We all love books, and if you don’t then you’re officially off my xmas card list! During our wedding, my wife organized an essay that my father was kind enough to read to the 42 collected special family and friends among our guests. It outlined the importance of dating a reader. The importance of letting them enjoy their pumpkin spice latte in the coffee shop with their hardbound favorites. The value of sitting alone, side by side, sharing a quilt, and each to their own a mug of tea and a novel. The importance of marrying this person, and all the more if they wrote, as well. Fortunately for me, I found my reader, and indeed she is a writer, too, and I intend to indulge her needs for fantasy. I’ve designed her a modular, corner bookshelf to store her favorite worlds, and a curio cabinet to house her most precious memories. Allow me to share it with you.
Nancy will be kind enough to help me demonstrate this new product. At 8 feet (~2.43m) high, and approximately 6′ (~1.8m) from back corner to the edge of the wing, this unit exists as three separate pieces that can be built independently and moved independently to accommodate several configurations. Every board in this unit is the same type of 11.75″ (~298mm) board, though it is sold as a 12″ (~304mm) width, that quarter inch actually can make a difference.
This whole unit is designed with the “No ripping cuts” philosophy. All the tools you ACTUALLY need for this project is:
Seriously, that’s it. Anything else you want is extra. I do apologize for the corner cabinet, there are some diagonal-cuts necessary, but that’s about it. My plan is to drill (slightly undersized) two holes on either side of the horizontal shelves, in the vertical “walls” in which I can place some dowels, screws or nails. These can be nipped off by a set of snips and the shelves can rest upon these posts. Want to adjust the shelf? Remove the board, remove the posts and replace them up or down in the available holes.
The six upper shelves are all a single board width at 11.75″ (~298mm) board, and rests on these posts at 9.75″ (~247mm) apart. this is to facilitate a large-side-of typical paperback novel at 9″ (~229mm) plus the board thickness of 0.75″ (~19mm), like ALL the boards in this project model. The lower two shelves are 13.75″ (~349mm) apart, on centre, and will accommodate letter-sized binders. There are 8 shelves in total, 2′ 9.75″ (~857mm) in length seen here in grey, while the top and bottom levels (seen in brown) are just as wide but 1.5″ (~38mm) longer to overlap the sides. The side boards are 7′ 7.5″ long (~2324mm), which is only a finger’s width shorter than the ceiling. The back boards, 3 to each wing and 6 on the corner are all the same length, for ease of measurements and cutting. The diagonal shelves are 2′ 9.75″ (~857mm) on a side, by no coincidence that’s nearly the same size as 3 boards at 11.75″ (~298mm). The sides of the corner cabinet are the same width as the wing-shelves, so it all lines up nicely. Doing the proper annotations for a shape like this would take a small geological age, but I’ll gladly do it if there is request in the comments below. Based upon the data I’ve given, it shouldn’t be impossible to go and do your own plans for your own shelves, but it’ll give you a good idea of how you could build your own with as few cuts as possible.
Bare in mind that the use of plywood for the corner cabinet panels could save a huge amount of cutting, especially if you only use a handsaw, but this way all the boards look alike and will all be identically thick and the same wood/colour/etc. This could be painted (and cover up the lovely grain patterns) or given a clear-coat of stain, lacquer, shellack, etc. Could be a lovely project for a relatively inexperienced woodworker with limited tools at their disposal.
If you like these plans, or have some requests for me to throw some together for you, please do not hesitate to ask.
EDIT: This is a cut-diagram, just to show you how easy it is, for the left and right (identical) wings. This can be done using just 7 pieces of 11.75″ by 12′ boards. (~298mm x ~3658mm) boards. I can get them for $1.98 per running foot, which means I will pay $166.32 before appropriate taxes, $187.94 after taxes. I am not including fasteners, which could be screw, glue or nail. There are only 3 different length boards here, green sides are 7′ 7.5″ long (~2324mm), 2′ 11.25″ (~895mm) for the brown top and bottom pieces, and the grey shelves are all 2′ 9.75″ (~857mm).
You’re talkin 7+7+10 boards 12′ long and 12″ (11.75″, actually) wide. $644.37 at my prices at my local store for white pine. Sure, it’s a fair chunk of change, but there’s no OSB, there’s no tricky joinery, there’s no plywood or synthetics that can outgas toxins into your room. This is solid wood, whole and real. It shuold last a long, long time of conventional use. The cut-list for this one is a little more extreme… I will go by colours, and shapes, then by size (I know, sorry).
The green boards are all 7′ 7.5″ long (~2324mm). That was the easy part. Now… here we have the brown boards, all angles are 45’s, with all dimensions listed. This corner cabinet is a little harder, with these corners and mitres being critical to it fitting together properly.
Hope this helps!