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I'm making a built in bookcase out of 24" wall cabinets set on a 4" platform. I will need to add a small spacer on the right side because it will be up against the wall and tough to open the cabinet without it. To make it symmetrical I was planning to add the same spacer ( 1.5" ) on the other side for a total length of 51" . The wall has a thin wood paneling on it and there are a couple of holes from previous a/v boxes so I was going to add a plywood backing to the bookshelf portion. My issue is that the backing would need to be 62" x 49.5" so there would have to be a seam. Do I split the 51" bookshelf into two smaller ones and hide the seam behind where they join? Or should I keep it as one and hide the joint behind a shelf? While I am at it. ... If I go ahead and keep it one open bookcase do I need to use a small cleat along back for the shelf to sit on or can I just screw through the backing into the rear of the shelf? I definitely plan on using some 1x2 to trim out the face as well.
 

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49" is a long span for a book shelf. I would break it into two pieces with a divider in the center.

If you're set on a single span, though, you can build extra-stiff shelves and make one "fixed," then hide the joint in the back behind the fixed shelf.

Or, you can use something other than 4 x 8 material for the back (T&G boards, for example)
 

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Need a pic to fully understand what you are asking.

What I gleaned is you have (2) 24" cabinets, plus 1.5" on each side(51").

Not sure what your height is.

Not sure what the 24" cabinet construction is(face frame, frameless...)

Backing (2) 24" cabinets side to side isn't a big deal, it's 48", not sure why you have to incorporate the spacer width?
 

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Thanks NVwoodworker. The wife really wants it to be 1 bookcase so I'm gonna take the route you described. Actually all 3 shelves will be fixed but I'll hide the seam behind the 1st shelf 18 inches high.
@shoot summ.... I am using two 24 inch shaker style wall cabinets as my base. The cabinets have 1.5" birch stiles and the box is 1/2" plywood. One of the cabinets will be up against the wall and it is a full overlay door. With the pull on the door I will not be able to open the door all the way so I need a small spacer on that side. Since I have the spacer there I want to add it to the other side so the whole thing is symetrical. That being said, I am now at 51" wide. The top portion will be a 51" wide by x 61" high bookcase with 3 shelves each at 12" high. The first shelf will be 18" from the countertop. Hope that helps make it clearer.
 

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For wide bookcases, you can make a center stile and if the shelves are stationary you can fasten the shelves to the stile and the back of the cabinet. If the shelves are adjustable you can make the shelf supports on the back of the stile and install a support in the back with shelf clips or pins to support the back of the shelves.
 

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Thanks Jim. They will be stationary so I'm going to screw them into the 3/4" ply frame on all three sides and the face nail 1x2 to the front so they should be pretty sturdy. One question I still have not figured out yet is what to use as a countertop. I bought a piece of edge glued pine but it looks kind of wimpy. Im also worried it will sing easy cause it's a soft wood. Should I just use 3/4" birch ply and rip some 1x2 down as a boxing for it instead?
 

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Some of you are not reading what the poster wrote. The longest shelf is only 24". He is making two 24" wide bookcases and fastening them side by side. The spacer is to allow for door opening against the wall.


George
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey George. Thanks for the reply. To be clear, I was debating both methods.... Two 25 .5" bookcases or one 51" bookcase.
 

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Hey Everyone. Thanks again for all the tips. I have the whole unit built and installed. I am just finishing up the trim work and then will be painting it all. However, I have a dilemma with the baseboards. My default is to normally wrap the existing baseboards around the built in but I cannot do that in this case. The existing baseboards are simply 3/4" x 5" wood with a base cap on top totaling about 6.5" in height. My built in cabinets are on a 4" platform so I can't go that high. I can go about 4.25" high in the front. I have no height restrictions on left side. My initial thought was to continue the exact setup on the left side. I could do the same in the front but lower. However, I am unsure how to transition. Thoughts?
 

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Thanks NV. I am a very visual person so those renderings really help. I actually like both of these and agree it looks much cleaner than the corner blocks.
 
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