building custom shelves, part 1.

While I am still working on painting and organizing all of the stuff in my new closet, I wanted to go ahead and write out the details of the project - what we bought, what we did, and what I would have done differently. This is partly in case anyone reading this actually wants to know the details, but mostly its just for me - so I have record of everything for next time.

We cleared everything out, including the existing shelves. The only thing that stayed was the light (just a bare bulb) and the top shelf across the top. At first I considered keeping the shelves on the left side and building the new shelves to sit flush with them, but it was easier to just lose them altogether and build exactly what I wanted (and I don't think it would have saved me much money, anyway).

In the course of pulling things out, we discovered something else - one of the previous shelves was actually blocking the access door to the bathroom plumbing (and would have needed to be ripped out to access that). Now, the new shelf sits in front of the access door, but is easily removable (its the only shelf not nailed down).

The entire width of the closet is about 4 1/2 feet, and I wanted to leave 2 feet on the right for hanging space, larger items like my vacuum, and a pegboard on the wall for a broom and ironing board. There are five shelves on the left, each 2 1/2 feet wide and 2 feet deep.

This is the complete list of everything I bought:

5 6-foot lengths of 1x12 - $51
2 8-foot lengths of 1x4 - $8
1 6-foot length of 1x4 - $3
6 8-foot length of 1x2 - $5
2x4 pegboard - $7
pegboard hooks - $3
closet rod - $7
primer - $20
screws for the light bulb fixture - $1
Total spent: $105

In addition to basic hand tools (hammer, pencil, level, tape measure), we used these tools:

circular saw (though we could have used a miter saw for all but the 1x12s and pegboard)
nail gun
electric drill/screwdriver
hand saw

The 1x12s formed the basis of each shelf. Each piece was cut into 2 30-inch sections, then laid side by side to create a shelf that is 30 inches wide and 23 inches deep (a 1x12 is actually 3/4-inch x 11 1/2-inch, so two 11 1/2-inch widths = 23 inches). The 1x4s provided the vertical supports (necessary because the shelves weren't extending the length of the closet) and the horizontal supports for the closet rod. The 1x2s were the shelf supports - they were attached directly to the wall and vertical supports on 3 sides (left, back, and right), and then the shelves were attached to them (except for the bottom shelf, as I described above).

Still to come - the details, part 2.

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