Saturday, July 20, 2013

And finished!

Oh, almost forgot...

I Finished it!
Not perfect, but it works!

Saturday Afternoon... Build day 2.

Well, things could have gone smoother. When I started to actually assemble the shelves.. things came apart like a house of cards. Turns out that liquid nail is not any good on wood.

So, I wrote off three of the morning's hours worth of work, and then went about trying to figure out what I could do. While I was scraping the remains of the glue off of all the wood and plastic, I called my wife and conferred with her. A friend of ours was with her, and offered a suggestion of JB weld. Figuring that I had nothing to really lose at that point, I went to the store and grabbed a tube of their binary epoxy that saying wood and "most" plastics.

After that, I actually went to a frind's house to help her and her folks unload  a piano. It was a distraction I needed, and she is loads of gun to chat with so we all spent about twenty minutes moving the piano out from her father's truck, and then another half an hour eating venison burgers.

So, then I get back to my house, then start gluing the parts back together with the compound.

Later on the same friend showed up at my place and helped me move some old furniture to the dump, and then move an old entertainment center to the garage to make room for the shelves. Without her... well it just wasn't going to happen without help, and she was glad to reciprocate for my help with the piano. So, anyway, she left just as I started putting the pieces all together, leaving me to assemble, move, stack and tighten things on my own. But at least I had room to work.

Saturday morning... Build day 2

You can see the colors and proportions starting to come together  The couplings are glues to the wood, the rest is waiting for me to flip over the boards and glue them in place

I ran out of work bench, so I improvised a place to let the glue cure
The bottom and top pieces, respectively.

This is just less than half of it, to sort of give you an idea of scale and color.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Build: Day 1

Okay, so I got home from work around 6:30 and more or less jumped into this.
Sanding the boards... about 3 hours of "fun". 

What had I sanded so far...

What was still left to go.

A lot of the boards had stencils on them. 

Ten minutes, an electric sander and  a lot of elbow grease later...

After my wife got done with the first coat of stain.

Another vantage point. 
Cutting the risers turned out to be a major undertaking, with a lot of hand cutting and fudging and measuring and... well, it was a lot of work. I spent two hours chopping up pipe before I realized I was short couplings, so I need to grab about a dozen more tomorrow at Walmart. 

The ones that had couplings got painted. it's not black, actually, but a metallic "brushed bronze" 

What was left of the 12' pipe after I was done chopping it up into the 18 risers I need. 

And yes, it was night by the time that last photo was taken. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

DVD shelf materials

Okay, so my wife and I went out tonight and picked up (what we think is) all of the materials for the shelves.

The Lowes Carpentry associate making the cuts for me. 

The shelves cut to length.

A 1" x 6" x 12' just before being cut down.
So we started with the shelves and within twenty minutes we had the boards we needed.

All of the stuff from Lowes loaded into the back of the van.  Total there was just short of $140.00

Then we went to WalMart and got a few odds and ends that we didn't feel like paying Lowes prices for. Between stain, a tape measure, foam brushes and some screws, the total was  $22.00. 

This is the sum total of everything we purchased tonight, Walmart and Lowes..

So, tomorrow will be the pre-build, where we sand and stain shelves... all ten of them. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The DVD shelf (version 2.0)

So, after much conversation with the wife, we have decided/concluded that an all-wood shelf for DVDs is just not practical. I lack both the tools and the experience for that level of workmanship. I mean, I cold easily cobble something together, but this has to look like it (more or less) fits in our living room. 

When we were at Ikea the other day, I had an idea. Rather than all wood, what we're going to do is wood shelves, with 2" PVC pipe for the risers between them. I've worked with PVC before, and know how it behaves. 

In a little more detail, what I'll do is cut a 6.5" piece of PVC, and put a coupling on each end. The coupling assures a smooth, clean edge (and a wider one) for glue to adhere to. The total height of two couplings and the 6.5" riser is 8.5", just a hair taller than a DVD case. I glue two of these to the face of each shelf at the 1/4 and 3/4 marks, then clue another shelve on top of that... and so on. Then at the ends, we run a 7' long run of 3/4" PVC pipe as an end cap to hold the DVD in on the ends (think built-in book end, as a concept).

Anyway, the shelf will be ten levels tall, with 9 of them usable, the top will be too close to our 8' ceiling to fit DVDs. At 58" across, with about 3" take-outs for the risers, that's 52" of usable space on each shelf. 

So...  that's about 100 dvds per shelve (assuming 1/2" per DVD case). Truth be told, it's probably going to be more like 80 though if you account for the box sets and the "special" cases.

And at 9 shelves, that is over 700 DVDs

Last I checked, my library, vast though it may be (and when I say vast, we are easily over 400), I think we should be ale to finally put my whole library away. 

The plan is to buy all of the parts on Thursday:

10 planks cut to 58" x 6" x 1" 
(Lowes will cut this, thank heavens)
10' x 2" PVC pipe 
(I might need to get a little more, but we will see)
36 x 2" couplings
2 x 4" couplings (feet)
2 x 10" 3/4" PVC pipe
4 x 3/4" PVC caps
1 bag, 3/4" pipe-straps/brass
2 tubes-liquid nail
4 cans "burnished metal/brass" spray paint
2 can dark stain/sealant
1 paint brush

Tape measure
Masking tape

When I get back, we sand and clean all the wood (likely an hour or more at the least)
Then stain all of it, this will probably last through Friday, but I need the boards ready to work with Saturday. 

Also, I'll cut PVC risers, and paint all the plastic parts Friday as well. 

Saturday morning, We lay out 9 boards, and glue the couplings to them, and then glue the feet to the bottom of the bottom shelf. 

Let that set, I'm figuring at least an hour for that, As it happens I might have a piano I need to go move in that time (long story)

Then... we turn those boards over, and glue couplings to the other side of each board (except for the top shelf, of course). 

Then, we let those set. With the couplings in place, we more or less have 2/3's of each shelf riser ready to go. 

Then, we assemble the shelves, one on top of the other. I'll drop one 6.5" space in each lower coupling, tap it in place, and then slide the top shelf in on top of that. Think of it like a giant lego or tinker toy, if you want. 
The PVC is self locking for our purposes, the only force it's going to take will be the one that compresses the fittings together.

Then I'll screw on the end caps (the 3/4" pipe and with caps).

The shelf will be sixteen times taller than it is wide, so I'll probably wide up using a small L bracket to hold it to the wall. This isn't meant to free stand anyway, so the wall is a good idea. I just want to make sure a cat doesn't knock the while thing over, (and yes, that is a very real possibility with us)

Anyway, the deadline is effectively Sunday night for this, because we need to put all the DVDs away before I head to work Monday morning. 

Expect pictures, I know I'll be taking lots of them.

Monday, July 1, 2013


So, we finally decided that the shelves we want for our (way the hell too big) DVD collection just don't exist in stores. So, after much deliberation, we're trying the DIY approach

Eight feet tall, 5 wide, with shelves meant to hold DVDs and not much else. The bottom part is for games, but even now as I look at the lumber listings for the local Lowes, I think this is going to need some modifications. Sigh...

oh well, at least I have an idea, and some dimensions, right?