Building Built-ins


Oh, this is fun to share! The new bookshelves are built!

It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would, but Jeremy did help quite a bit. If it had all been left to me, we'd still be waiting.

There were some mistakes and fiascos, like the moment I sat on the board I'd just covered in glue. I dropped a board on my finger, which almost made me cry. I also dropped a corner clamp on my ankle bone, and, again, almost cried. I also missed with the nail gun several times. But overall, we're thrilled with how they came together.

Jeremy basically did the base cabinets by himself, and I did the shelves. We used 2x10's for the base cabinets so that the bases would be nice and strong. We put together the top and two sides with wood screws and corner clamps. We leveled this part each time before moving on. The floors and walls in this house aren't perfectly level anymore, so sometimes we had to trim one side to make the cabinet level. This made it easier, though, because we could build the shelves without leveling them on the wall. They are level because they are sitting on level base cabinets.





We put two pieces of 1x2 in between the two sides of the base cabinets and then a 1x10 on top of those for our cabinet shelves. Then we just had to face out the base cabinet with 1x4's. We put a 1x4 in the middle of each to shut the cabinet doors on.

The shelves were easy but took some time to put together. And lots of measuring. I had two long sides that I marked with lines to show where I needed to put each shelf. I marked both sides so that I would know where to put the nail gun. So it looks a mess, but after we sand, prime, and paint it'll look great. I put 6 shelves across, one at the top and five to put the books on. These corner clamps helped exponentially.  Then I faced them out with a 1x4 across the top to nail the crown molding to and 1x2's down the front. Those went fairly quickly.




We added brace pieces to the back of each shelf and used those to attach the shelves to the walls. We screwed those into studs in order to keep the shelves nice and strong.


All in all, it wasn't a horrible project. It will be so worth it to have so much space for all of our books and school things. I wanted the covered cabinets so that I could put away notebooks and things. We were able to use the 2x10's from the quick shelves we'd put together a few years ago, so that saved some money. We bought plywood boards and ripped them down for the 1x10's and had a few extra boards that we'll use up in the kids' closets.




Now I just have to sand them all down, add the molding, caulk everything, prime the bookshelves, and paint! That really still sounds like a lot to do. And Jeremy reminded me that we still have to put together the cabinet doors. So it's going to take a while, but we're getting there!

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