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U-Bild: An open-and-shut (book) case

Don and Dave Runyan provide plans for carpentry projects.
BY Don and Dave Runyan Published: October 1, 2012

A common fixture in law offices today, traditional lawyer's bookcases originally were designed to protect expensive law books. But it doesn't take a legal genius to recognize this versatile design, characterized by individual stacking compartments (“cases”) fronted by glass doors, is a classic way to display almost anything.

True to the originals, our do-it-yourself version includes oak construction (the traditional choice), a flexible, modular design and glass doors that lift out and slide back into the cases — all without the expense of an antique or a modern reproduction.

Simple enough for any woodworker, the project is constructed one case at a time, following the same steps each time; only the dimensions change. Once the cases are complete, simply stack them in whatever quantity and configuration works best for your space.

As pictured, the assembled project measures five feet tall by four feet wide by one foot deep. Individually, the bottom case is 16 inches tall, the top one is 12 inches tall and the two middle cases are each 14 inches tall.

The Lawyer's Bookcase plan, No. 700, is $9.95 and includes step-by-step instructions with photos, exploded assembly diagrams, a complete shopping list and cutting schedule and a toll-free help line for questions.

A package of three bookcase plans, No. C118, is available for $21.95 and includes this plan and two others. Include $4 per order for postage and handling and allow about two weeks for delivery.

To order by mail, clip this article and send it with a check or money order to U-Bild Features, c/o The Oklahoman, 821B S. Tremont St., Oceanside, CA 92054. To order by credit card, or to request a free catalog, call (800) 828-2453. Visit U-Bild on the web at


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