Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More with the redwood?

Yep. More redwood. I really like the stuff.

Here I'm building some "floating" shelves for my bathroom to match the Quick & Dirty Bathroom Shelves I did last month.

I'm using a modification of the common floating design. Here I'm allowing the shelf to overhang the box 2" all around. In the pic to the right you can see that one shelf has a bottom enclosing the box, and one doesn't. I really just hadn't decided which to go with, so I did one of each.

Again for my bathroom, the rule is "Simple, cheap, easy, attractive, functional!" So I used butt joints with pocket hole screws and Titebond II glue.

In the photo you can see I used two screws to attach the sides to the front and one screw to attach the shelf at the rear. The glue is also applied only to the area of the screw. The rest of the shelf is left unattached to allow for movement. While I wouldn't expect much movement on a 6" deep shelf, it's going into a bathroom with all the humidity changes that go with the location. Better to be careful in the design and construction than to have buckled or cracked shelves next summer.

I wanted to show a comparison of the shelf with 4 coats of shellac next to an un-worked board. The color difference is dramatic. Redwood darkens as it ages, and my shelves are freshly sanded and machined. This makes them lighter. With the shellac the pale reds turn golden orange, like a beautiful sunrise. I love the color of the finished redwood. And as I said, it darkens with age, making it even more attractive over time.

The design is in the last photo. I haven't hooked my flatbed scanner up since moving last December, so you get the best I can do with a digicam.

Also, the lighting of these shots aren't up to my usual standard. I got a new external flash and am still dialing in the exposure curve for it. So you get some goofy looking shots because I didn't want to wait to get the exposure curve down before getting this posted.

I'll add the installed photos to my blog when I get them finished. So I guess this is Part 1...

Added 2/23/08

I've got the shelves completed and installed. I started with measuring the width of the wall above the toilet in the bathroom. It is 30" across. My shelves are 24" across, which gives just enough "white space" on either side of the shelf to keep things clean.

I cut cleats from 1" x 1" redwood scraps to 10" long. This will give wiggle room for the shelves to be centered on the wall as well as make the calculations for centering simple. I held one against the corner of the wall about the height I wanted then made a mark at the end. Mounting the cleat at that mark will center it exactly on the wall leaving 10" on either side of it.

I had predrilled holes in the cleats at 2" from either end, large enough to allow the Walldog screws to pass through and mount to the wall. I held the strip at the mark I made in the wall and attached the left screw on each cleat. I tightened it just snug enough to keep the cleat from swinging, but loose enough to make level adjustments.

Next I put my level on the cleat and made certain they were absolutely level. I then put the second screw in each cleat, followed by fully tightening the first screw.

Now it's time to mount the shelves. As you can see in the pics above, I had predrilled two holes for screws in the shelves, and added a countersink so they sit flush.

Holding the shelf to the wall and cleat, I drove stainless steel screws into the cleats through the shelves. The screws hold the top of the shelves to the wall and the cleat, and the weight of the shelves plus whatever is placed on them holds the bottom firm against the wall.

Because these are bathroom shelves, they won't be holding much weight, but if they ever need to they will be fully capable of handling the extra weight.

The redwood shelves add a beautiful contrast to the stark white of the bathroom, in addition to providing much needed storage space. Tied with the redwood mini-shelf just above the sink, the bathroom is much more attractive and pleasing to the eye.

My next redwood project for this bathroom will be the towel racks.

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