Friday, February 4, 2011

The Shelf Adventure

This adventure began when the wedding pictures from our photographer's wedding package were selected. My wife wanted to hang the pictures in frames on the wall. Awesome! That is simple and easy, just let me know when its time and I will hammer a few nails and be done. Oh was I wrong. She wanted to set the picture frames on shelves, so that they could lean against the wall. So off to Target, Wal-mart and Lowe's we went to see if we could find shelves that would accomplish the desired look. We struck out at all three because the shelves were too deep (we wanted like 3-4 inches and stores had 6-8 inches) and didn't have a lip on the edge to prevent the frame from sliding off. That's when I opened my mouth and said we could make the shelves we just needed a jigsaw so I won't have to try to do it by hand.

We went to Lowe's and purchased an 8 foot piece of crown molding, 8 foot 1 x 4 and 8 foot 1 x 2 peice of lumber, some wood screws, dry wall screws and wood glue. Out the door this cost us $40 (we probably could have purchased shelves for less, but where's the fun in that?) So since we live in the apartment I turned our balcony into a workspace with our nice outdoor table turning into a workhorse (fortunately I managed not to leave a single scratch!). Our original plans called for three shelves, but we ended up with two because of having to cut the wood at 45 degree angles.

STEP 1: We measured the 1 x 4 for the length of the shelf we wanted. We then cut the piece and used it to measure the crown modling we used.

STEP 2: Change your saw blade to a 45 degree cut. Hopefully you have something a little better than my awesome paper protractor that I printed off the internet. Once you have the angle right you need to cut the crown molding so that the longest side will be on the side you want showing. You also need to cut two side peices that are 3 1/2 inches on the short side and about 4 1/8 inches on the long side.
Our awesome paper protractor.
Fixing the angle on the jigsaw.
Cutting the crown molding.

STEP 3: Change the saw blade back to a normal 90 degrees. To cut the 1x4 and 1x2. The 1x4 should be measured so that it is the length of the short side of the cut crown molding. The 1x2 should be cut to be a 2-3 inches shorter than the 1x4.

STEP 4: Assembly. This was a bit of a disaster for us becaue the wood and crown molding had warped a little. So the first attempt was to glue the crown molding to the 1x4 and then add finishing nails to hold the pieces together. This didn't work, so we had to use three screw to screw the pieces together and then add the nails. We then added the side pieces and used one screw into the 1x4 and one little screw where the two crown molding peices come together to hold it in place. Once all the screws were in place we added the finishing nails into place.

STEP 5: We then left the shelf overnight to let the glue set. We then removed the screws and did a little sanding of the screw holes and edges. We then used puddy to fill in all the screw holes and patch up the corners on the shelf. Then we let the shelf sit over night.
STEP 6: Once the puddy was dry I sanded down all the spots inlcuding the edges. After that it was time for paint. We needed two coats of paint. Because of the sanding, white paint, and puddy the shelf finished with an antigue finish.
And finally the finished product!

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