Posts Tagged With: bookshelves

New Shelves

About 85% of my work week is spent at this desk.


It has been a long road to be able to work this much from home, but man, do I love it!

I have had some great workmates over the years but this guy might take the cake! Literally, if I don’t watch him, he’ll sneak food from me.IMG_0030

Anyway…I had a storage problem above my desk. This is what the space was like:


Which is a little ridiculous because if I turn my chair 180 degrees I have all these shelves.


But I wanted shelves over my desk. (I am too lazy to get up walk 5 feet to get my thesaurus).

Well, I looked around at Target and Lowe’s and even went down (which means 2 hours to Charlotte) to Ikea thinking I’d find the thing. But I didn’t. Part of the problem is that it is a 24 inch space, most pre-made shelves are wider than that.

So, I perused Ana White’s site and found: easy book shevles

It was actually called Easy Bookshelves, it was a sign! Doesn’t look too hard, right?

I like Lowe’s because they’ll even cut the boards, and I can practically walk there from my house.


My sophisticated re-fashioned plans.

I adjusted the plans to accommodate my more narrow space but when I got to Lowe’s and did the math again, I realized if I had only three shelves, I could get away with one less board.

Well, I’m nothin’ if not cheap, so I decided to just go with three shelves and I would adjust appropriately when I put it together.

So, I got to work,

The plans had a little decorative cut on the top of the shelves. In theory I knew that could be done with a jig saw but I wasn’t so sure, I gave it a try though by free handing a little wavy shape thing-y on the top of the boards. Once I cut the first one I just laid the 2nd board on top of it and kind of traced it with the saw (about as hokey as it sounds but not terrible).


I few things:

1. I drilled pilot holes for each of the holes I would need because I have split plenty of boards (learned that the hard way).

2. I don’t have a workbench (well, I do but it is always occupied with other stuff, like lawn equipment, but that is another blog entry) so work wherever there is room.

3. I used a T-square and a level to make sure it was level enough to at least not let everything slide to one side.

This is how it turned out:before-after-shelves

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It turned out to be therapy!

Where was I? Describing how I kept busy when I lost my job last year.

Putting the whole thing together…well it didn’t take long. I spent about $4 on a couple of long bolts, washers and nuts so I could bolt the counter top to the shelf–that way I could put as much weight as needed on the desk top but it wouldn’t flip forward.

You can see the bolt in the middle of the desk. I actually used two.

Then I measured the space between the desk and the shelf on the ceiling to cut my luvered doors. I measured once, twice, no, I’m pretty sure it was three times because I really wasn’t gonna get a second chance on this. I also traced the contour of the back of the counter top so, in theory, it would fit tight.

I’d used a jigsaw before but I wasn’t sure I was using it right so I took a few minutes and watched a youtube video, or did I watch five?  There were plenty and they were really helpful. For the most part I was doing it right, but don’t ya just  love what you can learn on youtube?

I just got a cool tool to fix my squeaky floors and I found out about it on youtube. Of course there will be a blog entry on that tool. Suffice to say we’re sleeping better with the floors fixed, heck, the kids could probably sneak out of the house now, before: not a chance. Hmm, in retrospect that may have not been the best fix.

I digress!

Trimming the doors was a snap. Well, the third and fourth time, anyway. The 1st and 2nd time, I was able to hide the not-as-good-as-it-could-have-been times. I took a few pictures to show my cutting, but I decided we don’t know each other well enough for me to reveal all my mistakes.

The four doors for $5 did leave a little to be desired in the way of condition. I had to remove the rusty hardware and one end had rotted, but since I didn’t need the entire thing, I cut off what I didn’t need. Then I sanded & painted the doors.

Once it was all trimmed up, I put the put it together, attached the doors to the shelf at the ceiling and the counter tops. It all supported itself so I ended up with much sturdier construction than had anticipated.

The doors rested on the counter/desk top and supported the shelves above it.

Next I needed to build a ledge for the shelves to rest on. I decided on a one by two and a little piece of square trim like this:

After that was sanded and painted I attached it to the doors and then laid the shelves on it.

It turned out like this:

So just to recap. The two computers were back to back and they took up about half the room, plus if the work areas were messy, you could see it from the other rooms.

Now, I have a lot more of our computer room for other things and they mess of the computers is kind of hid because they are tucked away against the wall.  The best thing about the entire project is my otherwise skeptical husband doesn’t cringe when I say I am going to build something.

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Cheaper Than Therapy

I am not really sad to see 2011 end. As years go, it wasn’t that great.

Jan. 3 marks one year of when everything turned upside down. I went to work, knowing people were being laid-off that day, not really expecting it would be in my area. As it turned out, it was me and my boss. Wow! I had worked there almost 9 years. I hadn’t held a job that long – ever.  As it turned out, it wasn’t unemployment or even the new employment that I had trouble adjusting to.

I had the most trouble adjusting to the change in routine and schedule.

So, what did I do? Built something, of course.

That’s where I am going with this. I started my blog to be able to link to other blogs that show the cool stuff people build. I haven’t actually done that yet. Linked to other blogs. But I think it’s time to show how I worked through the funk of being unemployed.

It started with a box. I got the plans on, made a few adjustments to fit my space,  turned it on it’s side and built this shelf:

The shelf was built before I was laid off…but then I read this post by Missy at My Cottage Charm: and knew there was more work to do!

I showed it to my husband who didn’t believe I could build it but said, “Sure, you can make it, when you get a job.”


Get a job?

If I had a job, I wouldn’t have time to build anything! By this time we were at about the 2nd week of January and I was visiting my vacation home — in the lovely state of Denial!

So, we negotiated that if I could keep it under $25 I could build it.

I had an idea of using louvered doors to make the sides. After wasting my time on Craig’s List — I have already talked about this, after they finally contact you back and get the particulars, either the item is gone or it’s really not what you wanted. I ended up at my friendly, local Habitat Re-Use Store.

I found just the doors I was looking for:

and it was only:

at the Habitat Re Use Store. I also bought desk tops:

2 blue laminate desk tops for $5 each. This one had a little chip on the corner, but that was OK because it had to be trimmed to fit in the space anyway.

I already had two bookshelves that I would use as the base for each shelf, so now it was time to put it together.

I had two matching bookshelves that I actually got for free several years ago. This was gonna be a great use for them!

I will put that in my Next Post!

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