Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, I was able to get a lot of work done on the new built in bookcases for the library. This first phase was essentially a proof of concept; before I ordered all of the bookcases I wanted to order two to verify fit and also to verify my plan to join the corners and to turn them into true built-ins. They came fully assembled in giant boxes, so thankfully I was able to bribe the delivery guys to carry them down to the lower level right nearby the library.
The first step was to remove the old shelves and their toppers.
After that was done, I unpacked the new bookcases and moved them vaguely into position. After that, I measured where I’d need to cut the baseboard and crown molding on the bookcases so that I could join them at the corner into one unit. I used a jigsaw with a long blade designed for ultra-fine finish carpentry, and it did a good job of making cuts without causing a lot of collateral damage.
I then cut the actual baseboard along the wall, and removed the carpet, carpet pad, and staple strips from the floor so that the bookcases could be flush with the wall. I screwed the bookcases together to form a perfect corner, and then shimmed them level against the walls before anchoring them into the studs. This left me with a really sturdy corner unit, with the ladder rails joining in the corner as well. From there, I used wood filler to fill in tiny gaps in the joined molding, and color matched paint to paint over it.
The result was impressively seamless! The project wasn’t done though, I still had to build the toppers and molding that would connect them to the ceiling. I used oak boards for the topper, along with some understated crown trim for the ceiling line.
Once the final trim was in place and I put everything back on the shelves, it looked incredible and gave me a vision for how the rest of the library will look when the project is done!
The next step is to order the rest of the bookcases, which should arrive in January for me to finish the rest of the project!