Friday, November 13, 2015

Eve's Not-So-Simple Bookshelf

So, as I mentioned before, we wanted to surprise Eve with a couple pieces of furniture, and decorate her recently finished room.  Before our updates, her room was very dark and lacking so much personality.  I really wanted to bring it to life and make it feel hers.  We had a total budget of $200-$250 for the updates.

Her room before
The next thing that Eve had mentioned wanted quite a lot, was a bookshelf in her room.  Like the desk, I tried to find a cheap bookshelf.  I needed one what wasn't too tall, so it could fit near the window as a backup location.  So the basic walmart ones were out.  These were what I came up with.
  1. Altra Mia Kids 4-shelf Bookcase - $120 
  2. Ana White's Banker Bookcase
  3. Guidecraft 6-ShelfBookcase, Natural - $270
  4. Graduated Tall Bookcase - $399

Had the reviews for the 1st one not been awful, I would have just bought and been happy.  But, alas, they were not.  The next two options that looked good were above the budget for the entire room improvement. 

So.  You know the story.  Like normal, we decided to make one.

Well, a little different than normal, in that we = mostly Jon.  I could manage the desk, but the amount of circular saw work for a bookshelf was way too much for a 8 month pregnant lady.  So when I drew up plans, I went extra extra detailed with them.  That way I wouldn't make it up as I go and sit there and dictate every step.  Cause, well... no one likes that :)

Ana white's plan was a decent starting point, and I took it from there.  I didn't to use mdf, like her plan calls for, so I opted to veneer all the raw edges.

So, like I said before there is a lot of circlar saw/table saw cutting, which my awesome hubby did all of.  He also picked up the wood, which was a nice $40 sheet of birch plywood, I think.
Yes Mom, Eli had to be on the stairs when he was cutting.

One the pieces were cut, it was time to shape the contour.  I made up a template for Jon, and he jigsaw-ed it out. 

While Jon was taking care of the big pieces, I worked on the small ones.   We used my go-to for painted wood - poplar.

These boards got a good sanding, and pocket hole on each end.  The shelves also got two pocket holes on each side.

 This board is the top board, which I routered a channel out of to hide the backerboard.  It takes a little extra work (and a router), but hiding the backerboard edges is a really easy way to make your piece look way cleaner.

And with that, I don't have anymore pictures.  We were in a rush to get the shelf pieces to my Mom so she could paint them for us.  We thought it would be easier for her to paint them as pieces, instead of all assembled.  I think that was a good call... sort of.

I veneered the front of the shelves, and that took a while.  Funny enough, each of the kids, including Eve, came down while I was veneering and took a turn with the iron.  Eli asked what we were doing, so I showed him the plans, and he kept quiet.  Eve, however... didn't even ask.  Odd, but I'll take it.

I used the finish nailgun and glue to attach the supporting rails to the newly veneered shelves.  That was all I needed to do for the shelves before assembly, and those got set aside for my mom to paint.

The front basket board, I decided to do simply (not jigsawing the plywood) and just used some stock wood.

Once the back support were attached to the base, the base was ready to paint.

Finally, the last step before assembly (after painting) was to put a veneer on the sides, and router out the back groove for the backer board.

After it was painted, we got it back and assembled it... which was actually pretty tough.  My Mom didn't realize that she shouldn't have painted the shelves ends, and the clearcoat was still tacky... so they were SUPER hard to position.

Plus, the nice beadboard we bought for the back was so hard, the nailgun was blowing nails out the sides.  Long story short, what finally did work was pre-drilling the backerboard, and hammering finish nails through that.

I'll get to more of the timecrunch in a later post, but just wait to see this bookshelf! It's gonna look awesome!

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