Brain Food

Jealous of K being able to do so much work in the yard, and being completely stuck indoors, I decided to get started on a project that I have been thinking about since the winter.

This last Christmas, I was working on setting up our decor, getting the tree all setup and our house all festive, when horror struck. We store all our decor in our shop, up on a shelf…with the exception of our tree (yes we have a fake tree). While getting ready to setup our tree, I started cutting the tape that I had used to close up the box last year, when out popped a creepy little spider…Ok, one little spider, not a problem, just quickly kill it and get on with the festive setup. Open the first flap and the much bigger cousin of the first spider is sitting there staring at me. Out the front door, and into the snowy yard the tree went. After some aggressive shaking (by K as I am a complete wimp when it comes to spiders), and a guarantee that all the spiders were gone (I was tempted to get into some sort of hazmat gear), I finally got everything setup.

That was it…that was the moment that K won the argument of where the decor should be stored. He always thought it should be in the house, I always thought in the shop. The house has won now. But where would it go. All of our storage areas are already full, and I don’t want to split it all up into different areas. That would be no good. So we had to get creative.

Our rec. room is a long rectangle. The main portion will be a movie room eventually, but there was a wasted section where junk was piling up…hmmmmm. Seems like that would be a good storage area as it was wasted space, but it needed to be hidden. I didn’t want to just put up a wall with a door, so we thought about what I could build to hide the area, while adding ambience to the room. K suggested some floor to ceiling book shelves that I could fill with all my books. I love books….and I buy a lot of them that I happily read over and over. Although I like movies, a good book and my imagination is sooooooooo much better!

So, I decided that while I was stuck in the house, I might as well make it worth it. I have never built a wall, nor have I built bookcases or shelves, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard. I wanted to make sure that the bookcases were nice and sturdy because there would be storage items behind, and I didn’t want the bookshelves falling over if someone leaned on them.

I started by clearing the area, and taking a corner shelf out.

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From there, I setup some bookshelves that I bought…why build, when I could just utilize an already built set. I set them in place to see how the back bracing would need to be setup.

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Next, I added back bracing. Essentially I built a light weight wall without the drywall. It is screwed into the ceiling studs and the floor to ensure no movement.

I then attached the bookshelves to the bracing. This was not an easy task. Turns out our floors and walls all are convexed, making squaring the bookcases nearly impossible. Not a problem! I planned on framing them on the front to make them look built in, so I could hide the slight gaps.

The bookcases did not reach the ceiling which was not ideal since I was essentially looking to build a wall-style piece that would hide our storage. I managed to find some matching materials at our local hardware store to build a top cap to the bookcases. These 12″ cubbies will be a place for K to display some of his models.

Once the cases were built and went floor to ceiling, it was time to get rid of those pesky gaps. I was able to add framing to the front of the cases. Once painted white it completed the look.

I also filled all the holes in the bookcases where you can adjust the shelf heights. If I ever want to change the shelves, I can drill out the holes and move them, then re-fill as needed.

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Finally, I was able to put in my books. In my office, my collection had filled two bookcases, so I thought I would put a significant dent in the new shelving. Silly me, two smaller bookshelves in my office, is not even close to 4 floor to ceiling bookshelves! Oh well, it just means I need to buy a few more books. What a shame.

Last step still to be done is to build a tall skinny case that will go in the centre and will act as a door to the storage area. I’ll be procrastinating about that portion of the project until the fall…or until I decide which hardware I want to go with.

Now that I have this beautiful backdrop to a nice recliner, it is time to sit down and immerse myself in a new world and new book.

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