DIY Sawhorse Bookcase and How-To Video

We are back with another 3-tool project and another DIY video! Come build this DIY Sawhorse Bookcase with us! Just click HERE or the image below to watch our how-to video.

With only 3 tools and less than $50 in materials, we built this super unique bookcase that’s perfect for any room!


You can download the free, printable plans by clicking HERE and follow along with us while we build, below!

We have designed 5 projects using only these three tools:

Tool #1: 18-Volt Miter Saw

Tool #2: 18-Volt Brad Nailer

Tool #3: 18-Volt Drill

This Ladder Bookcase is the second build of the five! If you missed the first one, you can find it HERE or you can get all five of the project plans now in our new e-book! It’s only $4.99 and you will get ALL FIVE, 3 tool project plans that you can download directly to your device! Click HERE to for the e-book! And as a thank you for your purchase, we’ve also included a bonus printable as a thank you 🙂

Now for the build!


We started by spray painting the sawhorse brackets. This is not a necessary step, unless you don’t want them to be silver. This was our first step because this bookcase is such a quick build and we didn’t want to wait for the paint to dry. We found these brackets at Home Depot for about $7 for the set.


Next, we used our 18V Ryobi Miter saw to cut all of our pieces. This miter saw will cut up to a 1×4, but if you flip the board after your first cut, you can cut up to a 1×8!


Once the cuts were made, we spaced the side rails for the ladder. Here’s a tip: Put two shelf pieces next to each other, between two side rails. This will guarantee that your shelf pieces will fit between the rails 😉


To attach the rungs, we started with the bottom piece and worked our way up. Refer to the plans for the proper placement. We used a dab of glue on each rail and attached the rungs with 1 1/4″ brad nails, in our 18-volt nailer. The edges of the rungs should be flush with the outside edges of the side rails.


We worked our way up the ladders, attaching the rungs the same way.


Once we built both ladders, we held them together, rungs facing out, and slipped a sawhorse bracket over the top ends of each ladder.


Next, we used out 18-volt drill and small hex screws to secure the brackets in place.


Then, we stood the ladder upright, with the ladders still together, and placed the top board in the opening end of the sawhorse brackets.


We pulled the bottom of the ladders apart, so that the teeth at the top of the brackets sunk into the top board. Then, we used a 1 1/4″ Spax screw to secure the top board in place.  You can find lots of these screws on Amazon HERE if you have trouble finding them locally.


With the brackets and ladders in place, we slid the shelf pieces over the rungs. Refer to the plans for proper placement.


We attached shelf pieces to the rungs with 1 1/4″ brad nails. Make sure the nailer is lined up so that the nails will shoot directly into the rungs.

Briarsmoke Stain by Varathane

Our final step was to add a finish! We chose our current fave, Briarsmoke stain by Varathane. We wiped on one coat of stain with a clean cloth, let the stain sit for about 5 minutes, then we wiped the stain, to blend it, with a fresh, clean cloth.


That was IT! How easy is that?!


Now, you can dress it up however you like! It would be a pretty easy modification to build two ladder bookcases and run one long second shelf between the two to create a desk! Whatever you choose to do with yours, share a picture with us on our social media accounts so that we can see it and share with our readers!


Don’t forget to check out the how-to video for this Ladder Bookcase, HERE!

And, if you are too impatient to wait for the remaining three plans, in our 3-tool DIY project series, you can download our e-book HERE for only $4.99 to get ALL FIVE 3-tool project plans, plus the bonus printable today!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Ashley and Whitney