Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Mammoth Bookshelf

The Mammoth Bookshelf

Along with one or two other projects, this one has been taking up the majority of my time. Originally it wasn't going to be anywhere near as big but as with the majority of things, minds were changed along the way and a behemoth was born.

The initial idea was a simplistic bookshelf with staggered shelves to make it slightly more quirky with DVD and CD sections. It then became a bookshelf to house cats as well. Then it had to fit floor to ceiling and around coving. I had a job on my hands.

The first thing I had to do was get the materials in and then some more. Standing at 2.34m high and 1.5m wide, a lot of wood was needed for this one. That and the shelves were doubly thick on 7 sections added to the number needed.

The first major task was to get all of the wood cut, which was a feat on its own. 10 sections at 25cm, 21 sections at 47.5cm and 5 sections at 2.34m meant a lot of work for the chop saw.

The first lot of the 25cm sections

Once I had the cuts made, I needed to grind away a lot of the damaged wood to get back to the grain and create curves on the front face. This took quite a substantial amount of time, but the end result was worth in my eyes. The next step was to start assembling the first of the 4 sections. Measure twice and drill once was the plan, but that went out the window straight. There was a lot of test and adjust with this one but it all got there in the end.

The first section assembly

Once the first section was pieced together, I stood it up outside the garage to take a look at it. It wasn't too bad to start and just needed 1 or 2 tweeks to get it right. Then it was on to the second part.

First section complete

The second part took slightly longer than the first as I couldn't use the drill to drive the screws in due to the size of the space. Had I thought about it I would have rejigged the construction to make it simpler. This section incorporated 3 of the 'Cat Shelves' which I managed to make by joining 2 of the 47.5cm sections together with a dowel joint and some wood glue. I then used the chop saw to take off the ends to try and make it cat friendly. I also wanted to try and retain some of the original features of the boards, so I grinded down some of the metal work and blended it back in to the shelves.
Second section complete
With the 'Cat shelf'

Cat Shelf detail
Frame Detail

As you would expect, the next task was to put together the third section which was a mirror copy of the first and it went on with relatively little fuss and the result of that venture can be seen below. At present, this is the bookshelf's state, but the fourth and final section will be on in the next few days. Unfortunately I suffered a casualty in the making of this one, as my trusty drill has packed in due to extensive use over the last 4 years. Off to get a new one in the sales me thinks! As for the finish, that has yet to be decided and is out of my hands. I would love for it to stay like this but as it isn't for me, it will be decided by the soon to be new owners. Check back in the next few days for the final result. This has been a labour or love so far and to be honest I now cannot wait for it to be finished as I have absolutely no room in my garage now for the other projects.

Third section complete
 Finally, the beast is complete with wax on top. As you can see it has taken up the majority of my garage space which has made it a bit of a nightmare to work on and check as I went through but thankfully it has all come together at last. As much as I would like to keep it, I'll be glad to see it go. I've learnt a lot of lessons on this one. Namely, I need better tools and I shall be getting some quality pieces over the next few months to hopefully make light work of future jobs. That and the fact that an angle grinder can do almost anything. I love that thing. Anyway, that's it for now. The next project won't start itself so I best get back to the garage. Many thanks for looking and check back soon for the next project as well as some pictures of this beast in its new home!

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