Rob’s Office Bookshelves


My home office isn’t “exactly” cluttered, and I recently rearranged it to let a lot more natural light in. So, in keeping with the improvements theme, I tackled a build that’s been in the Future Projects folder for quite awhile. Four bookcase units will be ganged together in the closet to replace the commercial wire shelving units that only utilize about half the volume of storage space available. The sliding bypass doors on the closet, which I don’t want to remove and reinstall, presented the  minor design challenge of coming up with units that would slide through the door openings and still use most of the storage volume available.

The four units I came up with will slide straight into the existing door openings and take up the majority of the closet volume, both from side to side and from bottom to top. The upper units will be partially behind the closet door header, but at only twelve inches deep, those top shelves will be for seldom accessed but un-tossable kit! Rather than breaking out my shelf pin drilling jig and drilling a bunch of holes, I ordered brass plated shelf standards that will install quickly in shallow dadoes I cut in each of the carcass sides before assembly.

I always appreciate a project that gives rise to adding new tools or equipment to the workshop. Anticipating all that surface area (seven sheets of plywood!) of the carcasses and shelving, I’ve re-acquired an HVLP spray system, the single-stage turbine  Earlex 5500. After quite a bit of research and some test samples, I’m going to spray a water-borne clear finish, MinWax Oil-Modified Poly. The water-borne finish brings much lower VOCs and soap-and-water cleanup to the party, and the oil-modified variation still adds some of the amber hue of solvent-based polyurethanes.