Saturday, June 23, 2012

The $4,086 Recycled Bookcase

The Finished product Installed
Time for another project!  If you liked my Murphy Table, then I have another Upcycling project that you might enjoy.  It is a solid wood (mostly) high-quality painted custom bookcase.   This bookcase has three adjustable shelves, but you could easily add four shelves if you plan ahead a little better than I did and don't glue the side doors on backwards.  The shelves are held in place by metal bookshelf pegs.  The entire thing is painted inside and out with latex paint and then coated with Polyurethane.  The bottom section is covered by doors that are on cabinet european hinges.                                                   
Material List                                   Cost                              Place Purchased
Wooden Screen Door                    $20                   Someone's front yard (donation)     
Glass panel wooden door                 $20                                   Restore of Dallas               
Hollow door                               $10                                           Restore of Dallas 
Latex based Polyurethane, 1 Gallon       $35                                             Home Depot                    
Wagner Sprayer                             $5                                               Garage Sale           
White flat latex paint     $(25 worth)   Free         Leftover from when previous owners painted house
Life is Good latex flat paint (Quart)         $free                   Ace Hardware promo                     
European Pocket hinges (Four)                   $4                                     Restore of Dallas                         
1.7 sheets of 3/4" Cabinet Grade Plywood   $60                                    Home Depot                         
1.25" Pre-primed Crown Molding            $14                                  Home Depot                                  
nailgun nails                      $.50                                  Came with nailgun
3" Drywall screws              $1.00                                  Lowes                  
2.25" Cabinet Screws            $2.00                               Home Depot            
1.5" Drywall screws              $1.00                                      Lowes              
Bookcase Shelf Pegs  (12)              $3.50                                   Home Depot                
Electricity         $1.50                                     TXU
Wear and Tear on Table Saw                    $1.00                                                                                      
Drop Cloths              $Free                                      Recycling
Duct tape                 $.10                             Home Depot 
Wear and Tear on Respirator                 $1.00                          Undisclosed                               
Water                                                   $2.00                             Cedar Hill Water Department
Sandpaper/sanding discs                  $4.00                                       Lowes                     
Durhams Rock Hard Water Putty        $7.00                                     Home Depot                
Rubber Gloves                                        $.75                                     Undisclosed                    
Elmers Wood Glue                        $4.00                             Home Depot                
                     My time                               60-70 hours                      Includes shopping and design time
Rags                           $Free                                       Recycled
Wear and tear on clamps                       $.35                                      Home Depot                      
Paint sticks, Scrap wood                     $Free                                               Recycled              
Wear and Tear on Paint Brushes, Rasp, and putty knives    $.46                      Home Depot          
Wear and Tear on Router, Router Bits   $2.00                                              Lowes    
Paper, cardboard for covering areas not to be painted   $Free                                      Recycling       
Wear and Tear on handheld raking light      $.25                                      Found in attic            
Door Knob                                        $1.00                                             ReStore of Dallas
Wear and tear on Prying tools       $.75                                              Miscellaneous
Painters tape                             $2.00                                           Home Depot

Total Cost:   $213.16 in materiel and 65 hours of time. 
Assume a labor rate of $59.58/hour (including overhead) and the total is $4086.16

What I did:
1.  Designed bookcase by sketching it out.
2.  Gathered Materials.  This one started out with the screen door that a guy had replaced and he set it out in his yard with some other junk.  My wife saw and and went on and on about it, so one day I stopped by and got it for her and gave it to her for her birthday.
3.  Removed the panel insert from the old screen door and the screen that was in the upper aread of the insert.  Removed the hinges, staples, and door knobs from the doors.  
4.  Cleaned the old doors with a power washer. Sanded the old doors.
5. Cut the glass paneled door in half on a table saw. 
6.  Sanded the old doors some more.
7.  Cut the plywood base, top, and shelves from two sheets of cabinet grade plywood.
8.  Routed the Top of the bookcase.
9.  Cut the panel insert into two separate doors. 
10.  Routed the holes for the pocket hinges in the doors.
11.  Added a little wood to the edges of the doors to make them larger like on a kitchen cabinet.
12. Primed all the wood
13.  Sanded the primer.
14.  Sanded the primer some more (note to self, don't let kids help in the future).
15.  Glued and screwed the side doors to the hollow core door (rear of bookcase). Used pole clamps and countersunk the screws.  Note that I would have preferred to put the glass closer to the front of the bookcase (switching the sides), but I wasn't paying attention and I forgot.  This would have allowed me infinite shelf positions because there would have been someplace in the rear of the bookcase to screw a hole for the bookshelf peg to go. 
16.  Glued and screwed the bottom, then the top of the bookshelf on.
17.  Glued and scrwed in the middle fixed shelf.
18.  Drilled holes for the bookshelf pegs, and test fit the shelves.
19.  Installed with brads and glue the crown molding on the middle shelf and top cap. 
20.  Installed scrap angled wood supports to the bottom shelf. 
21.  Sanded the entire apparatus and added more putty and sanded that. 
22.  Cleaned the bookshelf and taped off the windows. 
For the rest of the job, I set up a temporary paint booth in the garage with tarps clamped to my garage door tracks.  This booth was key to getting the job done quickly. 
23.  Painted the inside of the bookcase and the shelves with a Wagner spray gun.  (3 coats, lightly sanding between)
24.   Taped off the inside of the bookcase with wide plotter paper and cardboard. 
25.   Painted the outside of the bookcase and the doors with a Wagner spray gun. (3 coats, lightly sanding between)
26.  Fit the doors on and cut some notches for the hinges.  Painted the cut areas.
27.  Applied 3 Coats of polyurethane to the inside and outside of the book case and the shelves.  Did not sand much between coats, just cut off the drips with a razor blade. 
28.  Took off the paper from the windows. 
29.  Hefted the whole thing upstairs.   
30.  Installed the European door hinges and the doors onto the bookcase.  Also installed the door knob. 

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, I'll now post a selection of pictures of the progress of the book case, so you can see its design.  It turned out pretty good, for a four thousand dollar book case.  If you have any questions about the design of the book case that you can't figure out from the photos, then feel free to comment on this post and ask. 

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