Bookcase

A small deviation from ship modeling: the new bookcase. It’s for the hobby books, so I guess it is related to modeling. I wanted a simple bookcase, shelves connected to the wall, without any supports. Although there are rail systems that allow you to mount the shelves nearly without visible support, it’s not nearly enough invisible. Systems that do not show any support cannot take any serious weight, at least nothing even close to a fully-packed shelf. So…. I and my wife spent a few days building our very own hand-made bookcase.

This is one of the shelves. The wood is Black Walnut, which was chosen for its beautiful pattern and color. I’m using a Metabo crosscut and miter saw, the KSG-255. It’s relatively cheap and works wonders for these simple cuts. It did take me a lot of time to get 90-degree cuts by calibrating the saw (using cheap wood). It’s not really cut out for precision work though. It even has an alignment laser, but the accuracy is crap!

That’s me aligning a shelf that is 300mm wide. The saw only goes to 255mm and the 305mm saw is more than twice as expensive! Here you can see me tapping the shelf until it hit the saw (at rest) for an exact trimming. That worked really well.

Sawing off excess wood. Imagine the joy when finding out the saw just didn’t have the reach to cut the shelf to size… I should have prepared better… The FSR 200 Intec is standing by for sanding, which I got for free with my jigsaw. It works, that’s about all I can say about it.

Putting up the shelf for drilling using the only Black & Decker tool that I find worth owning: the workmate. Though, it was a birthday gift to (!) my wife, so it really isn’t mine. No, she really wanted it, no kidding.

Drilling in the holes for to mounting pins, using the Festool Router OF 1010 fitted with the OF-FH 2000 Routing Aid. This is such a nice addition to the wonderful Festool router, though it’s so hard to find in the catalogue, but fortunately the shop where I bought it was very Festool-minded. Perhaps I should have known as they wore Festool uniforms and their shop had the company colors…? I added a small slat to align the router for each of the six shelves. Note the drill which I used to keep the slat into place.

Drilling in the holes, as far as the drill would go which wasn’t deep enough so I used a second drill to finish it. The drill in the picture was more than noticeably better at transporting debris out of the hole than a normal drill. The drill itself is the new Metabo SBZ 18 Impuls Cordless Impact Drill. Very useful around the house. Hmm, this posts is starting to sound like a Metabo commercial. Well, I can’t help being enthousiastic about their products, even though it’s just a Bosch but then not blue (The blue Bosch range is the more professional range while the green Bosch range is for the supermarket. Not that I am a daily user, but you know… why not?).

Here the shelves are being fitted. I drilled the holes in the wall (using the Metabo UHE 22 Multi Hammer) and inserted pins (Ground to size by a W 7-125 Quick Angle Grinder by… well you guessed it, but why not buy one which has the same beautiful company colors?). The pins are cemented in place by Fischer’s Chemical Mortar (FIS VS 300 T). This is great stuff, but you have only ten minutes before it turns into stone. The pins are aligned with the shelf in place, so that they are all colinear (err, aiming in the same direction?) and the plank can be removed later. I used Ikea boxes as a spacer. How would have imagined that Ikea made anything useful? I’ve made making my home Ikea-free as a goal in life. It’s not working well, but I’m getting there.

After more than a day, all pins are in place. I took about an hour for the cement to set (just to be safe). The top shelf was really difficult to get into place and it won’t really come off. Not that it matters, I only wanted the planks removable during cementing which is now done. For some reason the top shelf had three pins exactly on the edge of a brick. Needless to say, drilling didn’t go well.

Done! All the shelves are in place, the wall repainted and the Black Walnut has been oiled. Looks great! The shelves are nearly all nearly horizontal, but not quite. Well, a degree or so off, even though I thought I had corrected for it. Apparently not enough. With the books in place, a few degrees more were added, but let’s not speak about beginner error. Well, I am very happy with the result of several days of work and I doubt all my books will slide off at a whim. I could always add supports later but I’m not going to.