Final Fabrication: ITP Print Lab Bookshelf

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · | General / FUN · Intro to Fabrication

This project got started because a group of us decided to stock some books on the some how book-less ITP floor.  We formed a club and created what will eventually be the “ITP Print Lab”.

cool. great.

So I approach Rob Ryan to see about getting a shelf and was told I can be provided with material to build my own bookshelf.  Ok. I guess I can do this.

I was very nervous to start this project and it took me over a month to complete because I kept waiting for help. Eventually I just decided to dive in.

I measured the space which had been designated as the future location of the print lab and got started with some 3/4 inch plywood – which I cut into planks using the standing saw.

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I realized in hindsight that if I had used a jig during this process I would have had a much easier time compensating for the width of the blade. Lesson learned for next time.

I also used the metal cutting saw to cut 4 lengths of speed rail which would be used as the support for my shelving. (not shown)

I then measured and marked each board and cut holes for the speed rail to pass through, using the drill press.

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This was a bit tedious but I eventually got the job done and was relieved to find that my holes lined up.

Here are all my prepped parts and pieces (including the flanges I intend to use to hold and position the shelves on the speed rail):

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Before fastening everything together I took minute to assemble the piece and make sure all the parts fit. I was relieved to find that they did.

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I had two types of screws and a variety of nuts and bolts. So I decided to adhere my flanges using screws for two of the boards and use the nuts, bolts, and washers for the baseboard.

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I got started with the screws and washers.

I marked the bottom of the top shelf using another board as a stencil and positioned my flanges.  I then went ahead and drove in my screws using a long drill bit; trying the come down from as straight above as possible.

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The second board that I attached the flanges to – using screws – had the pre-drilled speed rail holes, so I decided to use a small piece of pipe the hold the flange in place as I worked.

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I got started on the baseboard.

I needed to drill holes through the boards, aligned with the holes in the flanges, so that I could eventually pass the bolt through them. I decided to use the flanges as stencils and marked the spots where the holes should be.

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Because of the size and shape of the drill press I couldn’t use it to drill these holes so I had to use the electric hand drill. I stacked scrap wood both under neither the spot where I intended to drill and under the other side of the board (to keep it level). I used tape (not shown) to mark the drill bit so I knew the appropriate depth and didn’t accidentally ruin the floor. I tried to drill as straight down as I could.

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I then got to work attaching the flanges with nuts and bolts.

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The best way I could find to tighten the nuts was using a regular wrench and socket wrench in tandem with each other.

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This worked well so I got started putting all the finished parts together.

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I used an allen wrench to tighten the flanges onto the speed rail that I ran through each board/shelf.

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I was pleased to find that things came together quickly and all of my parts still lined up.

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Aaron helped me wedge(hammer) in the final board.

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She looks pretty good! But still a bit rough around the edges.

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Renata helped me navigate the power sander which we used to clean up the edges of the shelving and free it of any splinters.

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I also passed over the edges by hand to grab the smaller bits we missed with the power sander.

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I tried to clean up the inside of the wood too. I regretted not having done this before putting everything together. Another lesson learned.

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Just for fun I found a piece of scrap wood and decided to make a label for the finished bookshelf.

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Which I adhered using wood glue.

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I have to be honest, I am pretty proud of this work. The feeling of accomplishment that I felt upon completing it gave me a new found confidence as a fabricator.

Look what time, patience and craft can produce:

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One Comment

Ben Light says:

December 14, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Nice work! I agree, I would have sanded and probably added a finish to all of the wood before assembling. I would think about maybe adding an oil finish before you start stacking books on it.

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