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  • #16
    Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

    Originally posted by strum View Post
    I've never made anything using dowels.. alwasy been worried that I would never get the holes alligned right

    Is there a good tool that helps with that?

    edit:
    By the way, the plan is to make this much bigger then what they sell. I want this for an entire wall section of 9'x7' so I will be using 3/4 stock.. Still deciding if i will paint it to match the wall or get a good wood finish..
    For the alignment, I think I would try building a jig out of pegboard to make sure the dowels are in the same place in this application.

    I've used this $11 doweling jig from Rockler with good success, but I don't think it will help with the alignment in the middle of the shelf, which is why I think a pegboard jig might be better.

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...doweling%20jig

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    • #17
      Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

      Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
      I'm in the process of moving, so I have an empty book shelf which I'll take a picture of later this afternoon and post here. I also have a Sketchup illustration if you're interested.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS
      That would be great if you could post those. Every bit of info can help..

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

        Originally posted by strum View Post
        I've never made anything using dowels.. alwasy been worried that I would never get the holes alligned right

        Is there a good tool that helps with that?

        edit:
        By the way, the plan is to make this much bigger then what they sell. I want this for an entire wall section of 9'x7' so I will be using 3/4 stock.. Still deciding if i will paint it to match the wall or get a good wood finish..
        Are you planning on building this in place and then leaving it there? A 9' x 7' shelving unit will never fit through a standard door opening.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

          Here's a bunch of photos of what I term a "Simple" bookcase. While the first photos are just one unit, it is easy to build, requires a minimum of tools and assembly is just a matter of getting the components into the room and going at it with a screw driver. If you want a "wall", these can easily be fastened together, side-by-side and in the last photos, you can see I've applied the same basic, simple technique to a build-in wall unit, a small two section unit (using three verticals) and a couple of corner units.

          None of these are heirlooms, or even "furniture". Just basic, get the job done, because the subject is "books", not the shelving! So, overall the design is really basic, but they're relatively sturdy, and easy to move into place. Once populated they're pretty substantial. In these photos, they are self standing. In my other house (the last four or five photos) where I'm building a library, the floors are not particularly level (built in 1887). So after shimming the base, I also screw them to the wall through the horizontal supports at the top and middle.

          All of these are #2 common pine, filled, sanded, and painted. The pictures of the corner units, though populated are not yet finished. I have trim to add and will be making a raised panel design for the ends.

          I do have both Corel and Sketchup drawings and about the only thing that changes is the width of individual units (to fit the space). I made a template that works for the side pieces and it's a simple matter of laying the template in place, using a prick-punch to mark the holes and then go from there. (I've taken pictures of that whole process for another friend of mine.) Nice part about the latest builds is that I now have a shop of sorts and the work flow is much more efficient. The first units were all done out on my deck using a couple of saw horses and the beforementioned hand tools.


          Here's the basic unit as a standalone bookcase





          This is the base. Here it is made around the verticals, but I modified the design so now I make a separate base and fasten the verticals to it.



          Here's the middle shelf which is screwed to the vertical. It keeps the sides from buldging out like a pear. Note the plugs that hide the screw. Essential as a standalone.



          This is the inside, middle showing the horizontal support across the back. This one, combined with the base and a similar support at the top, provides for vertical ridgidity, no sway.



          This is the top, which is fastened through the side (note the plugs). Depending on the design, you can either go this way, or add the top as a cap, in which case you'd fasten it downward into the vertical.



          Inside photo of the top, showing the horizontal brace which is fastened in from the two side verticals. If you're concerned with stability, you can fasten either or both of the horizontal pieces to the wall.


          Last photo of the individual bookcase showing the loose shelves simply resting on shelf pins. In this case, they're 1/4-inch angle supports. Mostly designed for adjustable shelves, I only drill one set of holes for each shelf, as I prefer all my shelves to align between each case.



          The picture below is two of the three units that we have in our television room here in Painted Post. I have two similar units in another room which stores my old hobby and work books. Both of those are slightly taller and wider, and made from MDF. Not nice stuff IMO and I prefer to work with real wood, even if it is pine.



          This the wall unit in my wife's cookbook room at the future home. Same basic design, though "built-in" with and added unit at the bottom.


          A closer shot, showing only one half of the wall area. Note that because I'm between two solid walls, there's no need to tie the middle shelves to the side verticals.


          Here's another wall with a two-section application. Too long a span for a shelf (sags at anything over 34 inchs or so). In this case I had to use a little creativity to use only one vertical in the middle. Would have been much easier with two seperate sections tied together.


          This is one of two corner units in the main library. Ignore the sides, as they're not dressed up yet. To tie the corners together, I used five horizontal "corner pieces" which hold the two sections together.


          The second corner section at the north end of the library. Eventually I'll add a crown molding across the top and a base molding around the bottom. Apply a "raised panel" to the sides and put window seats under all the windows. Hopefully it will dress the whole thing out nicely.



          Well, that it. Certainly nothing like the furniture, heirloom stuff that most of the guys here post. But it works for us and at this point in life I can't afford the the quality woods that I would have liked. The nice part about this kind of assembly though is that it's easy to put together, AND it's easy to take apart, in case I want to do something better in the future. Of course there's having to move aaaaaaallllllll those books. Hey, that I'll leave to the wife! (NOT hardly! ).

          Again, I do have a SketchUp of the basic design should anyone want it.

          I hope this helps,

          CWS

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          • #20
            Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

            Man, you must have some looooong winters up there in NY.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

              Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
              CWS
              Good points put across with the pictures.
              Mechanical joinery is sometimes very acceptable. Considering that the shelf is supposed ot be so large (9 by7 feet) I would have no problem with 2 1/2" wood screws going through side walls and into, at least some of the horizontal shelves. The screw heads can be covered by a variety of means:

              - wood plugs (pre-drill 5/16" holes to drive the screw heads into the sides neatly and eep enough, about 1/8")
              - plastic screw head covers (the are sold in hardware stores a dime a dozen)
              - sides of the walls if the book shelf is built in some corner where the exterior sides of the whole shelving unit are not visible.
              In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

                Man those pictures are awesome. Gives me some good ideas. I think i'm lower my difficulty level and create a two section bookcase like you have pictured. Like you said, I can add sections to it later as needed.

                I picked up some #2 pine today for this. Was really surprised how much clear pine costs. I've spent the last three hours tring to draw out the cuts and figuring out the math.. wish there was a software that made that easier.. Google searches take you to 100 different products that cost alot of money..

                Edit..
                by the way, I found a good picture of a high quality version of this.
                http://www.csnbookcases.com/Mash-Stu...5-MAS1011.html

                I might make one of these as my skills improve..

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

                  This is a free cutlist program that has helped me a ton.
                  http://www.delphiforfun.org/Programs/cutlist.htm

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

                    Not to be confused with CutList Plus which is not free software.
                    http://cutlistplus.com/

                    But you can download a free demo.
                    "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

                      Strum,

                      You've already started to buy wood? I usually don't do that until I have everything planned out, so I know pretty much what I've got to do and how I'm going to do it.

                      I looked at the picture you posted, and it seems simple enough with some very minor modifications. First, I'd make three self standing units with the idea of joining them together at the top and bottom.

                      I see in the photo that the bookcase/storage unit appears to sit on one long box-like structure about 3 or 4 inches high. I'd change that, using five box/base structures, all built individually. Three would be used to make the three individual, standalone units. The other two base would then join the three units together at the bottom.

                      For the verticals, I would make two of them with shelf support (pins) holes only on one side. On the right side of one self-standing unit, and one on the left side of another self-standing unit. (These would be the right and left sides of the entire structure. The other verticals would have shelf mounting holes on both sides.

                      So, you now end up with three self standing units, one on each side and one in the middle, with those two extra bases, you'd fasten them between the three units, and at that point you now have the makings of your entire structure in place. I'd then place a top cap on the thing, resulting in a complete structure, waiting only for the shelves to be put into place.

                      At the top, the two spaces are going to be with out a top piece, but that can be added simply by mounting "shelf-like" pieces to the top cap.

                      All this is probably hard to picture, so I'll try to put a Sketchup illustration together later today and post it for you. Can you give me the dimensions that you want... total width, height, and how deep are these. My bookcases are typically 9-1/4 (using 1 x 10 pine).

                      Also, you should note that my use of #2 pine is based on two things... one- I'm painting them (stain on current sappy wood doesn't work too well); and two- the cost for clear pine is absurd!

                      So given that, the main thing you want is no cracks, no splinters, no loose or knocked out knots, and no buggered edges. Now none of that should exist in #2 pine, but the big box stores don't have a clue and if you buy lumber there, you're gonna have to do a lot of sorting. But I've found what I needed, it just takes time. Also, depending on where you live, you don't want to stock up and everything immediately. Here in NY, the stuff will warp, twist, and cup on you if it's just sitting waiting for you to get to it. Main thing is you want straight wood, no cups or twists. You'll also want to take into account the knots and whether their location will be a problem as you process through the work cycle.

                      I buy what I need for the verticals and the base. In your case, that would be six verticals, and probably three or four 1 x 4's to build up the base.

                      With #2 pine, you're going to have to do some serious sanding and some filling. I've been using Elmer's interior/exterior Carpenter's Wood Filler. A 32 oz tub is about $7, IIRC and it has lasted me through everything I shown pictures of. I sand all surfaces with a 150 grit using my ROS. On the edges, I use my little Ryobi Corner Cat and I "ease" the edges. When done, I vacuum all surfaces, apply the wood filler where needed, wait a few hours and sand again, this time using a 220 grit on my 1/4 sheet sander. I then cut the lengths, mark my holes (using my template), and then drill all the holes. Afterwards I paint. I have painted first, before marking and drilling, but then I find things a bit scuffed and I have to paint again.


                      I'm not sure how big a hurry you are, but I'm going to Binghamton tomorrow morning (Monday). I don't have internet service there so I can't make contact. But, I'm going to be building three new bookcases and at this point everything is sanded and ready for drilling, cutting, and base fabrication. I'd gladly take pictues and post them when I return the following Monday. That may delay you though.

                      So, give me some dimensions and I'll make you a sketch and post it later this evening, if you'd like.

                      I hope this helps,

                      CWS
                      Last edited by CWSmith; 08-23-2009, 04:52 PM. Reason: Added more information

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

                        Hi CWSmith,

                        Thanks for the offer..

                        I want the case 48" wide, 84" high, and 12" deep.

                        I picked up #2 pine that is 8'x12"x3/4".

                        Since the bookcase is 4' wide, I want to put a vertical board in the center also.

                        kind of like..

                        ----------------
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... | 10 cubes total
                        ----------------
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... |
                        ----------------
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... |
                        ----------------
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... |
                        ----------------
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... |
                        |........ |......... |
                        ----------------
                        ---------------- 4" kicker


                        Thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

                          I made storage cubes very similar to what you want to build. I used 1/2 plywood with dados for the shelves. It turned out really well and stronger than I would have imagined.

                          I would recommend building 3 or 4 separate units (3, 4, or 5 cubes high) that you can screw together when you are finished. This will allow for you to move it into place and transport it to its final destination.

                          Best of luck on your project. We would all love to see your progress and end result.

                          Regards,
                          Chris

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

                            Well it's finally done! Took me two full weekends but that's because this is my first attempt at something this big and first attemp with some of the new tools too dado cuts are fun once you figure out how to do them with the router.. (don't have saw blade)

                            It's strong enough to hold alot of weight on each shelf.

                            Here is my diagram


                            Finished building it. I added 2" x 3/4" trim all around and up center.


                            Base corners, had to use some wood puddy to fill in some small gaps.


                            Painted and empty


                            Full of books..

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                            • #29
                              Re: Trying to build a bookshelf

                              Strum,

                              Looks good, very nice job... thanks for posting it.

                              CWS

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