Sunday, November 7, 2021

1:9 Scale Bookshelf Tutorial

      Terri Wright, of Priam Costumes, has generously given us this tutorial for a miniature shelf. To see more of Terri's work check out her Facebook page Thank you so much Terri! 

1:9 scale wood bookshelf tutorial

By Priam Miniatures

The elements of building this can be applied to other pieces of furniture.  You just need to employ some imagination!

Note: requires use of sharp objects.  Protect yourself by using cutting boards, safety glasses, and gloves.


1 of 3mm x 7.8 cm x 61 cm basswood sheet (1/8” x 3” x 24”) (thickness x width x length)

1 of 2mm x 7.8 cm x 61 cm  basswood sheet (1/16 x 3” x 24”) - optional

1 of 1.5mm x 2.5 x 61 cm 

1 of 1 mm x 5mm x 61 cm (optional trim)

Clamps/alligator clips

4 wood plug/button (for the legs – optional – available at hardware stores)

Wood glue

Wood filler

Box cutter knife 

Cutting board

Right angle triangle

Metal ruler in Metric

225-150 grit sandpaper



Cut your basswood sheets into the following sizes for the bookshelf tutorial.  You can cut other sizes, but will need to figure out dimensions for the related parts.

The easiest way to do this is to measure your parts on the basswood, and mark with a ruler, using a right angle triangle to ensure your parts are square.  

Then score 3 or 4 times (or more) with the box cutter knife along the marks.  Make sure you are using the cutting board and the blade is sharp.  You may have to go slowly to get the cuts straight.  You can lightly sand the edges to make them cleaner.    Plan your cuts to reduce the wood you are using.

1 of 3mm x 7.8 cm x 19 cm (Back panel) – part a

2 of 3mm x 3.9 cm x 19 cm (side panels) - part b

2 of 3mm x 8.8 cm x 4.2 cm (base/top A) – part c

5 of 3mm x 7.8 cm x 3.6 cm (base/top b) – part d (can sub 3 of 2mm x 7.8 cm x 3.6 cm, optional wood)

6 of 1.5mm x 2.5mm x 3.4 cm (shelf supports side) – part e

3 of 1.5mm x 2.5mm x 7.8 cm (shelf support rear) – part f

2 of 1mm x 5mm x 19 cm (trim) – part g (optional trim)

Lay the parts out


Centre and glue D to the top of C, making sure you leave only 3mm width from the back side of C, as shown.  I like to use the back support and mark where D would sit with a pencil, dry fit before gluing, ensuring that A sits flush with the edge of C.  Let dry.  I clamp together for about half hour with alligator clips, as shown.


Taking your pencil, ruler and part A, make marks at the following measurements for shelf supports

4.9cm, 9.5cm and 14.3 cm.


Glue parts F just below the marks you have made.  Cut off any overhangs of F.


Taking part A and assembled CD, run a line of glue at the bottom of A and firmly press into CD, using the right angle to ensure it is straight, and centered.  You may have to hold for a few minutes before it will stand on its own. Allow to set.


Next, you want to glue parts B onto the assembly.  Dry fit and make adjustments.    Run a line of glue along the bottom and side of B, as shown to attach to A and CD. Hold for a few seconds to set up. 


You can clamp at this point with hobby clamps to get the tightest fit.  Allow to dry


Glue the second CD assembly to the top, mirroring the base.  Allow to dry


Using a ruler, mark the side shelf supports with the pencil. Glue in parts E lining up with F.  Ensure the E parts do not overhang on the open side on B.


Dry fit shelves.  Adjust with minor alterations until the shelf sits cleanly and straight with no gaps.

I opted for the 2mm basswood here, for space. 

Dry fit optional trim parts, ensuring a clean, tight fit on the edges of B on either side.  Glue firmly down, employing clamps to reduce gaps.  Dry fit optional legs.  Glue into place and allow to dry overnight



After drying overnight, use wood filler and fill gaps along edges and joints.  Sand smooth.  Sand any glue mistakes, otherwise paint and stains will not penetrate the wood. 

I also sand the front and side edges of CD assemblies and the Shelves (D), so a slightly worn look.   Level the shelf and sand imperfections in the feet to ensure the shelf doesn’t wobble on a flat surface.

Stain/paint and finish, ensuring to seal your masterpiece with a sealant.

And your miniature is now completed, ready to be used!


1 comment:

timaru star ii said...

That is the cleverest use of wood finshing pegs I've ever seen! Bravo!