3Make the A-frame

Once you've cut the timber for the frames, it's time to join them. Take the two longer pieces and a 700mm piece and lay them out to form a triangle. Clamp the timber to the workbench. Use the 3mm drill bit to pre-drill holes, then glue and screw into place using the 50mm screws. Repeat this process to make the other A-frame.

Person drilling two bits of timber together to create bookshelf side.

4Attach the braces

To attach the braces, take a piece of the 330mm timber and place it at the apex of the triangle. Pre-drill, glue and screw the timber to the top of the triangle. Then attach another two 245mm pieces at the base following the same process. Pre-drill using the 3mm drill bit, glue and screw with the 50mm screws.

Clamp holding down three lengths of timber while a person drills them together.

5Join the frames together

Put one A-frame on top of the other. Use a timber offcut to help clamp the brace into place. Pre-drill with the 3mm drill bit before securing using glue and your 50mm screws in each corner of the A-frame.

Person assembling one side of DIY industrial wooden bookshelf.

6Make the smaller A-frame

Repeat previous steps to make the second, smaller A-frame using the 1750mm lengths of timber.

Person drilling two bits of timber together to create bookshelf side.

7Measure and mark for the shelf supports

Once you've made two A-frames for the bookshelf, measure and mark the position of the shelf supports. You can put these wherever you like, but make sure the positions correspond with both frames so the shelves sit straight.

The easiest way to do this is to use the inverted small triangle and place a straight edge across the top to establish where the supports should go for the larger triangle. Repeat the process for each support along the length of the A-frame. For the small A-frame, our first shelf measured 510mm from the base or apex. The next shelf measured 610mm from the bottom of the first shelf to the bottom of the second. From the bottom of the second shelf to the top of the frame measured 660mm.
Person using metal ruler and pencil to make a mark on a length of timber.

8Attach the supports

The supports are attached to the outside of the frame by pre-drilling with the 3mm drill bit, gluing and screwing in 30mm screws. We attached two supports to the smaller A-frame, the top of the frame formed a shelf support in its own right. For the larger A-frame we attached three shelf supports to the outer frame.

Person drilling bits of timber together to finish book shelf side.

9Putty and sand

Putty up any screw holes and gaps. Leave to dry and give a light sand with 120 grit sandpaper.

Person using wood filler on bit of timber to cover up major holes.

10Paint the frames

You can paint the A-frames any colour you like. We used black to give it an industrial look. When using the spray paint wear a mask and do it in a well ventilated room. Use smooth, even sprays to ensure a seamless finish.

Person spray painting timber book shelf side black.

11Sand the shelves

The timber for the shelves has been pre-cut at Bunnings but give it a light sanding with the 120 grit sandpaper and finish off with the 240 grit sandpaper. Wipe away any dust.

Person using power sander to sand length of timber.

12Wax the shelves

We used a Carnauba wax to bring out the grain and help protect the hardwood. Use a rag to apply the wax all over the shelves.

Person wearing gloves using a cloth to varnish a timber book shelf.

13Assemble the bookshelf

Once the shelves are waxed and dry, slide them into the bookshelf. You'll need an extra pair of hands to hold the inverted A-frame in place while the shelves are placed on the supports. You can secure with screws if you want a sturdier bookshelf.

DIY industrial wooden bookshelf against a grey wall.

14Display your handiwork

Now it's time to step back and enjoy your new industrial wooden bookshelf. Why not use it to display your favourite plants and mementos or store books and folders so they're out of the way. 

DIY industrial wooden bookshelf with various decorated items on it.

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.