Building 50 bookcases. Have certain requirements for the plans.

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It looks to me that all they are doing is making the ends tapered and the shelves are a uniform depth from the front and square to the front edge. The back is probably set in a dado that is parallel to the front. I wouldn't be surprised to find that they have heavy duty shelf standards on the ends, set in dados, to support the adjustable shelves. Perhaps you can get a good volume discount on the shelf standards and clips to make it pay off? They look pretty straight forward to make... if you really want to that is!
John
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Piece of cake......call your local KV hardware rep. They have the hardware needed for angled shelves. They are adjustable to about any angle needed. 50 bookcases is a BIG job! Good luck.
Mike from American Sycamore
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You may find help at www.bricomagic.com.
You can get free plans for custom-made furniture.
Regards
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S. Dees
Woodsmith magazine Vol 18/No 108 has plans for what they call a "Children's Bookcase". It provides shelves that are tilted back so things don't fall. The dimensions are off for what you need but the concept is adaptable. Basically what you use are four "L shaped shelf support with holes." The front supports are put in place and screwed into the front of the shelf board. The back of the shelf is allowed to pivot down until it hits the back shelf supports which are placed lower than the front thereby providing the backward tilt to the shelf. In the plan there is no back to the case but each shelf has a back board attached to it. That may not be necessary but probably useful to prevent an upper book from falling behind the shelf onto a lower bookshelf if the books are pushed back. Since the shelf can pivot, from flat to inclined, it may help with your display allowing you to change it as needed.
Happy building!
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Thanks for the suggestion. Sean

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Look at www.bricomagic.com
You will find really free plans for custom-made furniture.
Regards
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calmly ranted:

Heck, that's easy. Just make a standard bookshelf and whack half an inch of the bottom in the back. Back two of them up to each other and they won't fall over. ;)
I've never seen a tapered bookshelf plan, Sean. Have you asked any bookstores where they purchased theirs? I'll bet most are custom built by local carpenters.
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When explaining the project and all of your suggestions to my wife, I found a small problem with one type of solution that seems to work at first glance, yet has a major drawback....
The solution types with a problem are as follows: Some people have suggested either tapering the shelves so that they are thicker at the front than the back. Others have suggested putting the shelf support pins one notch up at the front. And others have suggested putting a wedge or cleat under the front part of the shelf.
Now those are all great suggestions for if I was going to be displaying all the books with the front covers of the books facing towards the front, but this solution has a major drawback for the rest of the books that are stacked in the traditional way with the edges facing forward. The problem is that all the books stacked traditionally will have 1/2" - 1" space at the bottom of the back of the book. (Due to the shelves not being 90 degrees from the back of the bookcase. The shelves would actually only be about 80 degrees) This will cause damage to the books at the top of the book. (They would have a tendency to have bent corners and damage the edges.)
The one solution that I have found that seems to be the best so far is to just trim a small angle off the bottom of the sides so that the shelf actually leans against the wall. (Then drill a cleat into the wall to mount the shelf onto to provide stability, and a larger cleat at the bottom so that the bookcase couldn't be pushed backwards at the bottom.)
Thanks for all the suggestions, and if anyone has any further advice I gladly look forward to hearing it.
Thanks, Sean.

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<<And others have suggested putting a wedge or cleat under the front part of the shelf.>>
Could you not just use horizontal shelves but rout a small groove parallel to, and set slightly back from, the front edge of each one, similar to the grooves found on some shelves that are used for displaying plates and platters?
Lee
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That's not a bad idea. It would be fine if I was wanting to display just one hardcover book. It wouldn't be damaged from leaning back like that. The usual way of displaying books in a new bookstore in our area is to display about half the shelf with the spine facing outwards. (The traditional way of putting books in a bookcase.) And the other half, mostly new release books & popular books, stacked 3 or 4 deep with the front covers facing out. If you only put a single paperback in the groove, rather than 3 or 4 in a stack facing out, I think it would tend to bend the top right corner of the book and damage it. (It would be put at a 20 to 30 degree angle and the softer right side of the book would sag, while the spine stayed stiff.) If you stacked them 3 or 4 deep so there wouldn't be such an angle and sag, then when someone takes the first book in the pile the 2nd one might fall forward if someone picked it up and put it back carelessly. Thanks for the suggestion though. Sean.

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OK, how about this. Since you plan to display some books the "normal" way and some face out, why not build regular bookshelves and then make a supply of book-width wedges. Then, whereever you wish to to display a book with the cover facing out, you slide one of the wedges under that column of books so that they will be tilted back at the desired angle.
Lee
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S. Dees wrote: [snip]

So what you are going to end up with is *almost* equal to a ladder? See
http://www.spacestation42.com/Shops/shelving.html
You'll have to go down the page a little but there are several examples.
You'd keep the angle you wanted for the books by slicing a 10 degree wedge shaped piece off the top back edges (maybe 10" on the hypotenuse) and adding the same wedge to the front bottom of the bookcase. Lose a little shop space because each bookcase would stick further out into the walkways than usual but maybe feel less looming and clostrophobic to the customer.
Works on a strip of paper!
Josie
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Those ladder shelves are the closest I have seen so far. (aside from the Franklin website that I noted earlier). I would just have to adjust the shelves so that they are slightly angled to allow the books to lean back, and then put a back on the case. Thanks for the link. Sean.

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Here is one suggestion I have not seen, though I may have missed it in all the various posts. Cut the sides with a 90 degree angle at the back and bottom corner, but angle the front edge slightly toward the top. Then route grooves into the inside of the sides parallel to the front edge. Also route a rabbet at the back parallel to the front edge (note this rabbet will be deeper at the bottom than at the top. Mount the shelf bracket rails in the grooves and a back panel in the rabbet. This give you angled shelves, the backpanel is at 90 degrees to the shelves, and the whole piece stands straight against a flat (plumb) wall. Assuming the angle is fairly small this should not be too hard to accomplish, and in fairly production-line-like fashion.
You will have to angle the top of the toe-kick to match the angle of the bottom shelf.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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Bingo! I think you have the solution! I hadn't thought of a variable width rabbet. I always thought of rabbets as being one width along the total length. That will take a little work setting up the rabbet like you have described, but it is by far the best solution that I have seen. That would still allow lots of space for the back to be properly attached to the sides.
Thanks! Sean.

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Tue, Nov 16, 2004, 9:02pm (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@ca.inter.net (S.Dees) now says: <snip> Now those are all great suggestions for if I was going to bedisplaying all the books with the front covers of the books facing towards the front, but this solution has a major drawback for the rest of the books that are stacked in the traditional way with the edges facing forward. <snip>
Well, Hell, sound like your're leaving details out. I got under the impression you were going to put "all" the books with their covers out. Now you say no.
What I'd do then is, make regular book cases. Then make a batch of little book stands, that would hold a book at a slant, with the cover out. Then put the stands in the cases wherever you wanted, put the rest of the books in spine out. Then you could move the stands where you wanted. Either that or the tables I suggested before. Actually, I'd probably opt for the tables, less artsy, therefore less of a PITA. Instant tables - cable spools, covered with a cloth.
JOAT Measure twice, cut once, swear repeatedly.
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On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 17:15:36 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Excellent suggestion -- from both practical and aesthetic perspectives. It is flexible. And, I think it offers a nice way to break up the usual pattern of books on the shelf.
As for the normally placed books -- spine out -- either slant the base back _slightly_ or just put 2 sliders underneath the front edges of a standard, square bookcase. -- Igor
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calmly ranted:

And I was half kidding when I said to do that, too. <g>
What the bookshelf companies are doing is making the shelf deeper, then angling the backs inward and dadoing the shelves at that angle. 2 single-panel wide ends cover two shelves with space in the middle at the bottom.

Take an angle gauge (offroad stores and Harbor Freight have them) into a bookstore and measure the actual angle. (8 to 12 degrees ought to do it.) Alternatively, measure the depth of the cabinet and the depth to the back, then figure it yourself.
Mark the angle for the end pieces, then cut them to the narrow topped beasts they'll be so they're lighter to work with.
Cut slots in the end pieces at that angle, creating a V shape for the 2 backs, then cut the shelf dadoes @ 90 degrees to them.
If you prefinish all the pieces before cutting, a quick spray of lacquer will tidy them up once they're assembled.
Glue 'em and screw 'em once they're at the site or consider quick disconnect hardware so they're portable.
Good luck. That sounds like a helluva lot of heavy work even before you get your stock of books.
Question: What type of bookstore are you opening? New, used, rare, remaindered stock? I'm a book fiend. <scritch, scritch, scritch>
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Thanks for the suggestions. It's going to be a new bookstore with a small coffee bar attached to it. Nice wood floors. Nice bookshelves with lots of space. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to open late next summer. (I'm hoping that will give me lots of time to build the bookcases and get everything ready.) It's going to named the Avid Reader. Sean

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calmly ranted:

A coffee bar goes well with a book store. I remember my first trip to Borders Books in Peasquitos (North San Diego area) and the treat it was to hear a duo play and have a good cup of coffee while I browsed and read the magazine I had just bought.
So what wood and finish have you decided on? Solid wood or ply with solid edges?
Try a couple coats of Waterlox rubbed out with wax using 0000 steel wool on the end caps. People will definitely comment on the smooth, nice, warm feel of the wood, and I think that's what you're after for the mood of the store. It's quick and easy for touchup, too.
Lacquer might be the best option for the shelves, backs, and inside of the end caps. It should be safe with all books.
Be sure to stack, pad, and secure all the finished pieces where you won't have to move them again. Each move is a potential scratch scene.
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