Arched Built-In Bookcase

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Introduction: Arched Built-In Bookcase

About: Educated as an architect. Employed as a builder. Always a maker. https://www.instagram.com/muldoon_made/

Our kids' room needed more storage. One wall had a lot of space with only a radiator on it. We designed a bookcase that gave plenty of storage, hid the radiator, and had a playful quality.

The bookcase is arched at the top and slopes back from the base to the top.

Supplies

  • 4x8 mdf. I used 2 sheets.
  • Circular saw
  • Jig saw
  • Nail gun
  • Router

Step 1: Cut Boards to Width

First, using a circular saw, I cut all of my boards to its widest width at the base.

Step 2: Kerf Cuts

I cut kerfs approximately 2/3rds into the mdf. I kept adding kerfs until the board bend easily with a smooth curve.

Step 3: Assemble Interior Shelves

Using sketchup, I measured each shelf from the wall to determine its depth. I then cut the face of the board at an 85 degree angle, so it would be flush with the perimeter as the unit sloped towards the top. I temporarily assembled parts of the unit to confirm some dimensions.

Step 4: Scribe to Molding

I cut away material at any point where it intersected the existing wall molding. This allowed the unit to sit flush with the wall.

Step 5: Assembly

I assembled and painted as I went. I started at the bottom and used a 1" spacer that was nailed to the wall. This spacer served as a template for the perimeter of the unit.

Step 6: Add Molding

I traced the molding at the installation and cut the shape to fit. I then used a router to ive the edges of the molding some added detail.

Step 7: Patch and Paint

This was a tricky install that left a few inconsistencies. I used bondo filler to smooth all transitions. The unit was then caulked, sanded, and given the final coats of paint.

Step 8: Enjoy

Add your favorite toys, dolls, and books.

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    8 Comments

    0
    moltcraft
    moltcraft

    6 months ago

    Nice! I love the green!

    0
    WillE84_420
    WillE84_420

    7 months ago

    This is a wonderful looking project. Only thing that worries me is if that radiator gets too hot during the cold months its a major fire hazard and asking to start a fire. There should've been more space given around it, OR what you could still do is purchase a thin fire proof insulation and cover the area around the radiator so the heat dissipates elsewhere. Jjst pointing out something that could save you and your families lives

    0
    Mike Muldoon
    Mike Muldoon

    Reply 7 months ago

    Thank you for your concern and your kind words. This is a hot water radiator that we programmed to not get hot enough to burn your skin when touched (this is a major concern with young kids running around). The temperature for wood to combust is significantly higher than that. Wooden shelves are even made to place on top of radiators. That being said, I will certainly keep an eye on it. Thank you!

    0
    drywhitetoast
    drywhitetoast

    Reply 7 months ago

    Might depend on the system though. We had hot water heat instead of steam in ours and this would have been ok for us, but I could see how some of the others could get a bit hotter. Maybe incorporate some smaller / low profile fans to help circulate it into the room so the heat isn't trapped in one space (was thinking about some of the cooling fans that are used in computer cases?).

    I love the look of the shelves. Bringing curves into a room really helps to change the space and seems to work especially well in kids rooms.

    0
    IvoG1
    IvoG1

    7 months ago

    It is really nice how you incorporated a radiator into the shelf!

    0
    craftisan
    craftisan

    7 months ago

    This is gorgeous!!!

    0
    Mike Muldoon
    Mike Muldoon

    Reply 7 months ago

    Thank you so much!