Weekend Project | Sawhorse Bookshelf
Home Ideas Magazine - September 2017
Contributed by: Annette Amdahl
Time: 5 Hours
• 4 - Pine 8' 2x4s
• 8 - Pine 1"x4"x16.25"
• 2 - Pine 12' 1"x10"
• 1 - Pine 19" 2x4
• Wood glue
• Pen or pencil
• 8 - 1.5" screws
• 1.25" brad nails
• Tape measure
Cut your boards
The main length of this project consists of four 8' 2x4s as the legs. You can buy these stock at any lumber yard, but when you get them home, it's a good idea to trim off both ends and cut them all to the exact same length. Having the legs the same length is important to make sure the end project sits level on the ground. To figure out the width of the ladder 'rungs' set two of the 2x4s next to one of the 1x10 boards and measure the wide of the three side by side. This should give you eight 16.25" wide ladder rungs (see image 1).
Attach the ladders
Lay four of the ladder rungs out in their general location on top of the three boards you had sitting out from the previous step (see image 2). To evenly space out the rungs on the legs, use a tape measure and make a mark every sixteen inches down each of the eight foot legs (see image 3). Apply glue to each of the rungs and then attach them to the main legs using your brad nailgun (see image 4). Do this to the second set of legs and you'll end up with two ladders with four rungs each (see image 5).
You can find a set of sawhorse brackets at most hardware stores. They run about five dollars per set (see image 6). For this project, I decided to make them a darker color. To do this, I applied a couple light coats of a dark spray paint (see image 7). Once your brackets have dried, attach them to the top of your two ladder pieces by sliding them over the top ends of each (see image 8) and then attach them with screws (see image 9). Once the ladders are attached to the brackets, you can stand the piece up on its short ends in an a-frame shape. Before you spread the legs out too far, insert your fifth shorter 2x4 piece in between the top clamps of the piece.
Cut your shelves to size
Once your main a-frame is set up in it's final place, you will then determine the length of your shelves by measuring from the left rung to the right run and add an extra 16" to the length of that measurement. This will allow for an 8" overhang on each shelf. Once they are all cut, you can go ahead and lay the shelves in place on the legs (see image 10).
Apply your finish
This step is easiest to do before any of your pieces are attached, but can be done at the end. Apply a wood stain to each board (see image 11) and finish off with a coat of a shellac or polyurethane.
Put the bookshelf in place
At this point you can still fold up your shelf for transportation. Once it is in it's final location, put the horizontal shelves back into place and attach them with a short wood screw by screwing them from the top of each shelf through to each ladder rung.