Reading is a hobby to some and an academic requirement for others. Regardless, you should have your personal reading space to enhance your reading experience. The purpose of this article is to show you how to design your reading nook bookshelf like these.

Steps to Build a Reading Nook

Step 1: Cutting the Plywood

The first step is about cutting the wood for the bench into the correct measurements:

  • Two pieces measuring 18 by 55 cm
  • One piece measuring 14 by 53.5 cm
  • Two pieces measuring 18 by 18 cm
  • Six pieces measuring 14 by 18 cm
  • Two pieces measuring 4 by 18 cm.

The track saw is recommended for this task, but a circular saw is a good alternative.

Step 2: Assembling the Seat Backs and Attaching them to the Top Panel of the Bench

  • Position the saw to cut on the top and bottom at 37 degrees to get two 18 by 18 cm panels.
  • Use wood glue and some brad nails to assemble the two seatbacks, with the panels measuring 18 by 18cm, 14 by 18cm, and 4 by 18cm, respectively. This will hold them together till it’s time to attach them to the top panel of the bench.
  • Use a bandsaw to cut the inner dimensions of both seatbacks on a couple of plywood offcuts. They will serve as the supports for the seatbacks.
  • Then cut three spacer blocks, so the supports are 9 inches in from the seatback.
  • Drill some accessible pocket holes for attaching to the seatback uprights. However, ensure you hide these holes on the backside for an easy cover-up.
  • Now, use a good number of screws to attach the seatbacks to the top panel of the bench. Please ensure you countersink and pre-drill.

Step 3: Assembling the Bench Carcass

  • Ensure there is a space of roughly 18 inches between each book cubby.
  • Mark the half-lap joints that are half of the center divider’s width, which is about 7 inches.
  • Use your saw to cut the 3/4cm dados to align with the thickness of the wood, then chisel out the remaining part.
  • On both 14 by 18cm dividers, cut in a dado of 7 inches
  • Drill pocket holes around the perimeter on the backside of the panel.
  • Use wood glue to attach the half-lap joints.
  • Place the bottom panel and attach them with pocket screws.
  • Connect the 14 by 18cm end panels using screws.
  • Attach all the screws remaining.

Step 4: Installation of the Face Frame

  • Use a planner and jointer to modify the thickness of the maple board and align it with the plywood.
  • Divide the maple into ½ inch strips and align with the bench carcass. A couple of these strips should have a minimum length of 56 cm.
  • Use both the wood and CA glue to attach the face frame and secure it with tape.
  • Trim the face frame pieces that are overhanging.
  • Smoothen the edges to make them blunt.

Step 5: Assembly and Installation of Cushion

  • Cut the ½cm plywood panels to fit the benchtop and the two seatbacks. Measure two pieces to 17 by 18cm for the back seat and one piece to 26 by 18cm for the benchtop.
  • Measure them to fit and cut them to be a bit smaller to allow the batting, foam, spacing, and fabric.
  • Use a router to smoothen the cushion material around the edges of the wood.
  • Use spray adhesive to attach the cushions.
  • Use an electric knife to cut the foam to size.
  • Cut the batting to size so it will pull tight over the cushion.
  • Use staples to attach the cushion to the plywood bottom. Trim and finish the corners.
  • Cut and place the fabric to pull evenly and tight over the cushion
  • Use at least three coats of clear shellac to finish the entire bench. Ensure you sand between each coat.
  • Use screws to attach the cushions from beneath.

Step 6: Installation of Backer Board and Rubber Feet

  • Use an ⅛inch plywood to cut a backer board to cover the back of the cushion and conceal those holes.
  • Place four rubber feet beneath the chair.

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