Building 50 bookcases. Have certain requirements for the plans.

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Hello, I am going to be opening a bookstore in about 6-8 months and I need to build about 50 - 60 bookcases. I have not been able to find any plans with sloped shelves. (The shelves need to be sloped backwards so that books that are stacked with the front cover facing out will not accidentally fall forward and out.) There is a company called Franklin Fixtures that sells these type of bookcases pre-made. Here is a link to their website (so you can see what I am looking at making): http://www.franklinfixtures.com/priceval.html I would like to make about 35-45 of the 84" Tapered Single sided cases and about 15-20 of the 54" Tapered Double sided cases. The shelves also need to be adjustable. Has anyone seen any plans for these types of bookcases? Thanks for any and all help! Sean.
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Hi Sean,
Wow - that's a big project!
As far as angled shelves, I suppose that you could simply use a router to dado out where the shelves attach to the sides. I think just a few degrees would be suffecient. If you need adjustable shelves, you could use adjustable shelf hardware (metal tracks on side) and then constrauct the actual shelf so that the front is a little thicker where it rests on the support - this would cause the tilt back that you need. You would need a little wedge under the rear of the shelf too.
If I were doing this, I would definitely pay the lumber supplier to trim the plywood/MDF/Melamine sheets down to the approximate width you need. I would also try to do a lot of the finishing before assembly.
Good luck!
Lou

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: Hi Sean, : : Wow - that's a big project! : : As far as angled shelves, I suppose that you could simply use a router : to dado out where the shelves attach to the sides. I think just a few : degrees would be suffecient. If you need adjustable shelves, you could : use adjustable shelf hardware (metal tracks on side) and then : constrauct the actual shelf so that the front is a little thicker where : it rests on the support - this would cause the tilt back that you need. : You would need a little wedge under the rear of the shelf too. : [snip]
Why couldn't you use the metal tracks on the side and put the front into a higher slot on the track than the back one? Hey, I'm not recommending this! I'm just asking! But if that would work then you could stand a wedge shaped board on the back of each of the 50,000,000 shelves - phew. My mind goes "Boing" just thinking of making all those shelves!
Josie
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need any wedges, the supports would rotate.
But that's a lot of hole drilling. But maybe less work than making wedges - you decide.
--
Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

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There is no way I want to do that much drilling... Let's see now... 50 cases with an average height of 84. Holes would have to be drilled from 12" to 72". On per inch equals 60 holes per row. Times 4 rows per bookcase is 240 holes. Times 50 bookcases is 12,000 holes!!!! No thank you! I have also found that the holes tend to wear out over time. The last thing I want to have to do is redo 12,000 holes in 10 or 15 years.... :) Thanks for the suggestion though... Sean.
says...

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A local cabinet shop predrilled a bunch of holes for me when I bought some plywood from them and had them cut it into widths I was going to be needing. They asked what I was doing with it and when it came out that I was going to be using a portion for adjustable shelves they said they had a nifty piece of equipment that would drill the holes in a snap for a fairly inexpensive cost to me. I gave them the specs and it worked out great.
Renata
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Using a Router won't work. The shelves need to be adjustable. Making the front thicker is not a bad idea. Ideally I would prefer to have the back of the bookcase attached to the sides at a slight angle and running shelf support rails down the back. (That way it gives it a lot cleaner appearance.) I'll have to think about it. Thanks for the suggestion about doing a lot of the finishing before assembly. That might make it a bit easier. Thanks! :) That's only one of the big projects I have on my plate. I'm looking at installing a laminate wood floor in the store. (About 3000 square feet!) The flooring is going to weigh in the neighbourhood of 5000 pounds, and the nearest retailer of the brand that I want is 5 hours away, and I don't think I can get it delivered. Guess who is going to be doing the grunt work... ;)
Sean.
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No trucking/shipping compnies in your area? Greg
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Here in SF there are shops that can do things for you to save you time and money. When we had a big job, we sometimes sent out panels for edge banding. We had a job to make 17 cabinets with tons of shelving so paying a guy to edge band save us 2 days. There are shops that have CNC routers, panel saws and other tools beyond our reach that will help you. You can buy prefinished maple ply or apple ply and then have one of these shops cut it and edgeband it for you. You can actually use apple ply without edgebanding for a nice look. As for plans, it seems pretty straightforward. You can design you case bringing the bottom shelf up an inch or so from the bottom edge of the sides and then cut the bottom edge at a 2 or 3 degree slant and then cleat the top of the case to the wall. Or you can make a jig and make hundreds of dado cuts at an angle. You might also be able to farm out the dado cuts to a CNC shop (angled or straight). max

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I never thought about contracting out doing the edge banding on the shelves. That's a fantastic idea! I've done a bit of banding in the past, and have never been 100% satisfied with the results. I was thinking about attaching a piece of trim to the front of the shelves, but the cost of 1000 feet of 1" trim would probably be much more expensive and certainly much more time consuming than just farming out the job. I don't know of any shops that do that sort of stuff in the Vancouver, Canada area, but that's what the Yellow Pages are for... :) I think you might be right about building a standard bookcase and then "trimming" an inch off the back bottom edge to provide the angle and then using a cleat at the top to hold it against the wall. That sounds like the best idea I have heard so far. Thanks! Sean

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wrote:

need them? It's a box with shelf supports, right??
I'd draw one out, for a material list, then figure the shelves... find a good supplier of the material that you want to use and have them precut the parts... Most places do at least 2 cuts per sheet free, and if you're buying material for FIFTY bookcases, they should give you a good price on material and make any 4' or 8' cuts that you need..
I'd set up a table saw with a good dado set and build a crosscut sled for it with the angle you want built into the sled.. YMMV
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S. Dees wrote:

to the front and the bottom is angled so the books lean back. Kind of like taking a normal square bookshelf and putting it on a toekick that pitches it back. That should be much simpler to make Joe
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Tue, Nov 16, 2004, 12:50am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@ca.inter.net (S.Dees) makes his claim that: <snip> (The shelves need to be sloped backwards so that books that arestacked with the front cover facing out will not accidentally fall forward and out.) <snip>
Yep, if you don't slope those books, they'll leap right oout at ya.
You must be from a different part of the universe than I'm from. I've never heard of that. And, apparenly none of the bookstores, schools, libraries, or anywhere else I've ever been has. If the shelves are level, and the books not hanging out way over the edge, they have no reason to fall out. Who told you that? Of course, you could be another one of those dull little trolls too.
JOAT Any plan is bad which is incapable of modification. - Publilius Syrus
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J T wrote:

Most library books are arranged with the spines facing out, supported by adjacent books or a bookend. I think that the OP wants to arrange the books with the front cover facing out for display purposes. If that's the case, angling the book backwards, with a cleat to keep the bottom of the book from sliding forward, would be a good idea. If the shelf is below eye level, tilting the book back would also make for better viewing.
R, Tom Q.
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I have never seen a library or school do it either, but then again they generally don't try to display the front covers as much as bookstores do. Most of the NEW bookstores that I have been in generally do that for all the shelves packed along the wall. It allows a greater amount of visibility for the book covers, and as Tom said, tilting it back on the bottom shelves also allow them more visibility from above. I have never seen any cleats on the front of the shelves.... Gravity tends to keep the books from sliding forward. Sean

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Tue, Nov 16, 2004, 9:35pm snipped-for-privacy@kingcon.com (TomQuackenbush) says: <snip> I think that the OP wants to arrange the books with the frontcover facing out for display purposes. <snip>
Missed that part. He'd be using up a lot of valuable shelf space that way. I'd think if he wants to do it that way Larry's idea would be about the best solution. I thinik I'd opt for just putting them in with the spine out, get more books on the shelves that way, then just title each section of shelves.
I don't know that I've seen any bookstores with shelves with covers facing out. They've all been with the spine out. However, they do have stands and/or tables with books displayed with covers up. I think that would be a much more reasonable way - most of the books in the shelves, and "specials", or whatever, on tables and/or stands. That way you could move the tables and stands around to various parts of the store too.
JOAT Any plan is bad which is incapable of modification. - Publilius Syrus
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Tue, Nov 16, 2004, 12:50am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@ca.inter.net (S.Dees) also claims: <snip> The shelves also need to be adjustable. <snip> This hit me just as I hit send: Why? You plan on shifting your books around on a regular basis? So, then you'll need to adjust shelf height? That's a lot of work. I don't recall any bookstores, or libraries, that have adjusable shelves, unless they bought the prefabbed type. And, even then, I don't recall any of them changing books, and shelves, around. May cost more too. However, it's your money, your time, your labor.
But, if it was me, I'd be worrying about making sure the bookcases wouldn't fall over, if someone pulled on them, a kid wanted to climb them, etc., rather than worrying about books falling out because the shelves aren't "sloped", or adjustable.
JOAT Any plan is bad which is incapable of modification. - Publilius Syrus
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Sean ,adjustable and slope are easy. Tapered hardwood cleat with steel 5/16" metal rods at each end. The cleats are bored 1/2" deep for 1"x 5/16" diameter rods. Case sides bored similarly. You need to bore the sides of the case the same way you would for store bought shelf clips. You probably use 1/4" steel or brass, I suggested 5/16" because that's what I did a number of years ago. If the rods fit snug into the tapered cleats then no need to epoxy them. Bolts could be used too, counterbore cleat for a plug.
mike
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Have you done any woodworking at all? If not, it may be cheaper to have them built in a production shop. If you have, why do you need plans? The simple sketch on the Franklin web page gives the dimensions. A few minutes with paper and pencil and you have a plan and materials list. For instance, the 84" tapered single has a side that is 84" high. Since it is 18" deep, you could cut the sides, oh say, 18 x 84. Go to a bookstore and take a ruler with you for more detail.
My point is, if you have the skills to make them from plans, you have the skills to make a simple sketch and do it. If you don't have the skills (or tools), it may be better to have the done for you. Use the skills you do have to make money to pay for it. A sheet of plywood ($50) will yield the two sizes and three shelves. You need a back and four more shelves. Material cost for the wood, edge banding, shelf pins, screws, glue, etc. is about $125. Then add the finish of two or three coats of urethane. That $295 is not so bad now when you factor in labor.
The prices from Franklin don't seem to be out of line at all. Freight will be a big factor though. Check that out before you commit to anything. I'd do them for you but I'd have to charge every bit of $300, probably more.
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I have done a fair bit of woodworking before. I was hoping for some plans to just help me with the shelf angle issue. I've gotten a few very helpful suggestions from this group so far, and I think I have enough information to make a "prototype" to see how it works out. (I can always use an extra 1 or 2 bookcases at home if they aren't perfect.) At $300 per bookcase that works out to $15,000 - $18,000 for 50 or 60 bookcases. Plus tax. Plus shipping. And that is assuming that I can find someone in Canada that can do it for the same price as Franklin does it in the USA. I have 6 - 8 months before the grand opening of my store, and no other work to fill up my time until then. If I can save $5000 - $10,000 by doing it myself, that would be the best way to go. Sean
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