Sunday, January 11, 2009

More Progress on the Library (And No Thanks to You, Mother Nature!)

The three-day weekend gave me a chance to work on the library; after drawing up the plans and getting the floor done last weekend, we took a 10% off coupon to Home Depot and picked up the lumber and miscellaneous hardware needed to build custom floor-to-ceiling shelves for our library.

First, we ripped several sheets of quality plywood into strips 11.5" wide and just under 8' tall; these would, with 1x4" boards sandwiched in-between, form the uprights for the shelf units.  In the photo above, you can see one of the uprights in nearly-finished form: the two sheets of plywood have been glued to the 1x4" boards (and then screwed together for good measure).  I've clamped in-place a piece of pegboard which I used as a guide to drill the holes for adjustable shelves; subsequently, using a drill bit with a "stop" bolted on to control its depth, will drill the two rows of holes, over 300 per upright in total.

After that, I screwed lag bolts into the bottoms of the uprights, then sawed off the bolt heads using a hacksaw.  These pegs nee bolts then fit into holes drilled into the floor, and after much work with a level to ensure the upright is plumb, it got bolted to the wall as well.

In the photo above, you can see an in-progress shot of the first wall of shelving.  Three of the uprights have been installed, creating two shelving units.  The thin strips screwed with apparent abandon to the fronts are there to stabilize the uprights and keep them in perfect position until the top (a 1/4" sheet of plywood) and crown moulding are in place, and until I have more anchors set into the walls to hold them.

The adjustable shelves should provide a good home for our home library; as seen in the photo, I set several of the completed shelves in place at heights to support mass market paperbacks, trade paperbacks, and hardcover books.  There's still a lot to do even just on the first wall: one more upright to set in place, some tweaks to make sure all the units are perfectly square to each other, and, of course, the trim.  Each unit's front is faced with some fancy (and priced as such, unfortunately) moulding to conceal the plywood "sandwich," for starters.  And the nail and screw holes have to be puttied and sanded, and the wood finished, though we haven't decided whether to go with paint or stain yet, or what shade of either.

I'd perhaps been a bit ambitious in my scheduling in planning to have the first two walls done this weekend, but then, Mother Nature didn't help out much.  Though on Friday I did get several of the uprights and shelf boards ripped with the table saw, just after I'd gotten set up on Saturday and done a bit of sanding--I hadn't even gotten to use the table saw to do any work on cutting shelves to width or on trim--the skies opened up, first with sleet, then the same bone-chilling rain we've seen for the past couple of weeks off and on.  Enough rain, already!

We got the tarp on the table saw and brought the other tools in; I had to hand-dry several to keep out rust (and I only hope I got all the moisture!)  The table saw had to wait under the tarp for the rain to let up a bit, then it got dried off and wheeled to the shed.  All told, Mother Nature gave us a day's set-back in construction!  That, mind you, after I'd bought FSC-certified wood for the "green" aspect of our library construction; she's got no shame, apparently.

Well, hopefully this next weekend will give us a chance to finish the first wall of shelves and do some unpacking of the books; we need the space in the library to store the rest of the wood.

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