Simple Nook

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-So, what are you building this time?

-Oh, just a simple corner where you can put books in and sit on top.

-A nook, you are building a nook.

-I guess I'm.

This conversation took place a couple of months ago in the office.

A coworker, used to seeing me with various wooden pieces laying around my space, asked about the new stuff.

And this was my first introduction to the word nook.

Following is the detailed process to build your own.

I don't have any fancy tooling which are common in a professional woodworking environment, but still the outcome was satisfying, good looking and functional.

I hope you enjoy,

Dani

For more cool projects (and occasional bugs) follow me on Instagram @medanilevin and @dosimplecarbon

Step 1: Preliminaries, Dimensions

My previous carpentry journey included the kids table and the mountain floating shelf.

These were kinda successful, and my wife "suggested" I should build something for the living room corner.

It was about time to find a solution for the books which were lying all over the place, so I accepted the challenge.


Measured the intended corner and came up with the model of the future outcome (dimensions in inches). I use Fusion360 for my other things, so it was convenient for me.


The ideas was to make a strong plywood frame with pine top and bottom.

It should be compact and in the same time with ample of storage volume.

And, of course, strong enough to sit on top.

Let's start!

Step 2: Materials, Tools

You will need:

1. Around half a sheet of 1/2" plywood.

2. 1x4" pine boards for the base.

3. Pine boards for the top, I used 6" and 8" wide (1" thick) boards and glued them together.

4. 2x2 beam to reinforce the top. I had leftovers from here.

5. Your choice of paint/wood stain/wood finish.

All the materials were sourced from Home Depot.


Tools needed:

1. Kreg jig, I have the mini, with bolts and bolt driver. (Seriously now: it's a good investment)

2. Drill+drill bits.

3. Circular saw or other ways to cut the boards in a straight line.

4. Carpenters glue.

5. Gorilla glue.

6. Clamps

7. Sander

8. Miter saw helps

Step 3: Making the Base

This is probably the most straightforward step.


Cut the 4" boards to dimensions.

Do the miter corners (save the triangles)

Glue the boards in a suitable pattern.

I did this in steps, through several evenings.

After the frame holds itself, add the mitered corners on the inside to reinforce the joints.

As a final step, use your Kreg jig and drill holes on the perimeter, this is where it will connect to the plywood on top.

Step 4: Floor

Cut the two plywood panels.

Then do the 45deg cut for the joint.


You might use a saw guide for this, I had only the cutting board at the time :)

For joining I used the Kreg jig and did bunch of pockets on the bottom of the floor.

This is a 1/2" plywood, so you might do several dry drills with the Kreg until you find the optimal location from the edge (so that the bolts won't go through to the other side)

Due to the 90deg angle, I couldn't use any of the standard clamps, so bolts were the thing that held it together.

Now, using glue and the bolts, do the joining.

After all dries up, I used my sander to get it smooth and even. The plan is to paint this whole area and to place a vertical rib on the joint, so not too much concern for the aesthetics.

Step 5: Verticals and Crossbeam

This is where the structure gets it's rigidity.


I used the Kreg jig for joining the two pieces of the crossbeam, you can tell from the pictures it was not a one-shot deal :) Tried several locations/directions to find something that works.


Because it is concealed from the eye (eventually), I didn't worry about the extra pockets.

Next is cutting the vertical pieces from the plywood sheet. Slightly tedious with marking and using the handheld saw, but manageable.

The most interesting vertical piece is the diagonal on the back of the center section. My intention was to put an internet router behind it (because this volume is rarely used).

Additional benefit of this piece is the added strength to the whole structure.

Next thing is to cut the pockets for the crossbeam, I did it with a hand saw

Connecting everything:

Carefully locate the verticals (one by one)

Drill pilot hole from the floor into the vertical piece.

Use wood screws and wood glue to make the connection.

To connect the upper crossbeam to the verticals, I used the Kreg pockets again (it is a must have at home)


Now you can put the whole structure on the base frame (and start getting an idea of the final size)

Step 6: Top Plate

To get 14" width I used 6" and 8" boards.

(It's actually around 13.25", the sizes in the store might be confusing sometimes)


First, I joined the panels, similarly to my previous work.

It works fine for these small projects, as long as you take the time and choose the straightest boards in the shop.

I used the Kreg pockets to join the boards with Gorilla glue on the seam. This glue will expand and fill in the "less than ideal" gaps between the boards.

Once the two pieces were in the right width, I glued them together along the bend, forming 90deg between them.


Now I had an ugly piece of wood with polyurethane glue bulging from the seams and large number of pocketed holes with bolts on the bottom.


It's sanding time!

It took a while (and several sheets of sandpaper) but the surface was smooth and pleasant to the eye.

I used 60, 180 and 220 grit with my Ryobi sander.

Step 7: Pre/Staining/Painting

The three pieces were painted separately before the final assembly.


The pine pieces (base and the upper plate) were pre-stained and stained.

The plywood assembly was simply painted with 3 layers.


My wife was responsible for the colors :) But these are probably the best!

Step 8: Assembly Time

This is the easy step.


Use the Kreg bolts and predrilled pockets to assemble everything together.

The pockets are in the base plate (on the inside)

And in the cross beam (on the outside).

I also used carpenters glue between the verticals and the top plate.


Enjoy your new nook!

For more cool projects (and occasional bugs) follow me on Instagram @medanilevin and @dosimplecarbon

Thanks,

Dani

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    5 Discussions

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    markgrogan

    3 months ago on Introduction

    I'd love to see this corner bench upholstered! I reckon that it would be a great design idea for a window seat reading corner too if the plans are adjusted for it. It's a really great build for people who love reading and just need a nice spot at home I think. Thanks for sharing this!

    I have to admit that the corners of my home do get abandoned. It is such a huge waste of space and so far what we have done with them is just to place throw pillows and a comfy carpet for our reading corners. Even so, the seating area usually gets taken up by large and bulky bookshelves.

    1 reply
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    Alex in NZ

    5 months ago

    Nice-looking piece. Well done and thank you for sharing the making.
    The toe-boards and the little shelves at each end are really nice touches. :-)

    1 reply