Monday, September 1, 2014
For my next project I decided I needed to clean up my office a little and build a bookshelf to help organize it better. To start I made a simple 6-foot bookshelf in SketchUp.
I then bought the wood I needed.
I marked the boards for cuts and positioning using my plans.
I made the cuts using my circular saw and a guide rail.
Next I made pocket holes on the shelf boards.
Here's where I made a huge mistake:
The day before I used my pocket hole jig to make holes in some 2x4's. To do that I had to set the jig and the drill bit to 1.5" thickness. The boards for this project are .75" thick. I should have set the jig and bit for .75" thickness, but I forgot to. So all the holes are no good.
To correct this mistake I used the guides I made earlier and instead drilled straight holes.
I used some clamps to make sure the boards were positioned correctly while I screwed the pieces together.
After a short while the sides, top, bottom and shelves were attached. But I still wasn't very happy about the mistake I made.
I used my hand planer to level the edges of the boards. I haven't had too much experience using this tool, and as a result of being slightly impatient, I messed up once again.
I was able to quickly fix the mistakes I made with the planer, but I was annoyed.
There are times you just have to walk away from a project for a while in order to come back refreshed, and with a level head. I should have done so at this point, but I didn't and as a result I kept making poor decisions. I decided to screw on molding to the frame of the bookcase. This is not the way to do it.
After messing up the molding I finally walked away from this project. After a while I came back and began correcting my mistakes. I removed all the molding, and began making it look nicer by cutting nice edges with the router.
When the trim was all routed I began gluing and clamping the trim down.
I used my brad nailer to nail the trim in place.
Then I added the trim to the shelves.
Once the trim was nicely in place I began filling in all the holes and mistakes I had made.
Then I spent a very long time sanding.
Despite all my earlier mistakes the bookshelf looks alright. The correct size pocket holes would have made the whole thing stronger, but I warrant that this shelf is a lot stronger and will last longer than any similarly sized bookshelf from Walmart, Target and even Ikea.
Since the furniture in my office has a very light stain, I stained this bookshelf using another light colored stain.
When the stain dried I brought it inside my office.
I used an L bracket to screw the top of the shelf to the wall.
Then I began using the bookshelf!
I made too many careless mistakes during this project, but I went back and took my time to salvage this thing. All-in-all this is a pretty decent bookshelf. It was inexpensive to make and it should last for years.
Thanks for reading!
Update: After about 7 months this bookshelf is still holding strong! No drooping shelves or anything. But, I would like to make it better by giving it a back - which I should have done in the first place. I also want to fix the trim on the top which just looks bad, and also make the whole thing darker. So I took everything off and unscrewed it from the wall.
I went out and bought some 1/4" plywood for the back.
But before I attach the back I sanded the boards...
...and I also sanded the whole unit a bit.
Next I attached the back using brad nails.
The boards on the inside need a little covering up at the seams.
So I cut some more 1/4" plywood...
...and I glued and nailed the strip to the back seams. It's not the nicest looking cover-up, but it keeps the back flush and will prevent any warping.
The smallest brad nails I had were too long and popped through the back. This was easily dealt with using some cutting plyers...
...and some sanding.
After a short whole the bookshelf was looking more complete than ever.
Now it's time to tackle the top trim. I ripped off the old trim and cleaned the edge with a chisel.
I then cut some wood for the new trim.
Then passed it through the router.
I attached the new trim with glue and brads.
I then added some more trim to the top...
...and 2 small pieces to the front to cover the gap between the top and side trim.
Then I began to sand the whole thing inside and out.
After quite a lot of sanding the wood was soft and most of the old stain was gone.
Then I cleaned it up.
Looks pretty darn good now.
But it could look better...
...with a darker stain.
When the stain dried I added clear coat, followed by sanding and cleaning.