family, knitting, living

Archive for July 18, 2008

Home Improvement

Any of you who know Henry and em in real life know that we have a weakness for books.  Many are reference books (art history, design, technique, etc.)  We also findit difficult to give away or rid ourselves of any book, no matter how out of date, useless or totally unloved.  Because we have so many books, we built a library in our farm house years ago.  It had cabinets on the bottom and shelves to the ceiling.  The cabinets and shelving wrapped the room.  Now that we have moved we have found the need to build another library.  However, we took what we learned from the last build and improved upon it.  (I think.) 

I put the stock cabinets together in the farm house library and we had a carpenter build the shelves.  It took him forever and I think we paid too much.  This time we decided that Henry would do all of the building.  I was supposed to be the mathematician.  I think this is how we wound up with about thirty more shelves than we needed for the bookcases. 

The bookcase is completely built in and custom to the room.  We have completed one wall and think that this will give us a start, but we will have to do one more wall to really house all the books.  If anyone is doing this, make sure you use a nice plywood for the shelves and have the home store rip it down to shelf size because it will save at least half the cost of using solid shelving boards.  We used red oak ply for the shelving, red oak trim to cover the edges for the ply and give a more finished, beefed up look  and red oak board for the uprights. 

As far as tools, you will need a chop saw, hammer, pneumatic nail gun, nail set, a long and a short level, wood putty and varnish.  I am going to post some of the in progress shots and tomorrow or the next day I will post a finished shot, then one with books on the shelves.  Notice the one with Henry in it to show the scale of these shelves….they are pretty massive.

This last photo is of the closet in the library.  The floor was pretty bad in there and we could not refinish it like the rest, so I used the cut ends of wood we were using to piece together a crazy floor.  Once it is nailed down and given a couple of coats of poly it should look pretty funky…just the way we like it.