We got to be surrogate grandparents just before Christmas, when my niece and nephew-in-law (my son in all but name, really, as he and our niece lived with us and grew up with our daughter) came to visit with their 11-month-old boy.
Of course, the ladies got to play with the baby, while we big boys got to play with other toys. I’ve missed having a quiet, enclosed workshop, and Nephew and I high-tailed it off to my storage unit to build the first of my Ultimate Bookshelves.
Final design specs: five 8′ x 23″ shelves per unit. Overall height roughly eight-and-a-half feet. Overall length eight-and-a-quarter. Overall width 34 inches. The four 500-lb. steel casters are offset from the centerline, with the vertical endcaps forming an elongated “H” if you are looking down from above each unit. That’s for earthquake stability. These buggers will NOT fall down.
I like a 23″-deep shelf not only because I hate when long books hang over standard-depth shelves, but also because it’s really pleasurable to walk up, pull a book or two and plop them flat in front of you and start reading right there. What’s design for, I say, if not to accommodate
laziness ease of use?
Each shelf is an open sandwich of four 2x4s and two 1x12s, all screwed to form a tight open box.* I left space open under each shelf so there’s an easy place to run hidden rope lighting in the future.
All fasteners are screws of one sort or another, for added strength.
The only cuts required are for the 34″ ledger 2x4s on the ends; the rest is all (by design) done with standard engineered lumber: mostly 2x4s and 1x12s, with a few 2x8s and 4x8s, and two 4’x8′ plywood sheets per unit.
We got two finished, with Nephew doing most of the work. The first was a test-run of the design, and revealed some quirks that needed ironing out.Â After that, the next one was much faster.
At the base, lag screws tie it all together.
As the storage unit’s 14′ wide, I’ll have plenty of room to stash 1-foot-deep storage shelves behind the bookshelves, tucked in the rear of each “H,” with SHTF supplies, water, etc. More on those thoughts in the original post.
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*Was that as fun to read as it was for me to write? Indeed, indeed it was. Gentlemen, let us all embrace our natures in these, our post-mid-life-crisis years. For my part, my copy of Dr. A’s fine, illustrious tome will be one of the first up on these shelves.