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Old 02-05-2012, 11:07 PM   #1
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


I am building an office in my basement. There was an opening for a window that is now covered up by an addition we had on the house. I plan on boarding up the window as it has no practical use, it couldn't even be used as a means of escape in a fire.

Here are some pix of what I am working with.



here are my sketches for my plans (back not shown)


Just a basic book shelf, shelves about 13" each.

To cover the pipe I plan on using a 6" board with some fancy trim.

To make the shelf I have bought some 3/4" plywood with a sheet of (birch?) veneer. I plan on putting a molding on the sides of the shelves to cover the plywood with a finish nailer.

I also plan on drilling the masonry block, and concrete floor and using blue screws to install some 2x4s into the back (two of them) and onto the floor (two as well). I want to countersink the blue screws into the 2x4s.

I plan on assembling my cabinet in the room, then scootching it into place and countersinking screws into the 2x4s that I have fastened to the wall and floor to hold it in place. I will drill holes in the sides and back (2 on each side and 2 on the back) so I can use the little 90* elbows with cylindrical pins on them so I can have adjustable shelves.

After it is in place and flush with the drywall I will cover the edges with trim.

How does this plan sound?

I don't know how I am going to assemble the back to the sides. I was just going to do it with a bunch of finish nails and wood glue. Is this adequate or should I use a different fastener?

All constructive criticism is appreciated! i have never built a shelf, cabinet, desk, ANYTHING out of scratch before. The things I have built have been out of 2x4s and plywood for work benches. Help is appreciated

Thanks!
-Dave

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Old 02-05-2012, 11:30 PM   #2
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


Far better to remove that window, install new block, add foam insulation, strapping and sheetrock.
Make the shelving unit and just set it againt the wall.
The back side of the plywood will rot out if it was againt the block wall.

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Old 02-06-2012, 08:52 AM   #3
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


I'm not opening up that can of worms by screwing with the block. I have no experience with foundation, I will board it up and insulate it with foam. Or just insulate it with foam.

Why would the wood rot? The 2x4s on the wall have been fine. I don't want to press the cabinet up against the block, I just want to recess the bookshelf into the wall as space is limited down here.

How about sealing the blocks to prevent moisture from seeping into the 2x4s?
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:19 AM   #4
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


I'm not an expert on the window issue. I am guessing you will want to use styrofoam cut to fit against the glass and layered to fill the window cavity. I would even use a can of spray foam to seal around the edges. This should keep condensation from seeping into the interior area. Now, on to the cabinet. Finish nails will work for simple assembly. If you want added strength under the shelves, glue small cleats under the shelf and nail in place. Instead of finish nails for the back attachment, I would use narrow crown staples, if you have that gun. If you are using hand nails use a small nail with a head something like a sheetrock nail, maybe shorter. It is really easy for the 1/4" plywood back to get pushed off finish nails on backs. Using staples or headed nails will prevent that. At the inside top I would install an attachment strip, a 1 x 3, glued to the inside top and tight against the back. Nail through the top and into the edge of this board so when you screw through it into the wall you don't force the back off. I would also do this under one of the lower shelves as well. You can drive screws through these into the wall.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


A problem I have had in the past is severely over-building things. I was going to use my 3/4" sided ply for the backing. Seeing as it holds no weight that is probably a waste of money and materials.

How hard would it be to get a thin piece of wood that matches my veneer faced plywood?

All very good tips! Thank you

-Dave
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:53 PM   #6
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


Most of the lumber stores sell 1/4" birch plywood. This is what I use for backs all the time. Like I said, just attach a 1 x 3 to the inside of the top and one under a lower shelf or at the bottom for screwing into the wall
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


Tuesday is my day off, I cut up the shelves and sides today, I will look for the backing tomorrow

-Dave
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:16 AM   #8
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


Nice design, I'd maybe just tack DPM plastic on the wall to prevent water problems, maybe even stain the back with one or two coats before sliding it in place for extra protection.
For the sides you should make the shelf heights adjustable by routering in brass strips like the study shelves shown at this page http://www.carpentry-tips-and-tricks.com/How-to-build-shelves.html
Although I don't know where you can buy them. That way you can always adjust the heights depending on what you are storing/displaying in there.
I'd run an aerial cable in there for a little flat screen TV too..

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Old 02-07-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippy21 View Post
Nice design, I'd maybe just tack DPM plastic on the wall to prevent water problems, maybe even stain the back with one or two coats before sliding it in place for extra protection.
For the sides you should make the shelf heights adjustable by routering in brass strips like the study shelves shown at this page http://www.carpentry-tips-and-tricks.com/How-to-build-shelves.html
Although I don't know where you can buy them. That way you can always adjust the heights depending on what you are storing/displaying in there.
I'd run an aerial cable in there for a little flat screen TV too..
I don't really like the way those brass strips look, I was going to use this design. What do you think?
http://www.anthonyscabinets.ca/html/residential.html
4th pic down on the right, but I will be using metal L-Dowel brackets. And there will be far fewer holes.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


Good choice on the L shaped shelf clips. They are much stronger. Just make your shelves about 3/16" shorter than the width of the cabinet to accomodate for the L part of the clips. Are you drilling the adjustable shelf holes yourself? If you are, it is worth it to make a jig, metal is best, but wood will work. Mark off for holes 2" apart (that is the max I would go between holes) and 1" from the edge. Do this on a stick about 24" long. Center punch the marks, then drill out with a 1/4" or 3/16" bit (check your shelf clips...they come in both sizes, make sure you drill the right size hole). You don't need holes right to the bottom, so use a spacer block around 8" against the bottom of the cabinet compartment, then bump the jig to that, tape in place and drill the holes through the jig. I cut a chunk of closet rod that I slide over my drill bit to act as a stop so I don't drill too deep; install the bit in your drill, measure the bit length, subtract the thickness of your jig plus 1/2" for the hole depth and the remainder will be the length of dowel to cut for the drill bit stop. Drill from both ends of the dowel and meet in the middle. I made my jig out of 2" strap iron with the holes centered on the piece. I bump the jig against the back for the back rows of holes and I bump it against the inside of the face frame for the front rows of holes. It works like a charm. You can buy pre-drilled closet material in oak pattern or white at the lumber stores, also. Happy cabinetmaking!
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:58 PM   #11
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


^ Good to know, I was going to use a piece of pegboard clamped to the wood and drill every other peg.

I remembered why I was going to use ply on the back of the cabinet, I was going to put the brackets on the back as well to keep the shelf from sagging, but now I think I'll just throw a thin piece of board on the bottoms of the shelves as someone suggested above and finish nail into place so they dont sag.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:40 PM   #12
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


Is this window your only means of egress into the new crawlspace of the houses addition?
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:20 PM   #13
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


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Is this window your only means of egress into the new crawlspace of the houses addition?
Nope, There are 2 outside entrances and another basement window.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:53 PM   #14
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


Hi Everyone, I finished the bookshelf almost. I put the finished wood shelves in but they block the light. I have 2 more trim pieces to add to the top and bottom, and I ordered 3 GLASS shelves for 25$ a pop from a local glass man!

Here's the basic Idea.

I appreciate all the help you guys! I am very happy with how it came out. I like the incorperation of the pipe running through the middle. Everyone thinks I did that for aesthetics. Total win/win

I only have 1 picture of the ceiling I made, but the bookshelf is in the background

-Dave



-Dave
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:07 AM   #15
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Building a basic in-wall bookshelf. Need help with fasteners and design.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyLofton3 View Post
support
Support??

You mean for the glass shelves?

I have holes drilled into the plywood sides that the glass shelves will sit on.

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