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Hi all,

I am very new and inexperience with wood.

My mother would like a bookcase. I've made a tall thin one before, but my mother would like one to be three shelves high, and 5 or six feet long!

I can use either 3/4 pine boards or 3/4 oak boards (more expensive! but it is my mother... sigh...).

But going for something 5 feet or more long, weighted down with books, I don't know if the wood will hold.

DOes anyone know if i should use screws or nails, (which are stronger) and how long they should be?

Also, how much weight can 3/4 wood hold when it is 5 feet long?

any help is much appreciated.

thank you and take care
Michael
 

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Going 5' long you would need a center divider. 6' you would need two dividers. It's not good to span more than 30" with a shelf. If you put dividers in it you could drill a series of 3/16" holes in the sides and make the shelves adjustable. Then all it would need is 5mm spoon pins to support the shelves. A lot of people use peg board as a pattern to drill the holes.

I would only use headed screws if you could put them where it doesn't show. There are finished screws that have a tiny head you could use, 2" should work fine. It would be stronger than nails but if you use glue to assembly it the nails would be fine.
 

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Hi all,

I am very new and inexperience with wood.

My mother would like a bookcase. I've made a tall thin one before, but my mother would like one to be three shelves high, and 5 or six feet long!

I can use either 3/4 pine boards or 3/4 oak boards (more expensive! but it is my mother... sigh...).

But going for something 5 feet or more long, weighted down with books, I don't know if the wood will hold.

DOes anyone know if i should use screws or nails, (which are stronger) and how long they should be?

Also, how much weight can 3/4 wood hold when it is 5 feet long?

any help is much appreciated.

thank you and take care
Michael
A few questions. Will this be a wall hung or a cabinet that sits on the floor? What tools do you have...tablesaw...router and bits? Being only 5' or so long, you may only need one center divider.




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One devider would work, either lumber will work too. I have made several bookcases, I always cut a dado groove in the sides for the shelves, this will also add support. I have the adjustable dado blade from sears, it is carbide. Be sure to cut a dado in a scrap piece of wood first. I also used drywall screws, predrill your holes for the screw heads, drill em deep enough to put a wood plug over the screw and then sand em flush with a sander. You can buy plug cutters for a frill press and cut plugs to match your lumber.
 

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You can also put a back on the bookcase, 1/4 inch plywood will work, if you don't make the shelves adjustable, you nail through the back into the shelves, this will add strength also.
 

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First I do not believe that "screws, nails and bookcases" belong in the same grouping. I would use NO nails or screws. Screws would be conditionally OK if used in a manner where they did not show.

Glue has all of the strength that you need.

Cabinetman's questions need answering. I am with Steve on not making one long shelf 5' long. Too much chance of a sag. One or two dividers should be used. Two if there is no back and one would be OK if there is a back.

I also like Steve's idea of making the shelves adjustable. In that case if you go to 72" you need two dividers.

George
 

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What do you guys think of putting in a 1/2" or 3/4" plywood back, with a dado for additional shelf support?
 
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