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275049 Richard Wilson <yorkshireman@y...> 2022‑01‑04 Re: wood movement and construction question...
James is getting paranoid

If ’twere me - and I have started on doing something similar for my somewhat
smaller study, when the new sotone sills are in and the windows, and the walls…

First question I’d ask Is about the shelving.  Sounds like ’spur’ brand library
shelving - the stuff that clips to a sltted metal upright.  Much used for
libraries, and with the uprights hidden within a wooden casing they would be a
good, strong, adjustable solution, as used in librarie around the globe.  Dsk
and box arrangements are possible, using the brackets sold for the purpose.  And
the floor would be clear, so running a vacuum around to keep the Domestic
Authorities happy is a delight.

But we’re asked about securing the uprights to the floor. 

If ’twere me, I’d design it with a plinth and toe inset, and have the uprights
run from there.  Why?  because it delineates the shelving and the floor, and a
sturdy plinth will spread the loads and provide a consistent datum.  Think of it
as a shelf 6” from the floor (something about skirting heigt (would that be
‘baseboard’ Paddy?)  A bottom panel of something substantial - moulding on the
front, good joints where necessary along the length, would provide the level
base point from which all the uprights spring.  Further, it means that piercing
the floor is no longer an issue, so eliminates many of the concerns that
prompted the question.  You could shim the base of the uprights and cover any
resulting gaps with a small moulding to each side (like a miniature skirting)
which would state that the upright springs from a solid base, and would prevent
anything going out of square.
I’d also be tempted to make the uprights at least appear substantial by adding
something to the front face - don’t want it looking as if its just a sheet of
MDF on edge - or maybe that IS the look to go for - but it needs to look
substantial enough to take the weight of books, and modern materials are
generally stronger than they look.

So, in summary - I’m suggesting altering the problem to make the flooring job
simple, and the shelving levelling and aligning simple and certain.

You could go on to make the top match the bottom of course. 

And when it all gets pulled out - you have a perfect floor and room.  

And now, back to my drawings for this place.  Heating, power, lighting - do I
want some concealed roof level lighting?  How do I handle the corners?  and the
printer’s 550 mm deep, so it needs a section of base that lets it be both
supported and mostly hidden - but needs to be accessible.  And the desk?  Do I
make it, find an old one?  Restore something?  How to run the cables, hide the
And after all that - come the questions about making and installing…. 

Don’cha just love doing these things?

Richard Wilson
Yorkshireman Galoot - letting sub-contracts in Northumberland

> On 3 Jan 2022, at 13:09, James DuPrie  wrote:
> I'm moving forward on the library project (year 2 now), and I figured I’d toss
the latest dilemma to the porch....
> The library is an unfinished room, 28' square. I'm pondering order of
operations. The shelves will be built-in on all 4 walls.
> the question is: should I put the floor (probably maple) in first, and build
the shelves on top of it, or build the shelves first, and butt the floor against
> The shelves will be secured to the floor (roughly every 38"), and I am a bit
concerned with restricting cross grain wood movement if I put the floor in
first. However, most of the places where I've seen built-ins, they are built
over an installed floor.
> Am I being overly paranoid?
> thanks
> -j

Yorkshireman Galoot
in the most northerly county, farther north even than Yorkshire
IT #300

Recent Bios FAQ