Monday, October 25, 2010

Built-in Bookcases part 2

I spent the whole weekend working on the bookcases & desk that will span between them ... the weekend went by so quickly, why does the time fly when I'm playing with power tools?

I built two cabinets that will support the desk and went ahead and primed everything (along with some parts of another project.) The desk cabinets are constructed out of leftover pieces of mdf on all sides except for the one side that will show.

Here is where I finally got to dry fit all the sections together to find out what needed fixin:

Right away I found the first thing that needed to be fixed.  Because this house is just like every single other house out there the corners, ceiling and walls are not perfectly level, so I had rip 1/4" off of the 2x4's that I'm using as feet to lower the entire project so that it won't get caught up in the low spots of the ceiling.  That meant then that the bottoms of the bookcases and cabinets now were not going to clear the base molding:

I spent a couple of hours pondering my options for a work around.  I could trim the top sections so that only they will lower, but I didn't want to take those large pieces and try to keep them level while ripping.  I could take the base molding completely off, but I tell you wuuut ... under that new, pretty, final coat of light yellow paint, is a coat of bright yellow paint that didn't make the cut, and under that is a different light yellow paint that ended up taking on a slight green tint so that didn't make the cut either, and then under that is 2 coats of primer to cover up the summer sky blue walls.  Sooo ... those walls there have 6 coats of paint on them and I wasn't too keen on ripping out the base molding which would at the very least mean recaulking, and touching up the paint. 
Instead, I decided to use the circular saw and ripped a notch in the baseboard.  It was a very nerve wracking job for me because the circular saw is my least favorite power tool ... it scares me.  Hey, I am a female and while I won't let myself be intimidated by the saw, I don't have a bunch of upper body strength and this job required me to hold the saw sideways against the baseboard.  Whew, the weight of the saw plus the control that was needed to keep it level, that was bit of work ... but I did it!  The depth was set pretty much just right and didn't rip the drywall apart ... double yay!

Once that was done, I put the sections together and check it out ... I put the levels on and I didn't need to do any tweeking!

Here's the left side dry fitted in:

 And there be the whole project dry-fitted, including the desktop which is a little hard to make out in the picture.
Now I need to secure everything to each other and the walls.  Then on to the doors for the cupboards below the desk, and then the trim, and then the curtains .... and on and on and on  :)


  1. Is this your new work space? I like the way it frames out the windows.. good job!
    I agree with the circular saw, they are scary! One slip and things get ugly fast, but you did it!

  2. Thanks Kathy! Actually this is my daughter's bedroom. She loves books, needs a place to do homework and is starting to be interested in doing her own crafting.

  3. Ruthie I think it looks great and I know Shelby will love it especially because it was made by her mom with love. Miss you and can"t wait to see you at Thanksgiving.

  4. Much better to use the space around the window, otherwise often wasted.

    fitted bookcases