Saturday, August 11, 2012

513 / 185 Built in bookshelves and bench are made match house's natural fir trim

These beautiful natural fir cabinets were original to the house.  The house belongs to a busy family with small kids who like to set the table.  Not only were some of these glass panels cracked but the leading was, of course, toxic when rubbed.  We rebuilt the panels using old window glass and artificially aged zinc came to mimic the old work.
On the other side of this large room, it is evident that while the bookshelves are fully and neatly stacked, there isn't quite enough storage for the family.  (Before photo)
This "after" photo shows the built in cabinetry and bookshelves made to match and blend with the existing house woodwork.  Buck and I designed the unit and built all the components.  Our friend and colleague Jeff Axtell installed our work.
You can see that the neighboring house got a new coat of paint during the time it took to do this project!  
Here are two sturdy drawers (one for each child -- smart!)  A cushion is planned for the seat.  

Drawers were self guided, similar to others in the house, and well waxed so they work smoothly.  
The corner of the bench is fitted with a block similar to the detail on the glass fronted casework.

In order to save space in this rather modestly sized bungalow, the deepest / largest books were given a shelf above the bench.  It is deep enough for the large volumes and still easy to reach these while standing on the bench top. 
This shows some details of how the bench section meets the shelf sections, and the understated crown at the ceiling level.  All the pieces were built in the shop and pre-finished.  Installation therefore consisted of very little on-site disruption and took one guy and a helper 1 1/2 days.  

Detail of how the bench sides meet the bookshelves.  Many hours of design time and thought went into what exact configuration and dimensions were best for this entire structure.  Bench sides were designed so that these long broad planks would serve as back rests.  All work is done to look like solid wood; however plywoods were used where appropriate.  Solid wood expands and contracts seasonally, and if a piece is built wrong, or if solids are used where plywoods should be, these solids will warp, crack and split.    

Another view of the drawers. 
Another view of the bench backrest.  (Pillows made by yours truly)

Showing nice tight joint between the case and wall.  Special thanks to our friend and colleague Jeff Axtell, who did a brilliant job at installation while recovering from a fractured collar bone.

This is my favorite feature:  Old school zig zag adjustable shelf supports.  I love these but my husband considers them a waste of time.  Therefore it is usually my job to make them.  Fortunately he has made us a very clever jig that makes the cutting nearly automatic, and it also makes it fit precisely, such that any support will universally fit into any slot.