Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Novel Shelf Material

I have need of a single, small shelf in my storage room to hold the house's networking gear. I also have a remnant of a slab door that was shortened to fit a small attic doorway. Hmmm.

Here's a view of the door remnant.

I'll need to cap both ends of the door remnant with solid material. I've had to cap the ends of shortened slab doors before, and I've always done it by inserting material in the opening to close it up. In this case, I need a little more shelf depth than the pictured piece will provide, so I'll cap it by simply gluing material on. Structurally, that will leave a bit to be desired, but the shelf will never be heavily loaded, so there should be no problem.

To make this easy on myself, I'll cut the cap material well oversize, so I needn't fuss with precise alignment of a glue up. It will be relatively easy to saw/plane/sand the caps flush afterward.

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Here's a view of the first cap's glue-up.

That went pretty smoothly. I'll leave it like that overnight, then tomorrow I can add the second cap.

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Caps Ready For Trimming -- MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2013

Here's a view of the shelf blank unclamped and ready to be trimmed.

Yikes! Is that a wretched-looking thing or what? We'll see if I and some tools can make something decent out of it.

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Here's a view of the effect of the rip and cross-cut trimming.

The ripping and cross-cutting went remarkably smoothly to good effect. You'd think I knew what I was doing.

On with the planing and sanding.

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Here's a close view of one corner after the basic planing and sanding, meant to get the caps flush.

'Not too shabby, all things considered. Next up -- I have to cut a small notch in the shelf's rear edge to accommodate a little vertical run of cabling raceway that's on the wall.

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Here's the notch cut.

At first, I thought of doing that with a router. Then, the thought came to me, "Why the bleep would I do such a thing, when the old way, with saw and chisel, will work quite adequately, and with almost zero setup time?"

I applied saw and chisel, and obtained a serviceable notch. On with the 'final' trial installation.

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Here's a view of the trial installation. I'm quite pleased with it.

I'll leave that right where it is until I've completed the construction of the equipment rack, and done its trial installation. Then, I'll dismantle everything, do the final finishing and the final installation.

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A Network Equipment Rack To Accompany The Shelf

I'm assembling a simple rack-mount frame to accommodate our household's networking gear. Here's a view of it ready to be glued up.

That's some salvaged, melamine-clad, 17mm thick particle board. The joinery is just three No. 0 biscuits per side.

The frame's width is 19"; useable height is 6". That's all I need to tidy up our network gear installation.

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All Done, But With A Change In Plan -- WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2013

My original thought here had been to perch the network rack on top of the shelf. My son looked things over and suggested that I attach the rack to the underside of the shelf, then I'd still have the entire shelf available for other things. Hmmm. Great idea.

So, that's how I installed the rack, slung underneath the shelf, like so.

Much better than my original idea.

There's still some tidying up of cabling to be done, but the installation is functionally complete and doing its job. (The entire storage room that it's in needs some tidying up -- it's in what's called a 'state of flux'.)

Anyway, the shelf is a success. I do enjoy taking what looks like an utter piece of trash, and making something decent and useful out of it.

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