October 26, 2011

A Week Away from home...

I have been quiet the last little bit. I took a much deserved break from my everyday life to visit my daughter Deborah in Los Angeles. 

While there, I took on a project. Shelving, with the help of her friend, Karl. We salvaged a wooden bookcase and turned it into over the toilet storage. We found the wooden book case on the curb, waiting for the salvage truck.

The two bedroom apartment she lives in was built in 1954, and is under 600 square feet. It does have some character, with it's wooden paneling on some walls and exposed beam ceiling. The shortcomings: limited storage, no insulation or sound proofing. Deborah shares the apartment with 2 roommates and they all share the one bathroom. Most of the manufactured over the toilet storage measure 25" wide. 

How did we do this? The books case measured 72"H x 36"W x 13.5"D and the ceiling is 7' 10".  For safety the bottom portion needed to be shortened and altered.  By cutting the curve and splitting a shelf I was able to create two narrow 5.5 inch shelves perfect for the extra rolls and storage jars.  

The only tools we used a hammer, screwdriver drill, and jig saw. 

  1. Remove the shelves, toe kick, back and bottom shelf.
  2. The attached middle shelf originally used for stabilization became our bottom large shelf.
  3. Just below the stabilization is where to begin the curve. How did we obtain the curve? We made a trip to the kitchen, found a large bowl. Marking where we wanted the curve to start and end carefully placed the bowl on the dots and traced the curve. We continued the line down the back for the depth of the bottom unit. (1/2 the original depth) We also shortened it at this point. Our unit is now 60" tall. 
  4. Using a piece of paper make a pattern of the shelf adjustment holes, using a screw to punch holes in the paper. Align in the front of cabinet and carefully drill new shelf holes. A piece of tape is a good reminder for how deep to drill the holes.
  5. Split one shelf in half, forming 2 bottom shelves. 
  6. Screw the new bottom shelf into place.
  7. Dry fit back panel, carefully draw a pencil line, remove and shorten.
  8. Replace and secure back panel.
  9. Attach the old toe kick onto the top back of the unit to aide in hanging.
  10. Paint, stain or leave finished as is. We did stain the unit.
  11. Now to find studs, I use a hammer and thin nail to locate the studs.
  12. Using the remains of the bookcase side I cut two pieces to attach to the wall. Securely screwing them into the stud and in two instances using mollies for added strength. I used 4 screws to support the unit.
  13. Lifting the new shelving unit onto the wall cleat, we screwed it into place. 
  14. For added stability, screw into ceiling joist and into wall studs.
  15. We probably added more screws than necessary, but the back panel was 1/8" thick, and bathroom safety a priority.
The cost, a few hours of labor, some 3" screws, and 1.25" screws and a quart of stain.

The girls then added baskets, to finish the unit.