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.

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