Just finished these (as part of a larger home remodel).
The client was very specific and detailed about what he wanted, from
design to finish.
Part shop built, part built-in.
Using the SketchUp model he approved based on his input, I believe I
gave him exactly what he asked for, including color (due to client
moving back in the room is still a mess, so didn't get to take the
photos I wanted):
He's tickled, and the check cleared ... pretty much all that counts. ;)
LOL ... that's a computer monitor holding the cabinet down so it won't
The angled TV cab you see was built to hold an existing 48" flat screen
that is currently downstairs in his den.
Offered to move it up for him yesterday, but he hasn't purchased its
(Asked him why the hell he missed all the Labor Day sales??)
Looks straightforward. Hell, I could probably have built it, albeit in
several months and with less precision. :)
So it was finished on site? With what? Isn't that a pain?
My one issue with this - which is on the client, of course - is the
adjustable shelving. It has long been my belief that no one ever
actually *adjusts* adjustable shelving. They set it up once and that's
it. And in this case, the clients don't even seem to have much variation
in the sizes of their books.
I think that non-adjustable shelves look better, and I'm not even
referring to the unused holes. There are no gaps at the ends of the
shelves and you can implement a full face frame if desired. It's
stronger too, as the shelves can be dadoed in, attached to the back and
even reinforced with the face frame. For books, heavy ones anyway, that
might occasionally matter.
I get why IKEA bookcases need to be adjustable: they're premade,
one-size-fits-all. But for custom bookshelves, a quick inventory of the
intended contents and a little planning could yield a design that will
accommodate everything in a fixed unit.
That's what I did here:
In the main, I succeeded; storing several hundred books that were
previously all over the house. I intend to eventually build a "bridge"
between the two units, after which the books piled horizontally may go
away. Or maybe they won't. My wife is a voracious reader, and still
likes paper sometimes. :)
Something to consider, even allowing for the source. :)
On 9/10/2015 9:15 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:
> My one issue with this - which is on the client, of course - is the
> adjustable shelving. It has long been my belief that no one ever
> actually *adjusts* adjustable shelving. They set it up once and
> that's it.
> And in this case, the clients don't even seem to have much variation
> in the sizes of their books.
> I think that non-adjustable shelves look better, and I'm not even
> referring to the unused holes.
What you or I think is irrelevant, what the client thinks is the only
While I personally do not like adjustable shelving, and would prefer not
to have to bother with providing it, 99% of clients will not consider
any type of cabinet shelving without.
Some are even farsighted enough to realize that providing for them
"after the fact" is far more disruptive and expensive than planning for
that eventuality in the first place; either while they own the house, or
in anticipation of the needs of future buyers.
... and that's why the industry supports doing them in so many different
Nothing to consider at all, asking a client their preferences with
regard to adjustable shelving is an absolute necessity if you're going
to build for anyone else but yourself.
Another lesson learned, Grasshopper. ;~)
When building any thing that will out last you, you must consider that
future owners/family members might want adjustability, otherwise the
piece might eventually end up in a land fill.
I have built a few entertainment centers that are pretty much obsolete
now. Who would ever have/need a TV bigger than 40".
My current entertainment center will handle 90" comfortably but only
holds a 65" unit now. Actually my limit on my current is 96" wide not
LOL.... Exactly. I remember the first desk I built for my computer,
monitor, printer. A drawer was dedicated to hold my printer, that
29 years later and probably 10 printers later none of the 9 following
printers fit that drawer.
Ha! That can only be your fault for not measuring the drawer before
Long as you brought it up, I've saved $100's (in ink) since I bought a
black laser printer.
Of course, with your work, you may have a need for color.
Ain't that the truth!
Reminds me of a job I did over 30 years ago. A guy wanted a heavy duty,
industrial shelves built into his den. He wanted something "massive and
pretty". I ended up covering the walls in utility plywood. Installing
industrial, commercial style shelf supports on the wall on back of the
cabinets. Then covering it all with some thinner, hardwood (walnut)
plywood. The shelf supports in back essentially became buried in a dado
groove of sorts.
I then took some hardwood plywood and glued them up to make thicker shelves.
and put a walnut edge on them. I cut a dado groove underneath each shelf to
hide the shelf support. I pointed out that the tracks in back of the
cabinet would be sort of ugly, even if they were in the back. He did not
care. He was going to fill up the shelves any way and this would cover them
His finish requirements were insane. Which is why I used all the hardwood
(walnut) plywood. I referred him to a custom finish house that specialized
in marine finishes for luxury boats. I was just unable to do the finish.
But I sent him to the right place, he found somebody he liked and was very
happy with the result. I know he paid big bucks to get the finish he
He was very happy with the finished product and brought me back to build an
additional unit that was about 50% bigger than the original. And I had to
do a small bit of remodeling (very minor) to make it fit. I really did not
want to go through all that again and quoted him a high price to discourage
him. And he immediately agreed! So, I did it all again. And ended up
getting a couple more jobs from his friends as referrals.
As that old business sage once said, the customer (client) is always right.
While your observation of adjustable shelves, that don't get adjusted,
is partially true, it is extremely hard to predict what the person,
normally a woman, is going to want for spacing to begin with. The
cabinets that I recently finished for my wife's sewing studio have had
their shelves adjusted 3 times that I know of and there is still nothing
in the cabinets. ;~)
If the cabinets are built for a specific purpose fixed shelves are the
way to go and more trouble. But when you don't know what will be stored
on the shelves over the next 75 years it is safe to make most of the
Client wanted a stain finish called "pickled oak", but very
specifically, didn't want the grain of oak from any method of milling.
So, per his wishes, I used birch plywood and poplar for the face frames.
If you choose poplar that does not contain heartwood, and a finisher
that knows what he is doing, birch plywood and poplar will finish almost
indistinguishably unless you really know what to look for.
As always on remodels, or new construction, I use a paint contractor who
has a track record of getting the finished desired; and, most
importantly, can't be beat for his ability matching to existing finishes
with different woods species.
On Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 8:22:46 AM UTC-5, Swingman wrote:
Well, you get that kind of work, how could they not be happy? As always, a
You have your own unique style of construction and assembly that always loo
ks neat, clean, and sturdy in the construction. And the end results always
look great. It takes a bit more talent to match surfaces and styles of an
existing environment than folks would think. You always pull that off.
Good stuff, Karl!
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