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How to Make an Upcycled Bookcase Rolling Work Table
- 2- 3 shelf bookcases
- 1- 5 shelf bookcase
- 2- 59″x29″ table tops
- You could also use 3/4″ plywood for the top and bottom.
- 1/4″ plywood (underlayment works nicely and is cheaper)
- 5- 3″ castor wheels
- Table saw or circular saw
- Impact driver and wood screws
- Construction adhesive
- Kreg jig and pocket hole screws for extending shelves (optional)
The height of my work table was super important, so I started by figuring out exactly how tall I wanted my table to end up. Then I subtracted the thickness of my Ikea tabletops (x2) and the height of my castors. The smaller bookcases needed to be cut down to this height, which ended up meaning I just needed to remove the toe kick on the front of the bookcases and trim the side boards to be even with the bottom shelf.
Before I started assembling the table, I attached the castors to the bottom of one of the table tops. I used 5 wheels, four on the outer corners (about 3 inches in from each side) and one in the center. To make sure they were stable with lots of use, I used a heavy duty construction adhesive to glue the castors to the bottom of the table. Then secure with screws. After the adhesive cures, they are not going anywhere.
Turn the table top over. Now line up the smaller bookcases where you want them on the top of it. Attach them with wood screws through the bottom shelf into the table top.
If you don’t have hoards of craft supplies, you can add your second table top and call it a day. But I need A LOT of storage if I want a room that is anywhere near organized. So I decided to add more shelves to the center of the work table. I took apart the 5 shelf (6′ foot tall) bookcase and cut down the two sides so they were the height of my smaller bookcases. Cut 4 of these from the two sides, make sure you cut them identically so the holes for the shelf pins line up properly.
Attach two of the shelf sides to the back of the small bookcases. I set mine in about 1/2″. Make sure you are using the matching pieces of the bookcases so the holes for the shelf pins line up. I attached these with my battery powered finish nailer and a few nails on the top and bottom.
Cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood so it covers the back of this new shelf area. Place this behind the shelf sides. I didn’t bother attaching it, I just placed the second set of bookcase sides on the other side so it was contained in the middle.
Now it’s time for the top. Line it up on top of your upcycled bookcases and secure. I used wood screws in through the top shelf of the bookcases into the table top.
I added the shelves to the smaller bookcases, but realized the middle bookcase area I created was about 4-5 inches larger than the shelves from the bookcase I took apart. If I didn’t have a $100 budget, I would have purchased some boards and cut them to the right length. But when I went to see how much they were, they were $15 a piece. I needed at least 2 so that was definitely out of the budget. Luckily, I found a solution that cost me nothing!
Using my Kreg jig and the left over heavy duty construction adhesive, I was able to create longer shelves from the shelves I had on hand. I cut one of the shelves into pieces that were equal to the amount needed to make the new shelf length. Place masking tape over the melamine shelf where you are cutting to prevent chipping.
Add 4 pocket holes to the edge of the new piece of shelf. Run a bead of construction adhesive along the edge, then secure the two pieces together with pocket hole screws. Once the adhesive cures, the shelf should be good to use.
Because these shelves have a seam, they will not be as strong as a regular shelf, I put all my heavy items on the bottom shelf (aka, the table top). The new, long shelves will be perfect for organizing all my other crafting supplies. And because they cost me nothing, I think that is a great solution!
Now I need to spend a day (or two) completely organizing all my stuff into the new upcycled bookcase rolling work table. Lucky for me, the hubby and I are addicted to coffee so we buy our k-cups in bulk. This leaves me with the perfect storage boxes for organizing all my things in my craft table. I just need to figure out how to pretty them up a bit! I love how the fabric covered storage boxes for my coffee console table turned out, maybe I’ll do something like that.
Also to make this work table really work for me, I topped it off with my large cutting mat. To keep it from moving around, I stuck it down with a few strips of double sided tape. It’s the perfect surface for cutting and crafting! The grid has really come in handy with lots of projects.
Lastly, I used a couple screw in hooks on the sides of the bookcases to hang my quilting rulers and french curves. I love that these large items are out of the way but right where I need them.
Seriously, this is the perfect table for my new office & craft room. And making it completely out of upcycled bookcases that were in the donate pile makes it even more perfect (if that is possible). I am considering doing a few things to pretty it up a bit more, but we will see if I have time after completing the rest of my enormous list of projects for this room.
Time to get back to work 🙂