A dynamic moving / adjustable set of shelves that can be repositioned at will and respond to differences in weight, or the amount of books held on each shelf. 

While this project is specific to my house, it can easily be adapted to meet the specific conditions of your house or apartment, provided you do your research. You'll need to hang this from something, so it pays to know how your ceiling is built.

The setup...

Basically, four shelves (pods) hang from a Main Line. The Main Line feeds through a system of pulleys and is free to move through them. The pulleys are hung from eye-bolts which are anchored to a solid support. The support piece is anchored to the ceiling using long screws.

The instructions will tell you the basics of how I built this, but you can easily adapt what I did to suit your needs/tastes. Some steps can be skipped depending on your access to a table saw and tastes.

You will need the following....

6 Pulleys - (2 double sheave and 4 single sheave)
4 1/2" x 6" eye-bolts
4 Large "S" hooks ( to hang the pulleys from the bolts)
1 continuous length of rope that measures roughly 40' (1/2" dia. rope)
8 continuous lengths of rope apprx. 5' in length each. (1/2" dia.)
8 1/2" nuts that match your eye-bolt threads
4 1/2" lock washers
8 1/2" (dia. hole) flat washers
4 Steel rings (1.5" to 2" dia.)
A box of 4" long wood screws (I used 6 screws, so you don't need a whole lot)

You can get all of the above at Ace Hardware.

Birch Plywood
1 sheet of 3/4" thick Birch Plywood large enough to get the following pieces...

(4) top pieces
12" long by 9" wide by 3/4" thick

(4) bottom pieces

12" long by 9" wide by 3/4" thick

Craft Plywood
(4) Back pieces, each piece 12" x 6" x 1/4 thick
(4) Side Pieces, each piece 8.75" x 6" x 1/8" thick

Some wood stain if you like

If you want to "whip" the rope ends, you'll need a strong needle and whipping twine.

foobear4 months ago

I wish there was a video showing them moving about

Firstdalek6 months ago

This is awesome! *sigh* If only I had wallspace...

brunnete8D1 year ago

So nice!

this is AWESOME.
piyush31703 years ago
really nice job yr.
kickice82003 (author) 3 years ago

Link to video file on youtube
kickice82003 (author) 3 years ago
I have included a video of how I whipped the ropes together into loops.
hammer98763 years ago
Practical with whimsical. I like it. Plus, doesn't it seem like all the good books are on the top shelf? This eliminates that problem.
kickice82003 (author)  hammer98763 years ago
Why thank you! The good books can be pulled down if they are too high, or pushed up if you don't want your friends too see them and ask to borrow.
snelpiller3 years ago
would love to see a short video showing it
kickice82003 (author)  snelpiller3 years ago
If I can get the sound out I will post the video I have of me whipping the rope and tying in the rings. (My buddy was talking in the background and they weren't all nice words)
The Rambler3 years ago
Very cool. Voted.
kickice82003 (author)  The Rambler3 years ago
lobalt3 years ago
I imagine you could get more fluid movement if you attached pulleys to the tops of the end shelves instead of just looping the rope through the steel rings...
kickice82003 (author)  lobalt3 years ago
The two shelves in the center have pulleys which hold them to the main line. I am going to experiment with different ropes to see how that effects movement. All in all, movement is pretty fluid, but it is less responsive to weight change than I would like.
Fretka3 years ago
you got my vote... I love innovative and original ideas !! and it is just plain cool !!
kickice82003 (author)  Fretka3 years ago
Well thank you Fretka!
I really love the idea and I think I may do something similar. On a safety note: You should never use S hooks in rigging. If someone were to bump the scales hard enough one of your pulleys could bounce out of the hook. Always use shackles. You can decorate them with a thin piece of copper wire that can also secure the bolt so it will never come out by accident.
kickice82003 (author)  Alabastorian3 years ago
Shackles was my first choice, but the hardware store didn't have a decent size. The tension on the pulleys (and thus the S hooks) is tight enough I think to prevent displacement, plus the shelves are close enough to the wall that they can't really swing.

Thanks for the support!
l8nite3 years ago
AWESOME idea ! Really nice "ible" thank you for sharing
kickice82003 (author)  l8nite3 years ago
Thank you.
Lorddrake3 years ago
what an awesome idea ... +1 contest vote :)
kickice82003 (author)  Lorddrake3 years ago
Thanks for the support!
canida3 years ago
This is brilliant! What a fantastic idea, it looks great.
kickice82003 (author)  canida3 years ago
Thank you!
praise_song3 years ago
Now.... that is just plain CLEVER! You got my vote! Thanks for the fabulous space-saving idea!!
kickice82003 (author)  praise_song3 years ago
kwohlgamuth3 years ago
What do you call the storage space where the books are held?

May I suggest "cubits".
kickice82003 (author)  kwohlgamuth3 years ago
Thanks for the suggestion kwholgamuth.
kickice82003 (author) 3 years ago
Please vote for me in furnitre contest section or with link at the top of the page. Thanks!

mh76dk3 years ago
Looks great, I wonder how well using fishingline would work regarding the smother motion (ofcourse that would ruin the kinda rough look which is part of the appeal of this)

kickice82003 (author)  mh76dk3 years ago
The pulleys are rated for 200 lbs a piece and the shelves probably only apply 25 lbs each. In theory, fishing line would work if you had the right kind. Spider wire perhaps?
I had to look up spiderwire, I can not really find how it is different than standard fishing line (except the supposed better feeling for the fish, but I dont see that as relevant to this project) The reason I thought of fishing line was that it is very straight (or frictionless - I can't think of the right english word here) and therefore should move very easilly, and you can get it in quite strong versions (they will also be much less visible than rope, which may or may not be of importance to someone :)
dimtick3 years ago
really dig this. nice job
about the motion comment....I think parachord would probably move better and still give the same look.
couple other thoughts:
I think if you stagger the location of the top eye bolts front & back, then the ropes would not rub against each other. the first eye screw would be 1" from the front edge. the next would be 1" from back edge, then 1" from front, the back, etc. hopefully that makes sense.
other thought is to add some nylon anti-friction pads on the back of the shelf. these are used to cushion heavy drawers in older dresser. may help the movement of the shelf box's rubbing against the walls.
kickice82003 (author)  dimtick3 years ago
Staggering the bolts is a nice idea. I didn't do it, but by threading the rope through the sheaves which are offset some (single vs. double) the lines don't too bad. I did put some felt pads on the back of the shelves, left that part out though.

Thanks for the support!