Introduction: Urban Gardeners' Little Free Library

This Little Free Library is a weather-proof book and magazine holder that can be mounted to a community garden shed.

In the heart of downtown Whitehorse there is a community garden which was planted in 1998 by the Downtown Urban Gardeners Society (DUGS). With almost 20 seasons of growing food and flowers, these gardens are flourishing.

But gardening in the Yukon isn’t always the bees knees. To help understand and overcome some of the quirks associated with planting north of 60, DUGS wanted to create a way for people to share information and knowledge about gardening. The organization approached YuKonstruct to help build a Little Free Library for gardeners to share books, magazines and other literature with one another.

We were excited to help make this happen and got straight to building!

YuKonstruct is the first makerspace in Canada's north. Our mission is to provide access to shared space, quality tools, available expertise, and a collaborative environment to help makers build anything!

Step 1: Materials

As much as possible, we used repurposed or donated materials for this project.

Materials

  • 16" x 36" metal roof material
  • 30" x 36" x3/4" prefinished maple plywood backing
  • 2 @ 11"x 36"x 3/4" prefinished maple plywood shelves
  • 2 @ 12"x30" 3/4" plywood end walls
  • PVC 12' of 1 1/2" x 3/4" trim
  • 2 @ 16" x 28" 3/32 plexiglass for doors
  • 2 @ 30"x3/4" piano hinges

Step 2: Construction

The Little Free Library is designed to fasten to the wall of the garden shed at the community garden. The library is designed to accommodate 8 1/2" by 11" magazines and books of various sizes. The shelves are 11" deep and set in mortises in the end walls.

We first cut the back plywood to size with a dado along all sides for the sides, bottom and roof to fit into. We then pre-finished the end wall and cut 3/8" dados for the shelf. Waterproof glue was used to fasten the sides, shelf, top and bottom before they were nailed in place.

Once the cabinet was made, we laser cut our logo on a piece of the face frame that was glued and pin nailed on to the cabinet face.

We also laser cut images of vegetables on 1/8" mahogany plywood to use as a decorative element on the inside of the door windows.

Step 3: Library Doors

We made the library doors using PVC trim mitered at the corners and glued using the PVC solvent.

A groove was cut along the inside of the 1 1/2" strips of PVC to hold the plexiglass. Once the plexiglass was in place and the PVC bonded at the corners, the carrot images were slipped along side the plexiglass. The windows were then sealed with a bead of clear silicon.

The windows were then attached with piano hinges along the side. The doors are held in place with magnets fastened to the doors and a matching metal bar on the cabinet.

Hardwood handles were made to serve as door openers.

Finally, we finished the exterior with three coats of an exterior acrylic paint.

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Bio: YuKonstruct is a non-profit society which provides an enthusiastic community of makers and entrepreneurs affordable access to space, equipment and knowledge. This community serves to ... More »
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