Help measuring a bookshelf \ door - Router Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Default Help measuring a bookshelf \ door

Ok, I am working on our media room by adding a closet, attic storage, and a set of shelves for my DVDs.

For a bit of back history, about two months ago we had five days of single digit temperatures which is very abnormal for the Dallas Texas area. We had the cold water pipe that feeds the hot water heaters freeze in a small attic space over my garage.

I fixed the water pipe but while working on it I discovered that I had some wasted space in between a closet and the water heater closet in the media room which is over my garage. It also backs up to a small attic space which is just begging to be converted to storage.

So, after I finished repairing the water pipe and actually insulating the pipe from the weather, (damn the previous plumber who did not insulate the corners of the pipes), I started on converting the wasted space to something usable.

I first cut and removed some drywall, removed the studs and base plate from the wall area, then opened up the attic wall. Since there was power in the area I went ahead and ran some lights, and added three more electric outlets. I then decked the attic space, insulated and covered the roof rafters and the back wall of that space, then lastly I added two walls to the ends of the storage area.

It's not an awesome decking job and there are some gaps, partially because the builders did not worry about the edges of their work in an unused attic space. But since we are using it for storage, I was not real concerned with that part of it.

Now I am getting where I only have to drywall the closet and then add the door/shelf. That is where I need the help. What I am planning on doing is creating a door that is a "bookshelf" for my DVDs. I want the shelf to look like a built-in set of shelves but still be able to open it so we can access the closet and the attic storage.

I have measured my DVDs and the jewel cases are 7.5"s tall, 5 3/8s deep, and 5/8s wide. So, I need my shelf's to be at least 6" deep and will probably go 7" just to have it stick out further than the DVDs. I am also planning on using standard hinges and not a piano hinge like I have seen others do.

So, I am planning on a 7" shelf, the back of the shelf carcass will be 1/2", and I will have the shelf unit sticking out the wall 1/2" or 3/4" so it can be flush with the trim. The frame I am putting the shelves in is 6' tall and 48" wide and right now it's just 2X4s so it's actually 3-1/2" deep.

How wide can I make the shelves where I can still open them like a door and not get caught on the side of the frame. I figure there is some math equation or a rule of thumb but I am not sure where to find it. Is the best thing to do is to create a small mock up of the carcass with MDF and just go from there?

(Wow... that was a lot of typing just to ask a question in two lines of text, sorry about that :-)

BTW, thanks for all the help guys, this site is an awesome resource!

Tim Sapp

"But before we use any power tools lets talk about shop safety. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And remember this... There is no more important safety rule than to wear these... safety glasses." -- Norm
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 11:52 AM
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Probably the easiest way to do it is to mock it up with a cardboard or hardboard template. You'll want the hinge at the front of the cabinet, and have a clearance gap on the opposite side that you can cover with moulding attached to the case.

You might want a caster or glide on the side opposite the hinge to help carry a little weight.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 02:46 PM
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Pythagorean Theroum.

See below.

The problem with these Types of thick doors is that you need a lot of clearance. For the one you propose, you'll need at least an inch of gap between the door/shelf and the jamb. this won't look very good.

The equations in the pictures show the minimum clearance. You'll need to add more. A mockup is a good idea but this will get you started toward making one.

Some solutions:
1. Use a hinged panel on the right side.
2. Attach trim panel to the front of the door so it covers the gap - hard to make it look good and blend in.
3. Thinner door, or make it protrude out instead of in.
4. Angle one end of shelf so it clears jamb. Lose shelf space. Black interior will hide the angled end wall of the shelf.
5. Complex hinge system - use your imagination foir this one.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 07:49 PM
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I understand why you would want a light switch going onto the Attic/storage area but why recepts on both sides if they will be covered by a door/shelf? Plug ins for items in/on the door/shelf?

Anyway my thoughts since the attic opening is on the left, have your hinges on the right side front and have the door/shelf supported by casters for added ease of opening and support.

The left side of the door/shelf has to be angle in to the right to clear the opening...not sure of the angle. I would have the Face Frame on the far left and far right attached to the wall and the top and bottom rail attached to the door/shelf. The bottom rail would cover the casters at the rug and the top rail covering the sheet rock. Both would have to be mitered for opening and for the appearance of a connected face frame as the face frame on the door/shelf itself would be flush with the far left and far right full length stiles.

Good luck, tell us how you did it and show us some pics when your done

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