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Forum topic by jeff34 posted 06-12-2012 07:27 PM 1105 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jeff34

4 posts in 927 days


06-12-2012 07:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: built-in cabinet corner bookcase shelves question tip trick

Hi,

I’m building my first built-in cabinet/bookcase in our living room. But I’m running into a small issue re: design. The North wall will have one long media-sized cabinet on the bottom (22” depth), with a 10” depth bookcase on top. This will run right to the corner of the North wall and East wall. The East wall will be fitted with a 10” depth bookcase. So, the North wall cabinet will butt up against the East wall bookcase at a right angle where they meet at the corner. The problem is that theoretically there will be a 12” gap in that corner once you go above the butt-join of the North cabinet / East bookcase (because the bookcase on top of the North cabinet is only 10”).

I’m trying to figure out a solution for this. The best thing I can think of is to extend one side of the above-cabinet bookcase out to 22”, which will butt up against the East bookcase perfectly, top to bottom. But it will leave me with an above-cabinet North wall bookcase with a left side of 10” depth and a right side of 22” depth. Would that look ridiculous? Or is there a better solution for this? I really appreciate your thoughts and help with this matter. I’d like to start on this right away.

Thanks,
Jeff


8 replies so far

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jmos

681 posts in 1122 days


#1 posted 06-12-2012 07:38 PM

If I knew sketch-up this would be easier, but I’ll try in words. I agree having the 12” gap will look odd. I’d alter the north wall case so that the last 10” on the east side had a 90 degree return and the shelves started to come out until they were flush with the edge of the 22” base cabinet. In other words, make the 10” bookshelves turn the corner as part of the north unit until flush with the base cabinet. This way the east unit should but right against the north unit and the shelves will be continuous.

Of course you’ll have to make sure the base cabinet has a solid panel in the east corner that is at least 10” deep so you don’t have a door that interferes with the east wall bookcases. And you’ll have to be careful to match all your lines (shelves, and tops) so they lo0k continuous.

My other thought would be to not take the east unit all the way into the corner; stop short by enough to make it look intentional. Maybe enough to fit a plant stand, floor lamp, or some sort of item to break up the lines and them you don’t have to match them up.

-- John

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Charlie

1064 posts in 1039 days


#2 posted 06-12-2012 08:09 PM

jmos hit it on the head.
This is basically a base cabinet with a hutch. The base cabinet is your media cabinet and the “hutch” is bookshelves. You turn the corner with the north wall bookshelf until you reach the face of the media cabinet. The east wall bookshelf butts to that.

Your media cabinet will have 10 inches of dead space at the right end where you have to leave 10 inches for the east wall book case to join. You can always use that extra space to tuck away cables, manuals, stuff you don’t need to access often, but would logically still want near your media equipment. I have a whole basket of original remotes. I use a URC MX-980 programmable (awesome remote by the way). That basket hasn’t been touched in 2 years but I know where it is. :)

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jeff34

4 posts in 927 days


#3 posted 06-12-2012 09:03 PM

Jmos, Charlie – thanks for the replies. That’s a great solution. To make sure I understand, you’re suggesting that the (North wall) top bookcase extends BEYOND the top of the media cabinet 10” toward the East wall, and you just turn it into a 10” section of right-angle bookcase shelves; which the East wall bookcase will butt to.

The only wrinkle to this is that the bottom cabinet is a pre-made media cabinet, so it already has its fixed side panels. If I extend the top bookcase over toward the East wall, I would have to put a new end for the bookcase on the East wall, to come out flush to the face of the media cabinet. I would then have to “extend” the top of the media cabinet toward the East wall (which would basically just become a shelf for the right-angled bookcase). This would create a closed-in dead spot in that corner, from the floor up to the “extended” top of the media cabinet, with no access to that space unless I cut an access door in either the inside right side of media cabinet or the bottom North end of the East wall bookcase. Is this right? And what would be the best way to support those right-angled shelves (and extended media cabinet top) at the end of the North wall bookcase? Just 45-degree supports under each shelf, coming out from the corner?

Thanks again,
Jeff

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jmos

681 posts in 1122 days


#4 posted 06-12-2012 09:27 PM

We were suggesting you turn the corner with the north unit shelves and take them flush with the base cabinet. However, we both assumed you had control over the base cabinet design and could butt them together, which it appears you cannot.

That does present a problem. If you have a door on the north unit base cabinet that is within 10” of the east wall, you’re going to have a problem. You could stop the east wall bookshelves (those at or below the level of the base cabinet) short of the north wall by the distance of the door swing. This would allow the upper shelves to be continuous, but leave a rather odd looking little cubby that the door opens into.

Alternately, you could extend the east wall bookshelves into the north corner and butt the north wall cabinets against the bookshelves. this would create some deep cubbies where the base cabinet covers the east wall bookshelves, and potentially the same effect where the north and east shelves meet if the north shelves have and end panel you can’t get rid of. If you don’t have the end panel you can just run a pillar like support from the base cabinet to support the edge of the north wall shelves, or use some fasteners to attach the front edge of the north shelves to the east wall shelves.

I have to say, I’m starting to like my second suggestion now. Stop the east shelves short a couple of feet. Do you have to have continuous built-in’s?

Might also help to let us know what flexibility you have if you’re using some pre-fab components.

-- John

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jeff34

4 posts in 927 days


#5 posted 06-12-2012 10:16 PM

Hi,

Thanks for the updated suggestions. The media cabinet is the only pre-fab piece we have. It’s solid wood/plywood all around. And I did think continuous built-ins would look good in this corner section of the room. As far as the door swinging into the bookcase, yes we will probably have that issue, but we’ll be ok with being able to open the door 90 degrees, but just not all the way out. We won’t be putting anything in there that would require a wide-open cabinet door for access.

—Jeff

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MNgary

236 posts in 1170 days


#6 posted 06-12-2012 11:24 PM

Another option, if it would work out for you. Without the floor plan and furniture placement I could well be thinking of something out of character for the room.

If this is built-in and not freestanding units pushed against the wall, I would consider an architectural solution to the corner. Perhaps building a sheetrocked (walls are sheetrocked?) cube between 28” and 42” tall that comes out 30+ inches from the north wall and 18 plus/minus inches from the east wall. A recessed light in the ceiling above and a piece of statuary on top . . .

Or, making the cube/platform out of the same lumber as the base unit and bookcases.

-- I dream of the world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

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Charlie

1064 posts in 1039 days


#7 posted 06-13-2012 12:29 AM

How wide is that base unit? You could put THAT in the corner and have bookcases on both sides (north and east wall book cases with media cabinet in the corner). Frame out a hutch top for the media cabinet and hang your flat screen in there. LOTS of room to hide wiring. And the whole thing becomes symmetrical and you don’t have issues joining dissimilar planes in a corner.

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jeff34

4 posts in 927 days


#8 posted 06-13-2012 01:12 AM

Thanks for the idea, MNgary—but building a wall-to-ceiling soffet is much more than I want to tackle with this project (time is already ticking for me to finish this).

Charlie, great idea—I’d love to do that. But the media cabinet has doors within a couple inches from the edges of the cabinet. So there would be no way to butt an East wall bookcase against it without covering one of the doors. The media cabinet will completely fill the North wall length space available to me, minus 10 inches (for an East wall bookcase).

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