Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Simple book shelf / rack...

My desk is next to a large window sill which I've discovered is a convenient place for books, however having piles of books all over the place causes problems when it comes to cleaning, and opening windows etc so I decided I needed a book shelf or rack of some kind to make it easier to move the books when I need to get at the windows or the blinds.

This is a really simple book shelf, it uses four pieces of wood and although I've made mine look a little arts and crafty there are numerous ways you could decorate a similar shelf.

Here's the finished shelf -

Pictures a bit dark, but you should get the idea.
I made it using pine shelves, but more or less any type of wood would do, pallets or sheets of plywood even the dreaded mdf (I really hate mdf)

The shelf is about 8 inches (20cm) in height and the same in depth this is just a bit smaller than the depth of the window sill, and it means I can open and close the blind without having to move the shelf every time, when I had books stacked they tended to get pushed right into the blind so I'd have to move them to open and close it.

As the window sill is quite large I was able to make my shelf about 3 feet ( 92cm approx) long  which is just enough to hold most of my books, well at least the ones I'm currently reading and using.

The bits - 

The sides need cutting.
Basically I took one of the shelves and cut it in half, the two halves will make up the top and bottom of the rack, the sides were made from a bit of shelf I had left over from another build.

The top and bottom parts are roughly 4 inches wide (10cm approx) and 3 feet (92cm approx) long but sizes will depend on where you want your shelf to go, so you may have to make it longer or shorter.

The two sides were made from 8 inch (20cm approx) squares of pine, I added a curve detail to mine, but you could leave them square or cut some other shape into them.

In order to stop the books from falling off I've put the top and bottom sections at an angle so the books will sit slightly tilted, this I've found helps to keep them from falling off the shelf.

Side parts marked up and ready for cutting - 

Simple enough to follow ?

To get the angle how I wanted I measured 3/4 of an inch (20mm approx) up one edge and measured 4 inches (10cm approx) along the bottom edge until I was flush with the bottom edge, and to get the marks for the top part of the shelf I used a large square, but you could use a large book.

Marking for the top part of the shelf - 

Seemed like the easiest way to do it.
Once I'd marked out where things were going to go on both sides I draw a rough curve on one piece and cut it out on my bandsaw, a jigsaw would work just as well, then using this as a template I drew a curve on the other piece.

One side done (apart from some sanding) - 

Getting there.

 Both sides done - 

Simple curve, but quite pleasing.
The book shelf is fixed together using glue and screws, for the screw holes I've used a bit with a built in counter sink (some times called a screw digger) this allows me to make little plugs to cover the screw heads, and I can either leave them proud of the wood, or cut and sand them flush, but seeing as I'm going for the arts and crafts type look I'm leaving them proud.

Screw holes done - 

I've used 8mm dowel to cover the screw heads.

Time to put it all together, bottom section on - 

Almost done.
Top section on - 

Finished apart from some plugs and a sand and wax.
To get the colour I wanted I used a homemade wood stain and then a coat of a dark oak coloured wax (the same method I used to make this clothes horse opens in new window) and for a nice shine I finished it off with some beeswax polish.

All done, time for a test - 

It works.
And it fits on the window sill as well - 

Much neater.
This is a simple project, one that could easily be done by kids and although I have bandsaws and other such tools it can all be made with nothing more than hand tools, so no special equipment is needed, and it's cheap as well, I used shelves bought from a diy shop (and some wood I had left over) but as I said it could be made from pallets or other reclaimed wood.

Thanks for reading.

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