Hello everyone, here is my instructable on how to make hungarian bookshelves. I found the first instructable right here looking for an idea to fill up an empty space in my flat. It seemed it was just waiting for some shelves to be put there and I wanted to make them myself so that they would fill up all the space and cover the naked wall. After browsing the site a bit I thought hungarian bookshelves would look great and also seemed to be reasonably easy enough to make not to leave the flat upside down for too long a time.
You can find the original post here : https://www.instructables.com/id/Hungarian-Shelves/
In this post I just want to share my experience in making them and show the slight differences I introduced.
Step 1: Prepare the Job
The principle of these shelves consists in fixing sticks of wood to the wall in which you have made notches (or mortices). In these notches you will simply slide in the shelves and they will stay there without needing any extra fixing. I find the idea very simple and elegant and this is usually a sign of a good design.
For your own project, take accurate dimensions and use sketches to find out approximately how much material you will need to buy. I actually made a basic CAD model so I could figure out better how it would look, and this helped me later for dimensions and to estimate the amount of paint I would need.
Don't underestimate this step and plan your work carefully if you want something nice at the end. I went to the shops to find out what dimensions of wood were available and at what price before I made my decision on the final design.
Step 2: Get the Material
for my project i used :
- 6 MDF planks cut to dimension of 1800x330x22 mm
- 3 2400x90x45 sticks of pine wood
- 12 6x100mm screws + Rawlplugs
- 500 ml of grey/black paint (laquer )
- 1 L of light green paint (laquer )
- 1L of coating paint
- drill and bits for wood and wall
- painting equipement : driptray, lacquer rolls, paint thinner
Step 3: Cut the Wood
Ok now you can get started.
I made marks on the planks and the sticks of where the notches should be. It's important you try to be fairly accurate when marking the notches because once the notches are made, they have to fit in perfectly or else you won't be able to assemble the bookshelf! I tried my best but I had to make manual adjustments at the end to get all these planks to fit together, and I believe you will always have to because of the imperfectness of your planks, sticks and walls. So just try to be accurate but don't overdo it because you'll probably have to adjust slightly anyway at the end.
I cut the notches 2/3rds of the width of the stick. In this case ,the pieces of wood are 9cm wide, 3cm remain and 6cm are there to support the weight of the planks and the stuff on the shelves.
Once the marking is done, cut away! Doing right angles with a jigsaw isn't easy... and you will have to do every notch step by step, easing the blade where it can go. I thought it looked kind of scrappy at the end, but the good thing is that you don't see these areas on the finished bookshelf !
If there's something to remember though, it's that it's better to cut too small than too large, because if you cut too large you'll have to use wedges rather than filing at the end which is not so nice.
Step 4: Do the Holes
The order you do this in is important if you ever want to put these shelves up.
- Start by drilling holes through the notches. This way, the screws are hidden in the assembly. I think it's much nicer than having the screws visible. On the other hand, the remaining wood in the notch should be thick enough to support the weight of the shelves.
- Put the bookshelf together! As I said earlier, it's likely you'll have some filing to do to get everything to fit together.
- MARK every part of your assembled bookshelf so you will be able to build it back up exactly the same now that you've done the filing! If you forget this step you will regret it at the end...
- Fit it up against the wall you are planning to drill and maintain it in that position. You should use a bubble level to find the perfect position. help will be needed...
- Take out the shelves one by one and mark the wall through the holes you've just made, put the shelf back and move on to the next one. This method will ensure you get the holes in the wall perfectly positionned.
- Put the bookshelf back down, drill the holes in the wall and fit the Rawlplugs
(in my case i had already applied a coating on the wood)
Step 5: Paint the Shelves
You don't have to do this but I think that the shelves look better painted. I used a lacquer which is tricky to put on, and needs paint thinner, but the result is shiny and mirrorlike and is supposed to be quite resistant and washable. I had trouble painting because in fact I had the impression that the paint was never dry, even after several days of drying... in fact the paint was dry but the surface is somewhat "sticky" when it's new. Now after a few months it doesn't feel that way anymore.
You need to sand the wood before applying any paint or coating, and you should also sand lightly after each layer is dry to get a nice effect.
I read that you can also find very good water-based paints (acrylic) but I have never tested them.
So basically this is the longest step since you have to put several layers on each surface.
I also used a special universal white coating before applying the first layer to save the expensive laquer.
Step 6: Final Assembly
Once your wood is all nicely painted and dry, start to assemble!
-Fix the supporting pieces of wood to the wall and fit the screws. Depending on the -straightness of your wall and of your pieces of wood, things may move a little.
-Fit the shelves in. Once again, a little filing may be necessary.
- Admire your work and post some photos!