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#1 rookie


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:35 AM

I had posted earlier that I ran out of bookshelf space in my house. My astronomy books were in stacks, and several were too large for any shelf.

I went shopping and found new book shelves are made with thin veneers and particle boards. So I moved away from the new and started searching for used. I discovered that there are lots of entertainment centers in charity thrift stores and used furniture consignment stores that have been given up because they are useless for the new large flat screen tv's. I picked through dozens and located this unit made with 3/4" laminate wood. Nothing in it has particle board. I measured open areas for additional shelves, then went to Home Depot and purchased a full 4x8' sheet of 3/4" cabinet grade plywood that I had them cut for me to the proper sizes. It didn't require a full sheet, but it was much more reasonable than buying smaller precut pieces. Then I finished the additional shelf boards with 3 coats of Polyshade polyurethane. There are designated shelves for the Great Atlas of the Sky and the uber size 21" Harmonia Macrocosmica. (It's beautiful, but what was I thinking? :p)

It all turned out very well, and fits in a walk space between 2 rooms. I made a white box shelf on top for dvd's that with shelving boards that were sitting unused for years in my garage. I'm happy with the results. It brings new life to old furniture, is better quality than what I could find new, and holds lots of books. I even have some new empty shelf space. :woohoo:

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#2 okieav8r


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:35 AM

Nice find! Those shelves really look great. I'm in the same boat as you with books and CD's. Everywhere I've looked, it's all particle board, plastic veneers, and cheap construction. I've resigned myself to the idea of just building my own. Maybe I should start haunting the thrift stores more.

#3 PhilCo126



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Posted 15 February 2013 - 06:43 AM

As a book collector I was amazed by the bookshelves :bawling:
Please put hardcover books horizontal in the bookshelves... maybe more difficult to take a certain book out of the pile, but the book-spine will live much longer!

#4 rockethead26



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Posted 15 February 2013 - 07:24 AM

Nice shelves! I see the Great Atlas of the Sky got its own special place. Great job.

#5 csa/montana


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:31 AM

Excellent find, and also an excellent job of finishing it to fit your needs! It's beautiful!

However, you cannot have an spaces, so that means you have to buy more astronomy books! :grin:

#6 LivingNDixie


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:56 AM


What is that globe of?

#7 Alan A.

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

The shelves look good. If you have a section with older or more valuable books, you might consider using a shelf liner with acid free paper for that section.

Phil - is this correct - do professional archival libraries store their hardcover books horizontally? I know for the really large volumes they might, but as a universal practice for all volumes?

#8 turtle86


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

Great idea and great job! :bow:

#9 PhilCo126



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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

Large & expensive books (even comics) are stored in acid free drawers in "horizontal" position :p

#10 rookie


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:40 PM

Thanks for the kind feedback everyone. I realized these entertainment centers were made to hold those huge heavy tv's and are pretty sturdy. They come in all shapes and sizes and some were pretty beat up. If you look at them be sure to check the backs and corners.

Philip, thanks for the suggestion to lay the books flat. I did not know about it, though the Atlas of the Sky would certainly not hold up well standing up.

Preston, there is a little 4" lunar globe on the shelf.

Carol, I probably won't always have empty shelf space if I keep reading this forum. :grin:

#11 eps0mu0


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:00 PM

Great job!
You are obviously a talented woodworker.
It is possible to find non-particle board based shelving (for example, look at roomandboard.com, under bookshelves), but it is a lot more expensive than what you did... and you were able to design special shelves for your atlases.
I love going through these forums and seeing how creative and inventive everyone is here.

#12 GeneT


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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:16 PM

Nice job!

#13 PhilCo126



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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:27 AM

Keeping all my books in horizontal storage position :rollgrin:
The largest book I have is NASA SP-496 Atlas of Galaxies ( measures about 55 cm by 45 cm ) so there's no option but to keep it flat :imawake:

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