Saturday, August 09, 2008

William's Bookshelf

Today, I had some time to work on William's built in bookshelf. The basic idea is a shelf that is 6ft wide, 4ft high, and 1ft deep. I'm building this out of 3/4" cabinet grade white oak plywood. Here is where I'm at...

I ripped up a sheet of 4x8 plywood. There will be 2 4ft high sides and two 6ft long shelves. The 2 sides will require grooves for the shelves to fit into.

I'm fortunate that my table saw has a sliding miter table that words pretty well for cutting grooves. I just set the saw blade height to 1/4".

Here is what the 1/4" groove looks like.

Here are the two sides, I just need two shelves to fit into those grooves.

Here I have the sides up and the shelves in place. I put some 1/4" oak ply on the wall behind the shelves. Next, these shelves need a top, but I'm also going to put some braces between the shelves to improve the strength. This unit is for a little boys room, so it is only a matter of time before he decides to climb it. The shelves better be ready...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Next Project: William's Room

Now that William is a teenage (15 months old), he's been clambering for his own room. And, we're very receptive to the idea. Only problem, his room is not trimmed yet. So, that's the next project. In addition to the usual baseboards and casings, I'm going to add a built-in bookshelf and built-ins for the closet.

First step was getting some more lumber. I got 4 sheets of cabinet grade 3/4" white oak ply (4x8), and 200bf of variable width 1" white oak boards. My careful calculations determined that I would need 2.835 sheets of plywood for the shelving, so I got 4 sheets because my careful calculations are usually wrong... No, I don't need 200bf of oak just for William's room, but I will definitely use the rest when I redo the casings downstairs (next next-project).

Since I'm just now getting geared up, here are some "before" photos. Let's hope I have some "after" photos before the end of the year.

Yes, that's a standard sized door. Although this room is only 10ft wide, the vaulted ceiling is 12ft high. The blue tape to the right of the door represents the bookshelf that I plan to build. It will be 4ft high and 6ft wide.

This bank of windows will get the usual Craftsman style casings like the rest of the house.

This is a modest closet at about 3ft wide by 5ft deep. I plan to put a simple system of drawers, shelves and hangers similar to those in our closet.

That's what 200bf of 1" oak and 4 sheets of oak ply look like. Btw, Crosscuts delivers for free in the Portland area, which is great considering I don't own a giant flatbed truck.

Update: Sunroom Done!

Well, I think I can finally call the sunroom done. Last week, I put the final touches of paint with brush and roller and that was it. In general, I'm happy with the outcome. However, I can hardly believe it took about 4 years (off and on) to get to this point. My only concerns are that the stain on the storage area doors and on the main column didn't turn out very even. I'm going to just leave it for now, but may decide at a latter date to redo them.

Something else I'd like to mention is that this was the first time I painted walls without masking tape. And guess what? It turned out SOOOOO much better!!! A friend of mine had their interior painted by professionals and he was surprised to see that they didn't use masking tape. I have been frustrated that, no mater what kind of masking tape I use, or how carefully I applied it, the paint always seemed to leak through a bit. This time, I just took my time and carefully cut a line with the brush. The trick is to start about about an inch from the trim, then move down and closer to the trim until you are just touching, then keep going until the brush runs out of paint. Then, do it again. It is easier than it sounds. I will never use masking tape again.

Now some pics:

The sunroom is over the garage and the floor is about 3ft lower than the rest of the 2nd floor. This means a short flight of stairs. The original plans called for the "railing" to be a solid wall and the area under the stairs to be enclosed. However, I decided to make the railing open spindle like the main stairs and to open up the area under the stairs for storage (who wouldn't?). Unfortunately, Jenn has already claimed every square inch of the storage area. sigh.

One thing I wasn't sure about but decided to leave in the original plans is this large circular window. I just don't think it looks "Bungalow". Some square and open-able windows probably would have been better. That said, most people who come visit say they love the circular window. So, what do I know?

The original plans called for tongue-n-groove pine ceiling with rough fir beams. After the beams were up, with metal hangers, I didn't like it. I tried sanding them to make them look cleaner, to no avail. So, I decided to cover them with 1/4" white oak ply. This, much to my surprise, created a more traditional box-beam look, which I'm pleased with. Happy accidents are fun.

Another change, actually suggested by the builder, was to change the flat ceiling over the stairs to open vaulted, which matched the rest of the 2nd floor. This left a curious triangular space that we decided to put two fixed framed triangular windows. This looks great and adds even more light, but does seem to draw the heat out of the room during cold weather.