Intro: Closet Organizer Into Hanging Bookshelf Mod.
This is a Mod I made of a closet organizer system to create a bookshelf for my room. It is replacing something that was too wide and too ugly. I made a Mod of an organizer system called Easy Track.
Disclosure: I sell Easy Track in a hardware store. Neither Easy Track nor my store have encouraged me in or compensated me for this intractable. The point is to make a hack of RTA (Ready to Assemble) furniture for one's own needs.
Step 1: What Is Easy Track
Easy Track is a closet organizer system that hangs from a rail that is bolted to the wall, either with #10 screws or the supplied toggle bolts. Pictured is the Hanging Tower Kit RV1472 (pictured in White; I used Cherry, which is a discontinued color that I picked up at a discount at $90)
This model has vertical panels at 72", which are notched in the back in order to slip onto the rail which is bolted to the wall. It then includes three 24" shelves, where the top and bottom ones are screwed in place to lend side-to-side stability. (The third shelf can be either screwed in as well or installed with shelf pegs, both of which are included.
Step 2: Mod's Made to This Kit
I made modifications to this kit to fit it into the available space. My helpful lumberyard was willing to make the cuts, but you could do it with a circular saw. The mod's were:
- Cut the 72" vertical panels to 60". A paper shredder will live under this hanging bookcase, so I didn't need it to be as high as it was going to be had I not cut it down.
- Cut the shelves in half. The kit comes with three shelves; now I have six.
- As it turned out (lucky, unplanned accident) I could cut down the scrap pieces left over from the 72" panels into two more shelves.
- When I installed the Easy Track Rail, I cut it to aproximately 16"
- I did not use the closet rod. I'll maybe save this for another project.
Step 3: Close Up of the Easy Track Rail
The system hangs off of a rail which is bolted to the wall. For this installation, I hit a stud with a 1-½ screw and used the two supplied toggle bolts equally spaced along the rest of the length of the rail to make a firm securement. As pictured, the rail protrudes a bit on either side of the Easy Track. I honestly forgot if this was a design requirement or if it was just something I got in my head. Either way, you have to really look closely to notice it.
The main thing is that your vertical panel can not be located over one of the screws; they protrude and would prevent the panel from hanging against the wall.
My friend Erik suggested that you place a block at the top of the hanging panel to prevent the system from trying to jump off in the event of an earthquake. We survived the Loam Prieta, CA of 1989, so this is not a bad idea.
Learning Point #1: Although I work in a Hardware store, I managed to bring home #12 screws, which don't fit through the holes on the Easy Track rail (easy Track only supplies toggle bolts, which assume you will not hit a stud. A shame). Read those darn labels, and count on customers placing things back on the wrong peg.
Learning Point #2: Spade bits make a mess of drywall when drilling a ½" hold for the toggle. Should have used a twist bit.
Learning Point #3: I screwed up a toggle bolt. Buy extra; return later.
Step 4: Nice, Narrow Shelves
Now I have some nice, narrow shelves. They came out narrower that I imagined, but when I looked at the space available for this bookcase, the size was right. I'm trying to be more conservative in the amount of books and memorabilia I keep around, and not have the book shelf turn into a junk shelf.
Step 5: So There You Have It.
This finished bookcase has a floating effect which is pretty cool. Again, I had limited width along this wall, so narrow is both a design constraint as well as a feature and benefit.
So the lesson is to learn to mod what you can to make it work for you.
Thanks for listening.