Monday, September 8, 2014

Custom shelving for bro

My brother is in Melbourne yay!

Looking for accommodation for him was a bit hectic at first but he was quick enough to secure a sweet place near his university campus in Hawthorn. As with most inner suburbs, accommodation was either new and small, cheap but falling apart, cheap and far, and nice but expensive. He went for newish small with furnishing. It was lacking a bit of pantry storage so I offered to make a custom sized buffet table/shelf for him.

As a student of course he wanted to keep costs as low as possible. Pallet wood is not an option cause it will be used for food storage soooooo I had to be more resourceful. I scoured through my wood stash and found a big chunks of a pine IKEA table but that wouldn't be enough. As luck would have it, my mum chanced upon a complete set of IKEA bed slats :p That was the ticket!

I started off with a sketch with dimensions to fit in the space available at my bro's apartment. Sent it to him for confirmation and started working on it straight away.

Simple sketch with dimensions

The IKEA bed slats were 0.9m long and would be used to make the shelves and the legs. As I got started on the shelves, I realised going along with the sketch would have required a lot of cutting and also several complete 1.2m lengths of pine to provide bending stiffness. In the end the design was altered to this:

 Two bottom shelves done

Stiffness wasn't too bad! The bit which I was most worried about was the top. The left-over pine table was more square than long rectangle, so I had to cut it into two and re-position it to make up enough length. They were connected with dowels along with two additional lengths of pine to make up enough width. A lot of wood glue was used!

 Strapping 'the top' all together when the glue was drying

All was left was putting all the parts together with screws and some structural pieces for stability. I borrowed the shear-resisting cross-brace idea from IKEA and made my own from a thin aluminium bar. Attaching it to the back of the shelf made it super sturdy!

Completed shelf ready for transport

The happy bro called it 'hot' when I showed him this photo. I hope it is serving him well!

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