Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bookshelves Using Standards

What happens when two book lovers move in together?  Too many books and not enough space.  Due to the configuration of the apartment, putting traditional bookcases was not an option.  I love the look of floating book shelves, but they are expensive and are a lot of work to put up.  My solution was to put a bookshelves on the wall using standards.

This project is definitely a two person job, so find a friend to help you out!

Materials:  Level, Drill, Stud finder, Standards (number determined by length of shelves), Shelves (number determined by size of space), Hang Track, Brackets (number determined by number of shelves and number of standards), Screws (size to vary)

1.  Measure the space you want to put your bookshelves on.  This will determine the length and number of shelves you need.  The length of the shelves determines the number of standards you need to buy.  It will also determine the length of standards you need to buy.  My space is approximately 80" x 48".

2.  Based on the size of your space, buy the appropriate materials.  I decided to purchase three brown shelves.  This length of shelf and how heavy books are requires five twin track standards.  To ensure that my shelves were stable and level, I bought hang track.  To support the shelves I purchased 15 brackets (3 shelves x 5 standards).  The last thing you need to buy is the appropriate hardware to attach your product to the walls.  I had a box of 1.25" screws, and I bought 15 #6 x 2" and 15 #6 x 1.25" screws.

3.  Hang your hang track.  Your hang track needs to be located at the highest point you want your standards to start.  If you're hanging at the top of the wall near the ceiling, you won't need to find studs because of the way walls are built.  If you are starting your bookshelves away from the ceiling, find the studs in your wall.  Your hang tracks needs to be screwed into one or more studs for added support.  Level the hang track.  This is extremely important or all your bookshelves will be uneven.  Mark where you want your hang track to be and mark the location of the screw holes.  Mount your hang track to the wall using the appropriate hardware (I used 1.25" screws).  Regular screws can be used to attach the hang track to studs.  You will need screws and anchors for any locations not in studs.

4.  Attach your standards to the hang track.  The top of the standards will be able to hang off the hang track.  Space your standards evenly, but they shouldn't be more than 16" apart.  Once you like the spacing of your standards, screw the standards into the wall.  Once again, if the standard is in a stud, you can just use a screw.  If the standard is not over a stud, use a screw and an anchor.

Hung Standards
Drilling anchor into the wall
Anchor in wall
Drilling screw into standard into anchor
Standard screwed into the wall
All standards screwed into the wall
Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each shelf you want.  Start with your highest shelf and repeat for each shelf below.  Since I had three shelves, I did these steps three times.

5.  Attach the brackets.  The brackets just clip into the standards.  Select the height you want your shelf to be and place the brackets in these locations.

6.  Attach your shelves to your brackets.  Place each shelf on the brackets.  Make sure your shelf is even on both sides.  Using a drill, drill the holes from brackets into the underside of the shelves. Screw the shelf onto the brackets from the underside.  Make sure your screws do not go all the way through your shelf.  This stabilizes your shelves so they won't move.  I used #6 x 2" screws in the back of the brackets and #6 x 1.25" screws in the front of the brackets.  I recommend screwing all the back screws in first and doing the front screws second.

Shelf placed and evened
Screwing the back of the shelf in
Screwed in
Screwing the front of the shelf in

All the screws in shelf one in.
The finish product
7.  Place books on your bookshelves.  Be careful that your books do not fall off the end of your shelves.  There are a variety of options to accomplish this.  One method is to use bookends or other heavier objects.  Another option is to stack a few books at the ends and use those books as bookends.

Special thanks to J and J's dad for all their help on this project.  I couldn't have done it without them!

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