Saturday, February 27, 2010


For my birthday, my lovely parents bought me a table saw. And last weekend a gift card from the inlaws completed my tool collection with a radial arm saw. Plans have been underway for a new tv cabinet, but I needed practice, so Monkey and I built the incredibly awesome Rocket bookshelf from Knock Off Wood. I cut everything out and drilled pilot holes, but Monkey put in all the screws.
After a false start or two...he even helped paint. Because we bought cheap paint and didn't prime, the orange ended up taking about nine billion coats. You'd think I would have learned after last time.
I wanted the peak to be tall enough that Buzz could stand on top, so I changed the angle and length of the top boards. This required math, which sound scary but really is just high school geometry (did you know I took calculus, once long ago? Guess how many times I've used it since then). At the peak, the boards needed to be cut at 60 degrees-a problem because my radial arm saw only bends over to 45 degrees. So I cut it at 45 degrees and then used a belt sander to grind it down to the angle it needed to be. I also added a couple inches of height and width to the main shelves, to pack in a few more books.
I used plywood to make it as sturdy as possible (we move around a lot). I also set each shelf on a 1"x1" brace, instead of screwing it in through the sides-a bookshelf this cool with certainly be climbed some day. A small i-bolt helped attach it to the wall, to keep Monkey from pulling it over on his head.
The construction only took about 3 1/2 hours, even letting Monkey drill holes and put in screws. We used cabinet grade plywood ($23.97), a box of screws ($5.37), orange paint (~$7.00, but I should have spent more), as well as glue and white paint that I already had, bringing our total to around $40. We loved Knock off Wood's great plans and look forward to building more!


Kara said...

Coolest mom ever alert! That bookshelf is amazing! I love that it is the perfect home for Buzz.

Ana White said...

Erin, I love this! I especially love the paint job, and the very proud little guy! Thanks for sharing, Ana

Lara said...

Wow! I love it all put together. Case looks so happy

SaraReno said...

This turned out beautifully! Love it!