Surrey Carpentry

Professional Carpentry & Joinery Service

Built-in Fitted Bookcase and Media Centre

Built-in Fitted Bookcase and Media Centre

Built-in Fitted Bookcase and Media Centre, Godalming, Surrey

This job was a real pleasure to do.

The customer had nearly finished the build of the house, which used to be a bungalow,  now transformed into a superb, modern open-plan dwelling, and this MDF and softwood floor-to-ceiling Audio/TV cabinet was one of the last items to be completed before the family moved in.

As you can see in the picture to the left, the cabinet has a multitude of compartments, all measured and designed by the customer to fit around the objects and equipment they were intending to place in it… can you guess where the quite substantial TV will be going?!

Other than the TV, the media centre will accommodate an array of equipment including speakers, amps, sub-woofer, DVD or blue ray player, and perhaps some books and a nice lamp on one of the curved shelves at the end :)

Batons are fixed to the wall

Batons are fixed to the wall

The curved base goes down

The curved base goes down

The curved base goes down

The curved base goes down

After marking out on the wall where all the shelves will go, the batons that will hold them in place are fixed to the wall.

One of the customers requirements for this job was that no batons were to be seen, because they wanted the shelving to appear as if it was floating. This was achieved by using 25mm baton, and 50mm thick shelving, into which 25mm grooves were centrally cut along the relevant edges, allowing the shelf to be slotted over the baton, therefore concealing it.

Once the batons were on the wall, the next thing was to lay the base of the unit onto the floor, carefully working out the radius of the curved end of the unit, which was to be projected upwards to the ceiling and plumb up perfectly with all the other curves of that end of the built-in media centre.

The top of the unit is fixed to the ceiling

The top of the unit is fixed to the ceiling

Bottom and top fixed in place

Bottom and top fixed in place

Bottom and top fixed in place with laser accuracy

Bottom and top fixed in place with laser accuracy

Next, the top of the unit was fixed to the ceiling, using a laser level to achieve plumb accurately.

Building the shelving up from the base

Building the shelving up from the base

Shelving grooved over the concealed batons

Shelving grooved over the concealed batons

Shelving fixed to the wall with concealed baton

Shelving fixed to the wall with concealed baton

The Media Centre starts to take shape

The Media Centre starts to take shape

All the curved ends are now cut and fitted

All the curved ends are now cut and fitted

Shelving now completed, and softwood lipping is attached

Shelving now completed, and softwood lipping is attached

With the top and base of the Media Centre now in place, it was time to start filling in between with the shelving.

This was fairly laborious, as each shelf and each upright was formed of 25mm MDF laminated together to make 50mm thick pieces, which then had to be individually scribed to the wall. Once each piece was scribed, it then needed to be rebated to slot over the batons that would support it.

In addition to this, a further four pieces would need the curve cut from the end of the shelf, which needed to be absolutely plumb with the floor and ceiling curves.

Once this was all done, the next stage was to begin fixing on the softwood lipping to the front edges of the unit. This would conceal the unattractive MDF edge, and create a better surface to be decorated. This is when the Media Centre really started to look impressive!

Softwood lipping being attached

Softwood lipping being attached

Lipping slotted to allow softwood to curve

Lipping slotted to allow softwood to curve

Lipping complete, Media Centre ready to go!

Lipping complete, Media Centre ready to go!

Getting the solid pine lipping to flex around the curves of the unit was achieved by cutting slots into the back of the lipping, leaving 3mm uncut on the face side. This allowed the timber to flex easily, and the slots would be filled prior to decoration.

Floor to ceiling Media Centre

Floor to ceiling Media Centre

Built-in Media Centre, end view

Built-in Media Centre, end view

Something that is really pleasing about this job is that because it will be used for TV, movies and music, it will quite often be the centre of attention, and I really think it looks the part! :)

Built-in Fitted Bookcase and Media Centre, Godalming, Surrey

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The converted office, with new worktops and bookcases

The converted office, with new worktops and bookcases

Home Office Conversion – Worktops, Bookcases and Filing cabinet, Shalford, Surrey

Its always nice to bring new life to a room that when you first enter it, has a strange damp smell, no electricity, and very little appeal whatsoever. This was exactly the case when we converted a damp, dank and dark old scullery in a grade 2 listed building in Shalford, Surrey into a well spaced out, attractive and useable home office for the family.

The room was already equipped with worktops made of slate and granite, and planning control stipulated that they must remain where they were, and not be touched, even though they had seen better days.

To soften and warm up the room ready for office use, the solution was to clad the existing stone worktops in 25mm Oak-faced MDF, which would be much more pleasant for day to day use.

In addition to this, we installed bookcases with adjustable shelving throughout the room, maximising the useable storage space, and also a bespoke fitted filing drawer cabinet system, described in detail HERE.

Main existing slate worktop

Main existing slate worktop

Other existing slat worktops

Other existing slate worktops

Other existing slate worktops

Other existing slate worktops

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF worktop being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF worktop being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF worktop being fitted

First "L" shaped section of oak-faced MDF worktop being fitted

First of all, we got the oak-faced MDF worktops fitted.

To do this we had to establish where the highest point of the unlevel existing slate worktops was, and use that as the datum level to which the new oak MDF worktops would be set. The necessary packers were cut and placed, and the new worktops were then cut and scribed into position. The first worktop was the main “L” shaped one, which was made of three peices, all biscuit jointed, glued, and wound together with worktop connectors, seen above.

"L" shaped worktop fitted, and being wedged down

"L" shaped worktop fitted, and being wedged down

"L" shaped worktop fitted

"L" shaped worktop fitted

Worktops 3 & 4, 3 being the top of the filing cabinet, and 4 on packers, above existing slate worktop

Worktops 3 & 4, 3 being the top of the filing cabinet, and 4 on packers, above existing slate worktop

Worktops 2, 3 and 4, came after this, in clockwise fashion. Worktop 2 was essentially the base of one of the alcove bookcases, worktop 3 was the top of the filing cabinet, and worktop 4, pictured above, went onto the last of the slate surfaces, and had to be packed up by approximately 50mm to bring it to the same level as the rest of the worktops.

Fitted bookcases

Fitted bookcases

Electricity meter cabinet

Electricity meter cabinet

Electricity meter cabinet

Electricity meter cabinet

Once all the worktops were fitted, we attached solid oak lipping to the front edge of the oak-faced mdf to conceal both the mdf core and the stone worktops beneath. Of course the lipping on worktop 4 had to be much larger that the rest of the worktops due to the extra 50mm packers between the stone and the new worktop.

The next stage was to fit the bookcases onto the new worktops. These were done in plain MDF. We scribed the sides into place and fixed a fluted trim to the front of them, which would conceal the gaps between the adjustable shelves and the sides of the bookcase.

Once they were cut to size and lipped with softwood for a better finish, the 25mm thick mdf adjustable shelves were placed on “Tonk” inset shelving strip, which allows increments of about 15mm in adjustment, so they are very versatile.

We also housed the electricity meter below the main worktop in a small cabinet to conceal it, this was also done in oak-faced MDF.

The finished oak worktop bookcase

The finished oak worktop and bookcase

Bookcase above worktop 3 and filing cabinet

Bookcase above worktop 3 and filing cabinet

Bookcase above "L" shaped main worktop

Bookcase above "L" shaped main worktop

Bookcase on worktop 4, with its solid oak cornice, and side fluting

Bookcase on worktop 4, with its solid oak cornice, and side fluting

Finally the solid oak cornice was fitted to the bookcase above worktop 4, and it really put the finishing touch to the job. The reason you now see all the books and items already on the shelves is that we planned for the painters to come and paint the plain MDF parts of the job before we came back to fit the cornice, which took a little longer to get hold of from Mayford Joinery, Mayford, as they were quite busy at the time.

In this picture, you can also see the routed fluting down the side of the bookcase, which was the same on all the other bookcases.

All in all, this job was a great deal of work, but as always, it’s great to stand back and enjoy the result.

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