Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Office Bookshelves

     I finally nerved myself up to attaching the shallow shelves to the deeper set last night.  "Nerved?"  Well, yes: all but two are fastened with Kreg "pocket holes" and the only jig I have is intended for much wider cabinet sections: it had to be held in place by hand, power drill with the other and mind your fingers, please!.

     All but one went well; the highest shelf with a corresponding shelf in in the other set was unexpectedly tough and the hole got off-course early. The answer to that was to get out a brace and bits -- they drill at whatever angle you start with and don't easily get off-course -- and drill at hole at 45 degree for the screw to hold the two units together. (My skinny "chairmaker's" brace was ideal for this; total swing is around 5 inches.)
     Not too bad.  (Don't mind the broken spring-suspended microphone; it's a modern homebrew and the Brush crystal element, salvaged from a headphone, failed some time back.  The suspension hooks need to be resoldered with proper hard solder).  One of the deeper shelves will hold my scanner at a height reachable without the present necessity of standing on a chair.  There's plenty yet to do but plans are for the next project to be a set of shelves on Tam's side of the office -- a Research Annex for VFTP C3I!
     (The 2001: A Space Odyssey monoltith-style view.)


BGMiller said...

Which of the Kreg jigs are you using?
The two hole or the single?

I bought one of the single hole jigs on a whim when the local big box saw dust boutique was having one of their "everything the fits in this bag 20% off" sales. The next time I found one of their sales flyer bags in my Sunday fish wrap and cage liner I bought the big kit with all 3 jigs. It's been a few years now and I still keep finding new ways to use pocket holes.

If you ever break down and buy the big set with the bench mounted jig I'd make one suggestion. Mount it to a board that has a cleat on the underside. Makes it stupidly easy to clamp the whole assembly in a B&D Workmate but can be hung on the wall or bungied to the ceiling when not in use.

And please dear lady. Don't put your fingers at unnecessary risk. A slipped drill could deprive some very addicted followers of updates on wonderfully simple meals, amusing cats, and the latest rumors from the hidden frontier. And that would be a bad thing.


Robin said...

That's slick looking work.

Anonymous said...

How thick are your shelves? No worries about sag over time?

Blackwing1 said...

Yet another silly question: What do you use to cut the mortises in the verticals into which the shelves slip? Table saw? Hand saw? Chisel out the gap between?

Nice use of the corner space which is otherwise wasted. Most people (probably including me) would have butted 'em corner-to-corner, and then had the void between as a space into which everything would drop, maybe even a vertically-exploring cat.

Thanks for posting the finished product, I'd been wondering how it turned out. The answer is, "Very nicely indeed", and everything looks beautiful on it.

Roberta X said...

No worries, no The wood is just 3/4" dimensional lumber, a nominal 12" for the deep shelves and 6" for the shallow shelves.

I have been building bookshelves (in various widths and depths) from this since the second set of shelves I built, 35 years ago, and using routed grooves in the uprights for about twenty years. Shelves are glued in place and held with woodscrews or finishing nails; the mechanical fasteners mostly stabilize them while the glue cures. (One unit of that 1980-vintage second set of shelves remains in service in the living room; the other was replaced by the shelves under discussion and has been disassembled -- they were all butt-jointed and held together only by woodscrews!)

The exception would be the cantilevered corners of the shallow shelves, with only a diagonal screw supporting them. The back was notched in 1/2" and is mated to a 1/4" dado in the vertical support. This is counting on strength in the weakest direction, and I considered adding some long dowels, but decided the removed material and limited dowel size didn't add up to any greater strength.

You need to mind the span -- the widest I have are just under a yard -- but they are surprisingly strong.

Roberta X said...

Cutting the mortises: I use a router. If I could only own one power tool, that would be it. Fast and relatively easy to set.

For most of the cutting, I have been using a miter saw; wider materials, a circular saw and a guide. (I have a couple of table saws but neither one is set up. If I had my 'druthers, I think a big radial arm saw might suit me better. And a Rolls-Royce and a jet plane....)

I *always* use a guide with hand-held power cutting tools. There are people who can make nice, straight cuts freehand. I'm not one of them. My ratio of setup time to cutting time is about 4:1, or more.