Floor to Ceiling Bookcase - Questions - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-20-2012, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Floor to Ceiling Bookcase - Questions

I am looking at a floor-to-ceiling bookcase in Reader's Digest "Complete Do-it-Yourself" Manual. (pg504-505).

I have a few questions as to terminology, and then further questions about process. I can't find pictures of this online, so I'll just have to describe it.

I have a wall in my dining room I want to build a FtC Bookcase on. I understand the basics, which involve vertical boards with a board on top wedged between the vertical boards and the ceiling. holes will be drilled into the vertical board to support pins, which will hold the shelves.

The book suggest using "index pins" to lock the bottom end of the vertical panels. It then suggests "temporary cleats call stringers" to align the other boards. What are these things?

I'd upload pictures of the book, but I doubt that's legal.

If you can't tell, I'm lost. I'm an absolute beginner, but feel like this project is within my skillset.

Thanks for your help.
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-20-2012, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipmafia View Post
I am looking at a floor-to-ceiling bookcase in Reader's Digest "Complete Do-it-Yourself" Manual. (pg504-505).

I have a few questions as to terminology, and then further questions about process. I can't find pictures of this online, so I'll just have to describe it.

I have a wall in my dining room I want to build a FtC Bookcase on. I understand the basics, which involve vertical boards with a board on top wedged between the vertical boards and the ceiling. holes will be drilled into the vertical board to support pins, which will hold the shelves.

The book suggest using "index pins" to lock the bottom end of the vertical panels. It then suggests "temporary cleats call stringers" to align the other boards. What are these things?

I'd upload pictures of the book, but I doubt that's legal.

If you can't tell, I'm lost. I'm an absolute beginner, but feel like this project is within my skillset.

Thanks for your help.
The terminology is not a standard, but rather words that are used to describe or explain. Those same words could be used for other applications. From the way you describe this project, it sounds like you will be making this cabinet in place. What I mean is parts and pieces assembled together right where the cabinet will be placed, instead of making a cabinet and setting it in place.

If it's to be constructed in place, the "index" pins could be positioning items like dowels or nails to hold the standing end to a cross member. A cleat would be a stop or a ledger strip, to act as a support for another piece. I'm just assuming what is meant. If there was a sketch or drawing showing the parts, that would help to explain.





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post #3 of 20 Old 09-20-2012, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Something like this, except with the top being flush with the ceiling. (8ft)
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-22-2012, 06:30 PM
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I have the "New Complete Do-It-Youself Manual" from Reader's Digest (copyright 1991) and tried finding anything like you we're describing. I'm sorry I couldn't find it, but I think I know what they were getting at. Attached is a picture of a project on which I am currently working. It's very similar to a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, but hidden in a closet so it'll be less polished than what your doing.

I agree that the "index" pins seem like small dowel pins that you use to keep the first vertical panel from sliding/tipping once its in place. The cleats they are talking about might be used as both spacers to maintain consistency, and to hold the next vertical panel until it can be secured in place.

I don't know if that makes sense or is helpful in any way. Here's a link to a project that might be helpful. It's a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf from Popular Mechanics. http://www.popularmechanics.com/home...orking/4268525
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-27-2012, 12:28 AM
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I don't believe you are in breach of copyright. My understanding is so long as it is less than 10% and you sont take credit for it then you can scan a picture and post it. You ce told us it is readers digest.

Someone correct me if I am wrong.

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post #6 of 20 Old 09-27-2012, 06:55 AM
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I haven't met a floor or ceiling yet that was level enough to build straight to the ceiling. I suggest using a trim piece at the top to help hide inconsistencies or make a filler piece you can scribe later. As far as stringer goes I assume they are talking bout a fixed shelf of some sort. With a shelf that tall you would want some added support to keep it from collapsing in on itself.

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post #7 of 20 Old 09-27-2012, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipmafia View Post
I am looking at a floor-to-ceiling bookcase in Reader's Digest "Complete Do-it-Yourself" Manual. (pg504-505).

I have a few questions as to terminology, and then further questions about process. I can't find pictures of this online, so I'll just have to describe it.

I have a wall in my dining room I want to build a FtC Bookcase on. I understand the basics, which involve vertical boards with a board on top wedged between the vertical boards and the ceiling. holes will be drilled into the vertical board to support pins, which will hold the shelves.

The book suggest using "index pins" to lock the bottom end of the vertical panels. It then suggests "temporary cleats call stringers" to align the other boards. What are these things?

I'd upload pictures of the book, but I doubt that's legal.

If you can't tell, I'm lost. I'm an absolute beginner, but feel like this project is within my skillset.

Thanks for your help.
The biggest problem with a floor to ceiling bookcase is getting it into the room and standing it up if built in the shop and not onsite. You may have to make the box part of the cabinet smaller and cover the exposed end with 1/4" plywood after installing it.

The line of holes drilled on the sides for the adjustable shelves are normally called "line bore". In a factory there is machinery like a drill press only it has multiple drill bits in it that drill the holes for the pins. The line bore machine is not frightfully expensive but no more than I would use it I just use a pattern made out of 1/4" plywood and drill by hand.

With the "indexing pins" it sounds like they expect you to build the cabinet onsite. The indexing pins would be dowels which align the parts. Its kind of like the pins on a table leaf which make the leaf align with the table correctly.

It sounds like the "stringers" are just scrap wood screwed to the ends of the side panels for the purpose of transportation. I sometimes will build a bookcase upper that is intended to sit directly on the counter top. The cabinet is just two sides with a top and a back so I screw a piece of scrap to the bottom of the sides to keep from breaking the cabinet shipping it across town to the jobsite.
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-27-2012, 09:07 AM
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If you have the space to fabricate the unit, it could simply be done in an upper and lower section. If there is a toekick, that could be made loose, which would permit leveling the upper section easier. Making in sections would make for an easier build, and easier installation, IMO. Then all the work is done out of the room, and just installed.

Here is a thread discussing both methods:
Built In vs. Built In Look





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post #9 of 20 Old 09-27-2012, 09:09 AM
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there are 2 ways to build this

The first is in place with the predrilled FtC verticals for the shelf supports. This presents several problems least of which is tying everything together...sides... back and anchoring the verticals in place. I have made "in place" shelves where each side is captured by the walls. The sides were dadoed and shelves made to slip in with a snug fit.There were no anchors needed.
I personally would not attempt a "free standing" FtC shelf without side walls.

Here's what I would do. Use a 4" high base platform and place the prebuilt shelving unit on top. This allows for the shelving to be brought into the room in one piece, rotated to vertical and lifted up on top of the base. It will be much more structurally secure than an assembly built in place. The rabbeted back can be screwed to the studs for greater security. The shelves can still be adjustable, but a center fixed shelf, rabbeted if possible, should be used to maintain the proper consistency in the width. The top and bottom shelves will also be permanently fixed in place.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-27-2012, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The biggest problem with a floor to ceiling bookcase is getting it into the room and standing it up if built in the shop and not onsite.

When I built a floor to ceiling bookcase for our bedroom, I forgot to use the Pythagorean Theorem to figure the max height that could be tilted into position, given the depth of the bookcase.

A sq. + B sq. = C sq. or C sq. - B sq. = A sq.

Example:
Ceiling height (max bookcase diagonal to fit in room) = 8' (C)
Bookcase depth = 2' (B)

8' squared = 64' (C squared)
2' squared = 4' ( B squared)

64' - 4' =60' (A squared)

Square root of 60 = 7.75' (A) (max height)
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-27-2012, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
When I built a floor to ceiling bookcase for our bedroom, I forgot to use the Pythagorean Theorem to figure the max height that could be tilted into position, given the depth of the bookcase.

A sq. + B sq. = C sq. or C sq. - B sq. = A sq.

Example:
Ceiling height (max bookcase diagonal to fit in room) = 8' (C)
Bookcase depth = 2' (B)

8' squared = 64' (C squared)
2' squared = 4' ( B squared)

64' - 4' =60' (A squared)

Square root of 60 = 7.75' (A) (max height)
Your numbers can be double checked, or an existing shelf checked by measuring diagonally across one of the sides, it should be just under the height of the ceiling.

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post #12 of 20 Old 09-27-2012, 01:58 PM
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I assembled mine inside the closet without a kicker or trim. The closet was too small to bring a finished piece in and set on a kicker. I needed to measure each spot I put a vertical piece. With a 1"x6", the internal diagonal on the 1" side was negligible (96"^2 + .75"^2 = 96.0029"^2), so I cut the pieces exactly to the height of the spot I was putting them. To exemplify what was stated by someone earlier, my floor-to-ceiling height varied from place to place ±.5". I used pocket holes and screws to secure them to the studs (I didn't add a back because the wife didn't want to lose /any/ space), and used fixed shelves to act as cross supports and strengthen the finished piece.

If you're building the bookshelf in a large enough room, as I'm assuming you are, I wouldn't use the same technique I did. I thought it could demonstrate an alternative method. I'm sure there are many members that could tell you why this isn't the way to do it., but there it is, lol.
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Last edited by tsrep13; 09-27-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-28-2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
When I built a floor to ceiling bookcase for our bedroom, I forgot to use the Pythagorean Theorem to figure the max height that could be tilted into position, given the depth of the bookcase.

A sq. + B sq. = C sq. or C sq. - B sq. = A sq.

Example:
Ceiling height (max bookcase diagonal to fit in room) = 8' (C)
Bookcase depth = 2' (B)

8' squared = 64' (C squared)
2' squared = 4' ( B squared)

64' - 4' =60' (A squared)

Square root of 60 = 7.75' (A) (max height)
I've never tried to work this out mathematically before. I played around with it this morning with different depths and it works very well. I've always just laid it out on a sheet of plywood.



Last edited by Steve Neul; 09-28-2012 at 08:26 AM.
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-29-2012, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I've never tried to work this out mathematically before. I played around with it this morning with different depths and it works very well. I've always just laid it out on a sheet of plywood.


The math method works better, when woodworking from the armchair!
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post #15 of 20 Old 10-01-2012, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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The pictures couldn't be much worse, but perhaps that will help direct comments better. Thx for the input this far.

I start this next week.
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post #16 of 20 Old 10-02-2012, 08:11 AM
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Is there anything you don't you like about whats in the book? It looks like for the most part they have it worked out. I believe the vertical panels I would completely fabricate and sand in the shop. With the way they have it illustrated it would put you sanding it after installation which would be much harder. Perhaps there are more pages showing this but they don't really show the way the cabinet is mounted to the wall. I believe I would use something like this where you could slide it into place and tack it to the block. If you think it is permanent then you could put a block on the floor as well.
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post #17 of 20 Old 10-02-2012, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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I'll use your suggestion to attach the panels to the wall. I'll do something similar at the bottom, as this will be more of a permanent fixture.
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post #18 of 20 Old 10-02-2012, 07:25 PM
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I have a hard time building anything from a book. Respect what you're trying to achieve :) As said above the terminology used is subjective to the unit itself but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just listen to what others have said, seems pretty spot on to me!
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post #19 of 20 Old 10-02-2012, 11:56 PM
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If your not going to start until next week you might post this thread again on General Woodworking Discussion. I believe it will be viewed there more.

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post #20 of 20 Old 10-03-2012, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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I'll post as I'm working. Should be a fun project, especially considering I've never built anything remotely like this.
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