Ok, I've got a design for a bookcase but it won't fit where I want it. It's
about 10 inches too long. The dimensions are 103.5 x 88 1/4 x 17 1/8. I ca
n only fit less than 96 inches long. My question is, should I just go ahead
and shorten the shelves by the amount needed to fit (which will have to ha
ppen anyways) or should I also shorten the height of the bookcase as well (
to try and keep it within the relative design of the larger unit)?
I started to try and figure out the aspect ratio of the larger case and the
n work backwards with that number to dimensions that would fit in my spot,
but I got a bit lost. So... I'd figured where else to ask this question tha
n this forum?
Any help, guidance would be most appreciative.
I'd just shorten it. Bookcases are typically not very ornate,
basically just a rectangle, so they're pretty flexible in
If you want an extreme example, the bookcase next to my desk is
24 inches wide (across the crown, 22 across the case) and 84
inches high. It was built to fit the space between the desk
and the door, which would otherwise be wasted, and looks fine.
The height of a bookcase is defined by the standard height of a book
time the number of desired shelves. An allowance for the face frame
and the ability to get the book into and out of the shelf must be
If you are shelving a lot of paperbacks the shelves could be narrower
that if you are shelving a lot of art books and atlases
I'd worry about the space between shelves. If scaling the height
makes the shelves too close together to be practical (assuming they
are fixed spacing) I'd leave the height at whatever dimension allows
sensible shelf spacing (or a reasonable number of shelves) for the
things you intend to put on the shelves.
Peter Bennett, VE7CEI Vancouver BC
peterbb (at) telus.net
Not sure what your dilemma is, MJ. If you want to go with a maximum
width of 93" you can "shrink" and maintain proportions (height and width
only) by multiplying your original dimensions by .899 which will give
you a case 93" wide and 79 3/8" high.
If you want to shrink the depth as well, then it's just shy of 15 ½" deep.
But, as Karl says, FUNCTION over FORM. Build what you NEED and that
ain't necessarily what looks pretty.
Well, I generally agree (Form follows Function), but in this case this is a
full wall system and getting the proportions right would, to me, means get
ting the right shape to the system. I appreciate your thoughts and I think
they will work for me. The depth of the case is immaterial. There is an amo
unt of applied moldings that provide ornament to the case and I don't want
it to appear odd. I'll work out the details in Sketchup and see how that g
I think the only way it would look odd is if it's not symmetric.
I don't know how many vertical dividers it has (at 103" wide
I assume it has some), I would try to keep each horizontal
section in the same proportion, or at least take equal amounts
off each end.
I wouldn't worry about the height, I think if you start messing
with that you're just opening a can of worms.
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