Step by step tutorial on how to build a Star Wars TIE fighter bookshelf. This geeky woodworking project will make the perfect gift for the Star Wars fan in your life. It is a great beginner project that can be completed within a day.
Since the release of The Force Awakens, whenever I brainstorm new project ideas a Star Wars related idea always comes up! Today’s project just so happens to be another Star Wars themed project; it’s a TIE fighter bookshelf! I was able to make use of some scrap lumber I already owned. Paint was the only item I purchased for the project. Everything else I had on hand. Follow along and build one for yourself or the Star Wars fan in your life.
And, if you like this DIY, check out my tutorial for a Star Wars Marquee Wall Art Sign!
A TIE fighter bookshelf
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Tools and Supplies
The following items are some of the tools and supplies I gathered to create the TIE fighter bookshelf.
- Circular saw
- Kreg Jig (for joining boards, love this tool)
- JawHorse (for securing the lumber for cutting, it’s an awesome 2nd pair of hands)
- Ruler / Straight edge
- Orbital Sander
- Scrap lumber
- 3/4 thick plywood 13 inches x 26 inches
- 1×8 board 48 inches long
- Gray paint (1 pint)
- Black paint (1 pint)
- 1″ thick painter’s tape
- 1/2″ thick washi tape (I used this in place of painter’s tape)
- Wood glue
- Wood filler
- 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
How to build a TIE Fighter Bookshelf
One of my goals for 2016 is to learn how to use SketchUp so I can share pretty woodworking plans and diagrams.
Step 1: Cut the wood to the appropriate sizes
First up, take the piece of plywood and cut it in half. You should have two 13 inch squares. I used my mini circular with a track guide to cut the plywood down to the appropriate lengths.
You will also cut the 1×8 board in half. This will leave you with two pieces at 24 inches long.
Step 2: Cut out the TIE fighter wing shape
- Draw a line from the mid-point of each side
- Measure 2 inches from a corner, and create a line from that point to a mid-point
Step 3: Drill pocket holes.
I really like pocket hole joints. They’re really easy to make and very sturdy. I used my Kreg Jig to create several pocket holes.
- I created 3 pocket holes on the length of one of the 1×8 boards.
- I created 2 pocket holes on each side of the 1×8 boards.
Step 4: Sand the lumber!
Spend some time cycling through different grits of sand paper. I used my orbital sander equiped with sandpaper grits of 60, 80, 100, 120, and 220.
Step 5: Paint the bookshelf
Once sanding is complete, prime the bookshelf. Once the primer is dry, paint the shelf with a base coat of gray.
Painting the TIE Fighter Wings
- With the 1 inch painter’s tape, tape the border of the TIE fighter wing.
- Use the tape to connect opposing corners
- Use the tape to create a small hexagon-like shape at the intersection of all the tape lines
- Cover the uncovered areas with black paint
Repeat these steps for each side of the wings.
Painting the TIE Fighter Cockpit
- Draw the shape of a semi-circle in the center of the 1×8 boards.
- Imagine the boards are joined at 90 degrees, the circle’s midpoint is at the center of the joint
- When the boards are joined, one side will be 3/4 longer than the other
- On the board that does not have pocket holes lengthwise, offset the semi-circle by 3/4 inch.
- Draw the shape of a octagon in the center of the previously drawn circle
- On the board that does not have pocket holes lengthwise, offset the octagon by 3/4 inch as well.
- With 1/2 thick painter’s tape (I actually used some washi tape) mask off from each point on the octagon to the outer circle. (See picture below)
- Paint the uncovered areas within the circle with black paint
The diameter of the outer circle is 10″. The width of the inner octagon is 4 1/4″ and the length of each side is 1 5/8″.
You could skip this step because books will probably cover the cockpit, but I think it adds a really nice touch.
Step 6: Assemble the shelf
You can assemble the shelf before painting. I painted half, then assembled and painted the remaining half.
Join the 1×8 boards at 90 degrees. Attach the shelf to each wing. I winged it on joining the shelf to wings.
I covered my pocket holes with wood filler, but pocket holes are not visible from the front.
Step 7: Seal the project
Finally, coat the shelf with your favorite sealer.
The TIE Fighter Bookshelf
The bookshelf cost me roughly 7 bucks! That was the cost of the paint. This was great use of some leftover lumber and it’s bringing a bit of much needed order to my son’s book collection.
Check out my other Star Wars themed projects!
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