Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Door Shelves

Some time back I was looking at different things on line and I came across this door shelf

Craftaholics Anonymous provided inspiration

I fell in love with it! There is only one problem... I do not have an available corner in my house for ANYTHING much less a shelf!  I just filed the project under "Maybe Some Day".

A friend of mine asked me if I wanted a couple of bi-fold doors.  I really hemmed and hawed... but then I said yes... after-all they were FREE!  

I was on my way to go visit my kids.  For me to go visit my kids I have to drive 16 hours (one way).  I sent them the above picture from Craftaholics Anonymous and asked them if they’d be interested in having door shelves.  They both said yes… so I loaded them into the car. With the bi-fold doors I wouldn't have to cut the door in half and glue it back together!  I counted this as a time saver!

Now understand I was on a VERY SHORT timeline .
Thursday: I drove (16 hours - stopping only for gas and to go pee)
Friday: We drove to a larger city so my daughter could go to the doctor and we  
            had “shopping” to do… this is an all day affair! 
Saturday: It was my oldest grandson’s 7th birthday.  The day was busy with the 
Sunday: This was the only day I had to work on the shelves 
Monday: I left at 4 a.m. and drove home

Sunday morning when we got up the youngest grandson was not feeling good, so this cuts into the timeline as well.  

I had emailed my son prior to my leaving and told him I needed him to cut the shelves, cut the quarter round molding, and to paint them all white as the doors are white.  My thinking is that because bi-fold closet doors are hollow core I couldn’t very successfully screw the shelves to the doors and I’d need to supply extra support with the quarter round molding.

This is pre-cutting off the front corner of the shelves

My son was able to get the quarter round and shelves cut (except for cutting off the front corner).  He did not have time to cut off the front corner or to paint.  He is a busy guy as he's working 2 jobs.  I cut off the corners of all the shelves with his handy dandy battery operated circular saw.

This is the shape of all the shelves

So I went out to do the painting in the front yard.  (We were VERY BLESSED with a GORGEOUS day… very unusual where they live!)

Oldest helper (he wants to be a "Scientist for fish")

Youngest helper; we needed all those triangles painted ;)
The shelves started out square.  My son opted to use 1" x 12" pine instead of plywood.  As most of us know, this is not the "true" measurements.

11 1/4"
 The shelves are square.  
They definitely need a second coat of paint, 
I only had time for one coat.

11 1/4"

Because these are closet doors they didn't have "real" handles on them like in the picture for my inspiration at the top of the page.  So I went to our local Ace Hardware and purchased a couple of items

I didn't pay enough attention, but the package of Back Plates has two plates per package, I will be returning one pkg. It made it nice for the photo though to have both packages :)

The package with the handles in it came with a squared "spindle" that goes between the handles.  The squared spindle has threading on both ends so that when replacing a normal door knob set you can screw on the handles onto the spindle.  I needed the spindle to keep the handle on as the Back Plates don't fit tightly enough to hold the handle on.  The shelving unit doesn't need the two handles, so with my son's assistance and his Dremel we cut the squared screw-threaded spindle in half.  I then drilled a hole in the bi-fold door and used the hammer to pound the squared spindle into the round hole making sure to enter the cut end into the hole and leaving the threaded end on the outside.  I put on one of the Back Plates and screwed on the handle, screwed in the small screw at the base (to "lock" it on) and screwed the back plate to the door.

Obviously it's not strong enough to use it as a grip to move the shelving unit, or to hang anything on it... but it does look like a real door handle!

I laid the door on the floor and glued on the shelves and the quarter round molding.  I placed the center shelf over the hole from where I removed the "closet door handle" so the hole wouldn't show.  I left the pieces on the bottom of the doors that help to keep the doors in the tracks.  I figured this would only help to tip the top of the shelving unit towards the corner of the house.

Today my daughter texted me a picture of the shelving unit standing up in the corner.  They don't have good lighting in the living room and her phone doesn't have a flash on it.  I'm sorry for the poor quality picture.

The kids are going to have to paint whatever color(s) they want.
My son is going to have to build his own shelving unit as I simply didn't have time to get it done.

Things I would do differently:
  •      More time, I simply needed more time
  •      I think if I used corner brackets and wall anchors instead of the quarter round molding (probably the Molly bolt style) the shelves would likely work better on the hollow core doors.
  •      Perhaps long screws going through the hollow core door into the shelves would be enough
  •      I think if I would have had clamps to hold the shelves on while they were drying this too would have been a benefit.  So, on the "to buy list", clamps!
  •      No sick grandsons to steel away your attention!

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  1. Cool! Love the knobs. :)

  2. oh my! what a weekend! Great project! I made one of these years ago with Jamie's old bathroom door (solid) It's actually in her dad's kitchen corner. Still love it.

    have a great weekend! I'm off on my trip tomorrow!

  3. A friend of mine emailed to me:
    "Looks like those door shelves were fun to make!...even with the short amt of time you had . :)"

    Thank you Heather!

  4. Toqua, your corner unit turned out beautifully! I'm spotlighting your post on my Facebook page today!



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