Assembling library shelves

A lot of work went into the preparation of the individual library shelf components. It was time to put everything together.

We started by setting the vertical support onto the shelf base. Spacing was absolutely critical to make sure everything would fit. Because of that, I didn’t opt for measuring, which can be notoriously inaccurate. Instead I used the finished shelves and pilaster strips to space and position each vertical support.

This was one of those jobs where an extra pair of helping hands was priceless. I was lucky enough to have our friend Steve stop by to set up the supports with me, get them attached, and help me with placing the top deck.

With the top deck in place, I could go ahead and install the LED puck lights. These were intended as downlights across the front of the shelves. But more about that later. Following the lights, I installed the pilaster strips that would hold the shelves.

I could finally get to my little treasure, the antique front panel. And I deliberately used the words “treasure” and “antique,” because while I was preparing and installing the panel, I had to remove a couple of wood spacers, and every single nail I pulled from the panel, even the tiniest finishing nails, where of the forged, square type.

There was not a single modern, round nail in that piece. We got a hint that this piece was really old from the rolled glass in the doors. And the forged nails were further evidence.

After placing the shelves, we got our impression of what the library would look like. Needless to say, we liked what we saw.

To seamlessly blend the front panel with the rest of the shelf assembly, I placed small discrete pieces of trim around it.

I also had some extra trim pieces milled that I used as trim on the front of the top deck. This way I could cut any glare from the downlights, and hide the cables and transformers that were resting on the top deck.

With the finished product in my sight, I felt that all the careful preparations and planning that went into this piece were worth it!

Although I shouldn’t call it a finished product – because the most important thing was still missing: the books.

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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