The corner cupboard

Posted by jerry on January 14th, 2007 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

Turning the corner with bookcases can be a bit of a challenge. There are three possibilities: you can butt two bookcases together at right angles – but then you have a dead spot in one of the bookcases. You could construct the bookcases slightly short and have a right angle – but that would mean wasted space in the corner. The third possibility is to build a corner cabinet.

corner shelf unit

It’s actually not much different from building standard bookcases, except that the shelves are deeper than the adjoining bookcases. I could have bought wider timber, except my hardware store doesn’t stock timber 450mm wide. However I did have some melamine chipboard of that width.

Noting that I was going from narrow bookcases on one side to wider ones on the other I prepared one board of each width – one of 2400x190mm and one 2400x240mm in the same way as for the sides of the bookcases. That is, I made cutouts for the skirting board and for the architrave.

I wanted an opening of 300mm (about one foot), so I measured 190mm on one side and 240mm on the other and moved a steel rule around until I could make a five-sided figure resembling a truncated triangle.

Once drawn to size I cut that one out carefully and used it as a template to make four more.

corner shelf unit

I also needed to make a kick-board and chose in this case to make it as tall as the skirting board to avoid having to cut down the bottom shelf.

Assembly was assisted by the use of a mitre clamp, but otherwise went the same as for the bookcases. For added strength I made all the shelves fixed, using screws and glue as the back of each shelf would be unsupported – most of the items I plan placing in the unit will sit between the shelf supports so I’m not worried about the rear of the shelves bowing.

The one exception is the bottom shelf where I intend to stow a spare fiddle case – that one I made a block to fit beneath the corner and screwed it to the bottom shelf. I shall eventually put a door on the bottom section and the upper will remain as open shelves for a clock and small decorative piece.

The sides will be faced with beaded trim and the top will be faced with a decorative trim to take it up to ceiling height and the exposed edges of the shelves will be faced with iron-on wood veneer – it’s real wood but backed with a heat activated glue – but that is for another day.

I managed to get the wider bookcases built today, so tomorrow will see a flurry of cutting for the loose shelves and the start of the finishing process.

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