Office Shelf

Shelf - 9Yesterday was the last day of the school year, and I wanted to celebrate, so I went to my favourite hardware store and bought some wood! Two 3m planks of composite wood, plus a pack of thinner wood, was a tight squeeze in my sedan! My intention was to build a new shelf to replace the old recycled junk I have been putting up with until now, an old flatpack TV unit and a crappy set of draws, not enough space, and piled to the sky.

  • Here’s the wood I bought, and it didn’t take long to start cutting. The space available for the shelf resulted in a unit 1.5m wide and 85cm high, inset a little at the bottom, and with three shelves high enough for most tall books.

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  • Cutting the sides meant allowing for the small inset at the bottom, I cut it in 3cm and 4cm high to match the size of the wood I bought.

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  • Unfortunately I didn’t photograph all of the bottom assembly, but as you can see here there is a block set in the thickness of the bar that goes across the front bottom, and a short bar cut from the same material to support the bottom shelf. In hindsight this could have been done with just one piece of wood, but I had already installed the small piece when I realised that I also need to support the shelf, hence the two pieces. In any case, they are out of sight, so out of mind.

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  • Here is the main cabinet screwed together, and with a new problem, I didn’t buy enough wood for the centre shelf!

Important note: ALWAYS buy enough wood, don’t just guess like I did!

  • Anyway, I could have gone back to the store to buy another piece, but then I do want to enjoy my upcoming holiday to Australia without finding myself too short on cash, so I decided to improvise with what I have. I cut the thin wood that I bought into three pieces, two of them the length of the shelf, and the third shorter. I cut two small pieces to go across each end in-between the two outer pieces. I then glued and covered top and bottom with some of the scrap 3-ply I have in storage. Ok, yes, it’s not ideal, but I figured that once it is stained, and loaded up with books, it will be barely noticeable. In any case, it was a good opportunity to practice this constructing something with framework, and I’m sure that the experience will prove valuable when it comes time to building our kitchen.

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  • I carried the unstained shelf upstairs to see how it would look, mainly because I couldn’t leave it downstairs where I have to park the car! Anyhow, as you can see, it is a vast improvement over what I had. The idea I have is to take the shelf and display cabinet off the wall, and move them somewhere else, and then build additional shelf cabinet like this to sit on top, making it a stackable unit, and therefore removable should we have to move house again.

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  • This morning I unloaded the shelf and carried it back downstairs for a coat of gloss walnut stain. The finished result is very satisfying.

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