Monday, 3 September 2012

Add a shelf to a wine crate and make a bookshelf.

A few months back, I saw this post on Offbeat home about using wine crates as shelving. I loved how they looked, but a) didn't have access to wine crates and b) live in a rented flat where I'm not allowed to bash holes in the wall. Then I started working for a restaurant & bar guide, who share their offices with a drinks magazine. The corner by the door was stacked to overflowing with wine crates, and after some carefully directed begging, I walked into work to find one by my desk. Result! But I still couldn't hang it up on the wall, and on it's own it was just an awkward box. Having been painted white for a winter magazine feature, it didn't even look that nice.

Meanwhile, since moving into this flat, I'd started to accumulate books at a slightly alarming rate from friends and colleagues (sometimes playing up the "I'm poor" angle can be very beneficial), and was fast running out out shelf space. So I put two and two together, went down to Kentish Town's terrifying Aladdin's cave hardware store (it's amazing) to buy some tools, and got to work shoving a shelf into my crate.

Here's the tools you will need to bodge this job as well as I did:

Pictured: wood glue, sandpaper, saw, clamp (it's best to have 2 of these but I'm an idiot), panel pins, piece of MDF I found in the cupboard
Not pictured: hammer, piece of wood measuring 19mm x 32mm x 1.8m, ruler, damp cloth for wiping up wood glue

First things first you need to measure the depth of your wine crate. Then mark the length twice on your 19x32 wood and saw off 2 pieces. 

Oh what a miracle, it fits. You then want to sand your pieces of wood so they're not all horrible and splintery.
Now take whatever you want to store on the lower part of the box, put it in and mark it's height on one side of the box.

Stack 1 piece of wood on top of that mark, and draw a line straight across. Measure the height and mark a line at the same height on the other side of the box.
Now get 1 piece of wood, liberally apply wood glue, line the top edge of the wood up with the pencil line, and clamp in place.

PLEASE NOTE- you want to use your clamp the opposite way from my photo, this way damaged the outside of my crate. It left a weird circle mark. You have to remember, I'm an idiot.
After a few minutes, hammer in your panel pins. Because I am an idiot (remember?) the panel pins were too long, so that's why the heads are sticking out.

Repeat on the other side, and you'll end up with something like this:

Now take the piece of MDF you found in the cupboard (that was suspiciously very close to the depth of your box) and cut it to fit the width of your box. Cut it accurately or you will have to slice down the edges with a craft knife like this numpty. Sand the edges to get rid of any rough spots.
Squirt some wood glue on the top of your wood lumps and shove the shelf down on top. Add extra wood glue along the join between the shelf and the box and swipe it with your finger to fill in any cracks and make it look slightly nicer.

If your shelf is a bit loose, you can clamp it and add panel pins.

And there you go. One shoddy bedside table/bookshelf. Just add crap!

Shh! You hear that scraping, whizzing noise coming from St Martins-in-the-Fields? Chippendale's spinning is his grave. 

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