How to Make Oak Furniture

Updated April 17, 2017

Furniture that is made of solid oak wood will last forever. A good solid oak bookshelf will be strong, functional and able to be passed down through the generations. You could go to a fine furniture store and buy an expensive oak book shelf, or you could make you own for a tenth of the cost.

Use a marking pencil and a meter stick to measure and mark where you will need to make cuts. You will be making a solid oak bookcase shelf that is 6-feet tall, with shelves that are 12 inches deep and 30 inches wide. You will need two 6-foot side pieces that are 12 inches wide. You will need a top and bottom piece, each 30 inches long by 12 inches wide, and three shelf pieces that are 30 inches long and 12 inches wide. Use a skill saw to make the cuts.

Use a cordless drill and a 1/16-inch drill bit to drill small holes into the oak. You will need to make two holes on each of the pieces that measure 30 inches by 12 inches. The holes should be drill on the end of the wood, where it is 1-inch thick and should be placed at the 1/2-inch point, one on each end, 2 inches in from the edge. Drill holes on the 6-by-12 inch pieces every 18 inches--vertically--in the same fashion, 2 inches in from each edge at the centre point.

Use a stain to finish the wood. This will also protect it from moisture and dust. The shelf will be easy to wipe down when needed and will have a rich oak colour when an oak stain is used. Follow the directions on the stain you choose to ensure a smooth and even finish.

Lay out the shelf on the floor in the room where it will be. The 6-foot pieces should be aligned vertically, balanced on the 1-inch edge. Place the top and bottom ends in place, according to where the holes are drilled on them and on the top and bottom of the 6-inch sides. Insert wood screws using a cordless drill. Now you have the shell of the shelf, which is square and sturdy, thanks to those four screws. Stand the shelf up and attach the backing using a hammer and finishing nails.

Position the shelf against the wall in the spot you choose to place it. The backing should be against the wall. Insert each shelf, align it according to where the holes are drilled, and secure using a cordless drill and wood screws. Sink each screw 1/8 inch. Fill in each screw hole with oak-coloured wood glue.


Drilling holes where screws will be placed prevents cracking and splitting of hardwoods.


Use care and caution, along with protective eyewear, when using a skill saw or drill.

Things You'll Need

  • (4) 1-inch thick 12-inch by 6-foot oak boards
  • Marking pencil
  • Meter stick
  • Skill saw
  • Cordless drill
  • 1/16-inch drill bit
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • 1/4-inch sheet of oak, 6 foot by 30 inches
  • Hammer
  • Finishing nails
  • Oak-coloured wood glue
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About the Author

Sincerity Anna has been working online as a content writer since 2004. She specializes in how to articles on parenting, home repair, crafts, sewing, and design. Sincerity Anna has published nearly 400 articles on She has also published many articles on She attended the Institute of Children's Literature.