It’s funny…I had originally kind of planned this whole adventure into three even posts. I see now that it will be a full series of posts because the project is way more involved than my big picture “details, schmeetails” head could wrap around.
Thankfully, the dude behind this project is way more detail-oriented than me. And despite me being down for the count the last week with a nasty cold, and our attention turning to outside spring maintenance, we’ve made some next strides in our latest installment of Bookcase Bodaciousness.
First up – Page cut a “countertop” piece as we’re calling it for each bookcase, from our 3/4 ” thick oak plywood. (And yes, a nearby whiskey was nearby for this stage. Hehe.)
To make these long cuts, he clamped a level to the master sheet of plywood to act as a guide for the circular saw.
If you’re using this technique in your own project, just know to clamp the level however far from the edge your counter depth will be (in our case, 14 “) ….
…plus whatever the distance is from the edge of your saw to the blade (in our case, it’s an even 5 ” additional).
Page used his jawhorse to hold the middle of the plywood sheet in place, but because it was so long and thin, he set up additional 2x4s at each end with extra clamps to hold the ends steady as well.
And it’s helpful to have an assistant brace the clamp that’s holding the piece that will be cut and fall away. (Please excuse my pajama attire.)
Page sanded the edges to gently round and smooth them (no sharp corners to bump into) and then I sanded and primed the counters and gave them the same two coats of paint I’ve given to the cabinets.
While I was painting, Page added shims to the cabinets (as perfect as the cuts and measurements were, the cabinets were, well, less than perfect, so to get them level requird a little finessing.)
Now you see the gaps….
…and now you don’t!
Much better, and a little caulk smoothed over the seam will make that line disappear altogether. Once in place, he screwed the shimmed cabinets into the walls for support, using wood colored screws to blend as much as possible.
One of the last steps will be to cut off the shim pieces sticking out at the bottom.
We also screwed the doors back on. By default, the single cabinet doors both opened to the right, so to balance things out between the two bookcases, we drilled new holes in one of them so the door could open left. No sense in having a cabinet in the corner that opens into the wall. We marked and drilled holes in each door using the same amazing four-dollar wonder tool we bought when adding our kitchen cabinet hardware. They make these for doors and drawers and have been life savers!
The piece on the end is a 1/4 ” plywood to end-cap the units and will be one of the last pieces to go in, but you can get the idea here. I caulked the seams in each of the cabinet doors, which, once hung, showed a few gaps in paint, since the center panel shifts oh-so-slightly and could only be fixed so well with paint alone. The caulk made a huge difference – wish I had a before to compare to the afters!
Next up will be adding backboard and of course the shelving to both sides, then a bunch of trim to both the shelves and the bottom of the bases to finish it all off. It sounds like a relatively short list…we’ll see how long it takes us. 🙂 I’m already thrilled that I can put the shelves back in the cabinets and start loading them up…I’ve been daydreaming about all the stuff I can now stash in here!
[Note: You can read ALL of the “Building Bookcases” post series here!]