wall-hung bookshelves and cabinets


Hello all,
My wife and I share a home office, which is about 15'x18', and after moving in both our desks, two bookshelves, a futon, and a work table, we have very little room left... or little room left on the floor area with TONS of room left on the walls. So I was thinking of finding either cabinets, shelving, or something I can hang on the wall so we can move the books, CD's, and maybe even some hardware like the printer, answering machine, etc to the wall hung shelves. If doing this I'll definitely need something sturdy.
So with this being said, I was wondering if someone has suggestions on a place to either buy prefab shelves and cabinets or maybe some ideas on building my own. I'm a newbie DIY'er, so I'm still learning how to do wood working and such, but I'd be willing to take on such a project if lead down the right path.
Thanks for any ideas or suggestions -- or stories of you've gone down this same road.
Sam Alex
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My sister in law actually has a really creative solution to this situation that I intend to apply in my own home office eventually: slat wall shelving. A Google search will give you lots of options. I haven't bought any myself, but when I do, I'll be buying stuff that is already prepainted a color I want, and I'll buy both shelving brackets and storage baskets to organize the office wall the way I want. I like this idea because it's flexible; you can reorganize shelves and baskets depending on your needs, and you just need to attach the slatwall to your studs. I don't know whether this stuff will handle cabinets, though.
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Alex wrote:

Torsion boxes should work for you. Basically, they are wooden frames with numerous cross pieces between the long pieces. The box is covered with thin ply. Before covering one side with ply, the box is securely mounted to the wall with fastenings through one long side. As an alternative, you could use "french cleats" which are just a piece of ply ripped at 45 degrees...one piece is attached to the wall, the other to whatever you are hanging.
The thickness of the boxes kinda depends on the weight of what you are going to put on them. For what you are talking about, I'd think a frame made 3/4 x 1 1/2 lumber would suffice. Keep wall fastenings as close as practical to the top so there is less levering by the payload.
Less someone think you can't put heavy stuff on something like this, let me say that when I lived in Mexico, all water heaters - even 100 gallon ones (800# +) - were set on a couple of pieces of 3/4" galvanized pipe mortared into the walls.
--
dadiOH
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Okay, when I first read the subject line, I have to admit that the comedian in me replaced an "a" with "e."

Your local Ace hardware or whatever will have prefinished shelving covered in laminates that I've used several times in the past. Go to the shelving aisle and have a look. Wood grain laminates and the metal brackets. Get yourself a stud finding and put the brackets on the studs and use 2.5-3" screws with a cordless drill, have a decent sized level to make sure you're installing the brackets level, and you're off to the races.
In addition, Ikea has a lot of reasonably priced spiffy looking shelving products:
http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?catalogId101&storeId&langId=-1&categoryId182&cattype=sub&parentCats104*10172*10182
Best Regards, -- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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Lowes sells unfinished wall cabinets (kitchen) that can used as you suggest.
Alternatively, wall cabinets are simple boxes of 3/4" material on four sides with a thin (plywood or amazonite) back and a couple of doors. An excellent first project that can be done with a table saw (and router if you want coped panel doors).

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Alex wrote: So I was thinking of finding

I am in a similar situation, no room for floor standing units. My solution is to use shelving standards. They are very easy to install and totally adjustable. Just screw to the wall studs. I buy the double standards and they are super sturdy. Home Despot has good ones. They come in widths as wide as 22 inches, plenty wide for office machines. I cut 3/4 inch plywood for my shelves but you could buy any type of boards or shelves you like. I covered all of my spare wall space with this type of shelving and it increases the usefulness of the space dramatically. All of my personal belongings, office gear and home entertainment stuff fits nicely in very small space. There is just no way I could have done it otherwise. Here is a link to show you an example of this type of hardware.
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 6
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Hi lwhaley,
Actually I do have these types of shelves in the bedrooms, and I thought about following through with this same idea in the office area too. I think 3 - 4' tracks plus 4 shelves (either 4 or 5 feet, can't remember) was about $60. Not too bad for something that'll cover an entire wall. This might be the ticket, but it's not exactly the look I was aiming at. I wanted something that looked abit more elegent or professional or more office-like. But to save myself time and money, this might be the best option.
Thanks for the info!!
Sam Alex
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Alex wrote:

Hi Sam Alex,
You are welcome. Yep, I own lots of shelving and couldn't get by without. I like them better than the style with diagonal bracing (example: z-shelf) because the brace takes up too much space on the shelf and also is much harder to move a shelf with diagonals. That said, the diagonal bracing is a stronger design and cheaper too. The regular standards are plenty strong for most use.
The look is a bit industrial, true. But as a space saver they just can't be beat. If you decide to upgrade later they are easy to take down. The main downside is that your wall will be slightly damaged where the hardware was. It is possible to use a wooden strip with a groove in it to accept the standard. This would protect the wall somewhat and possibly give you a chance to pretty it up a bit. Likewise, if you were to have some furniture quality shelves constructed it would go a long way towards improving the appearance issue.
Lawrence
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. Sam, One of the least expensive means of adding lots of shelves is to use Z shelf brackets:
http://www.lehighgroup.com/crawford_sub_eezee.htm
These are very inexpensive and available at most builder supply houses. Screw them to the wall studs and attach 1x12 lumber for the shelves. brackets can be painted and shelves can be painted/stained. adhesive contact shelf paper is another option for covering the boards.
if desired, the shelves can be 'hidden' by attaching hinged doors or roll-up shades. Makes the shelves look like cabinets. panels (wood paneling works well) can be hinged vertically or horizontally.
Another way of 'hiding' is to use square boxlike containers that occupy most of the shelf to shelf space. Or miniblinds or drapes or . . . .
With hefty screws securing them to the studs, they support a lot of weight.
You might want to install some in a utility room or garage first, just for practice. the garage may have exposed studs to make job easier.
lee h
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