|Stage 1 — 2016-12-06|
Note: Those aren't the shelves.
They're just braces holding the plywood in place
while the glue cures.
The dead space in question is the niche between an old fireplace (long walled over) and the exterior wall. This creates some issues when it comes to making built-in shelves.
The fireplace is brick, behind the plaster-board, and thus would need rawl-plugs to anchor the shelf supports. That's not a big deal, but it's kind of a pain in the arse.
More troublesome is the right-hand side, the exterior wall. It's lath-and-plaster, which is pretty much just fancy-schmancy wattle-and-daub. It has no structural strength in itself, and to cap it, it makes it really hard to locate the studs and dwangs.
So, to make life a whole lot easier for myself, I'm lining the cavity with plywood, which will take nails and screws perfectly well. The pieces are just glued to the walls with construction cement (No More Nails); I'll put a couple of screws through each for a bit of extra earthquake insurance, but the shelves themselves will provide all the bracing they'll really need.
Note: the glue has to set for 24 hours before I can take the braces away, so this will be slightly drawn-out project.
|Stage 2 — 2016-12-07|
Small display shelves
2016-12-07It's the next day, the glue has cured, and Stage 2 of the shelf-building project is underway.
This bottom space is quite tall — 700mm — to accommodate a decent-sized TV, just in case that becomes relevant again some time in the future. At the back of this niche I've put a grid of quite shallow (140mm) shelves to display knick-knacks and what-not. The higher shelves won't have this feature; they wouldn't be visible. At the moment it's just held in place (fairly firmly) by friction, but I'll add a few screws just as insurance.
All of the shelves above this are quite deep (400mm), designed for storage, not display. If I get really carried away I may install cupboard doors over them, but not just yet.
Stage 3The first of the big shelves is in.
They're going to take a bit of fitting owing to the un-squareness of the surrounding house, but this one at least is very, very nearly square on the left hand side, which eases matters a bit. The situation gets worse as I get higher.
These shelves are just 18mm MDF, so I've added a strengthening member underneath which also adds a bit of a curve to soften the otherwise rigidly straight (but not square) lines.
This is all going to be painted white, so I don't have to be all that careful about hiding screw-heads — I just make sure they're well below the surface, and then cover them up with builders' bog. It's excellent stuff, though it does reek a bit while it's curing.