Project: Hidden Bookend World

For the last few years, I’ve been making my wife overly complicated and time consuming Xmas presents. For this year, I have been inspired by this post and wanted to do something similar as she’s a huge book lover (being a teacher-librarian).

I’m going to try and make a library scene out of laser cut ply, then throw some angry pixies inside it for some backlighting. I have a rough idea of how it’s going to go in my head, but as always as I get started on design it’s likely to turn out significantly differently.

Starting this post as I am terrible with actually documenting the projects I am working on


Where I got to today…not very far

Basic dimensions are 225x150x100 - around the same as most hardcover books, with the width of 3. I was kicking along nicely, then remembered that I hadn’t accounted for any of the laser kerf! From testing I did on the laser back in the day, I know it was around 0.15mm, so what I’ve done is allowed 0.2mm with a little nodule bit which protrudes an extra 0.1mm. This should give me a slight interference fit on the nodules, but reasonably loose everywhere else (assuming I get plywood which is 0.3mm - another story altogether. When I get some material to test and the laser is going again, I’ll do some more measuring to try and get this as accurate as possible as I had a bunch of issues with kerf when I was doing my ring boxes.

for you detailing, I would suggest doing a bunch of sketches before commiting to your 3d modelling. just knowing roughly what you’re planning will massively speed things up. Also collecting photos of alleyways/apartments externals for inspiration will also be a great help here.

I’m doing a library, which I think will be a little easier.

I’m pretty much just going to make the library we’ve got at home, which is about the right proportions already thankfully

Width will effect how well the mirror works so be careful going so wide :slight_smile:

Also if youre modelling the library it will be in you gotta model itself inside itself hahahahaha :smiley:

I has a chair! I might add a few details in for etching, but it is the rough dimensions/size that I want it.

Managed to break Fusion repeatedly as I found it doesn’t like imported splines, but after redrawing them it worked ok

1 Like

So, back to this.

Long story short, it took well over a month for a sheet of plywood which I’d ordered to show up. That, combined with keeping busy on other paid work has kept me away from finishing this off.

I ended up with 4mm plywood (which is ALL within 0.1mm thickness), so starting to redesign to suit. Thankfully I am getting a little bit better with Fusion so the process isn’t so painful.

I’ve set myself a goal of finishing this off by Valentines Day at the latest

I gotta say, it’s a real jerk trying to lay out and design everything keeping internal/external kerf widths in mind.

I have the ‘bookcase’ done, which I will cut a bunch of different height pieces of plywood and create a stack to sit inside there as books. I think this is just about the main structure finished, except maybe a faux-chandelier on the roof, maybe a window at the back to let some light in from the LED’s, etc.

I also added some of the holes for the electrical stuff, although this would be very easy to cut by hand when it’s all done and assembled.


Decided to test cut the chair as it’s unlikely to undergo any more changes before this is finishes.

Had to redraw a large amount of it due to Inkscape not liking splines, but pretty happy with how it turned.

It’s a snug push fit, so nothing will require glue

Bookshelf and side done.

Still all press fit; I did have to trim one book down in each row so it was a more comfortable fit, but definitely not going to require any glue

1 Like

Done all the cutting, just have to add the light circuit.


Finished this off a little while ago. Although it was late, I got approximately all of the brownie points from the wife.

Getting approximately 10 hours of battery life from the lighting circuit - I wanted cheap and easy, so I ended just using a RC car NiCAD pack.