Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

A tiny shelf / October 17, 2015

I was in a conversation with my friend Jeff, at a housewarming, last weekend. He was talking about painting his porch. But not just painting, because he can’t do just that. There’s the scraping, and prepping, and…

And I knew exactly where he was going with the idea. As if the million other projects I’ve done on my house in the last two years didn’t already illustrate quite clearly just how much of a perfectionist I can be… I decided to put a shelf in my bathroom. It’s a small bathroom, with nothing much in the way of storage, for extra items like spare toilet rolls or hand towels. So a small shelf, over the door and completely out of the way.

But a shelf is not just a shelf. A shelf starts as research. Home Depot wants how much for a slab of MDF with some screws? No no no… I bet Amazon has the same thing for half the price… er… wait. No. Damnit. And nothing I even like the look of, anyway.

It’s a shelf. How hard could it be just to build it? A small slab of wood on some brackets, right? But… I don’t just want a generic slab. I’d prefer to round off the edges, but I’ve never had any luck finding a router to borrow. But I can pick up wood trim from home depot when I pick up the board. Just make sure they’re the same width, of course. Dig out the saw, and trim the board. Not a great trim, so dig out the sander and clean it up. Pull out the miter box, and trim the wood trim, to fit. Glue on the trim, and tape it down until it dries.

Next morning, dig out the spray-on primer, because the brush-on is too likely to clog up the carving on the trim. 3 passes at that, to get all the surfaces. Bring it inside, and apply 2 coats of paint that matches the bathroom walls, to every side, (again, being careful of the trim).

I could just nail it in to the top of the door jamb. After all, I only want it to hold 1 pound at the most. But that would look weird. And I’m very much going for unobtrusive. But if I lift it up a bit, then… there’s no room under it for brackets. Soooooo… brackets from the top. Oops… no screws short enough to not go through the whole shelf. And I need to make sure I have drywall anchors if I’m going to be screwing into the walls.

Okay… so let me get out the level, and pre-drill the holes…

Okay… this was about putting up a tiny shelf to hold toilet paper, right?

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