custom made shelves

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custom made shelves

Postby Herbidacious » January 10th, 2018, 9:56 am

This is a bit of a long shot, but has anyone had any experience of having custom made to measure shelves? We have a lot of CDs and indeed books and want to optimize (dwindling) storage space. I had found an online thing last year but can't find it now.

Sorry this is a bit boring....!
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby TeresaFoodie » January 10th, 2018, 10:00 am

Do you have any alcoves where you could build them yourself? I only ask because I once lived in a Victorian cottage with a fireplace in the living room and plenty of space either side of the chimney breast going to waste, so we made our own shelves from lengths of wood from B&Q or the like, plus paint. We were complete novices but it was easy as!
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby TeresaFoodie » January 10th, 2018, 10:00 am

Do you have any alcoves where you could build them yourself? I only ask because I once lived in a Victorian cottage with a fireplace in the living room and plenty of space either side of the chimney breast going to waste, so we made our own shelves from lengths of wood from B&Q or the like, plus paint. We were complete novices but it was easy as!
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby Herbidacious » January 10th, 2018, 10:31 am

Thanks Tezza. I am kind of reluctant to put built in ones in. Perhaps I am being a bit precious but I rather don't want to tinker with the walls too much. It's an Edwardian house complete with bells pushes for servants, dado and picture rails and quite a high skirting board. I realize custom made shelves might need to be fixed to the wall for stability but the less messing with the walls the better.

(edited for typos and nonsensicallity!)
Last edited by Herbidacious on January 10th, 2018, 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby StokeySue » January 10th, 2018, 10:36 am

When you say custom made are you talking about freestanding or fitted? I had this done just by the carpenter who works with my regular local small builder in an empty alcove, the shelves look as if they are too far apart but they were originally to take reference books for which they were perfect. The trick seems to be to specify and reinforce the specification. Ed didn't want to make the base cupboard project into the room but I stuck to my guns and when it was finished he really liked it. No experience of the systems they advertise, but I shoukd have some kind of an award for the amount of Spur shelving I fitted in my previous flat :D
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby Meganthemog » January 10th, 2018, 12:23 pm

I too would suggest looking for a local carpenter - small ads in local magazines etc. Ask to see pics of previous work/references etc. They usually work out much cheaper than you'd think and they can do free-standing if you'd prefer not to have them built in. There are some amazingly talented guys out there!
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » January 10th, 2018, 12:44 pm

We found someone on ebay who deals with aged wood and had some bespoke shelves made from him. We also had our dining table made this way as we wanted something quite large and found that the ones we liked in shops were ££££££.

Well worth a search on ebay and your local sites for a carpenter.
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby StokeySue » January 10th, 2018, 12:45 pm

I have had one piece of furniture made to order
There usd to be a shop locally that sold pine beds and furniture, and would make up their basic book cases, cupboards and benches to any feasible specified dimensions, and I've seen similar shops elsewhere. They will usually put on a reasonable finish or you can take them unfinished to paint. It's a goid compromise if you can find one
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby suffolk » January 10th, 2018, 12:59 pm

Meganthemog wrote:I too would suggest looking for a local carpenter ...


Possibly look for a carpenter/joiner .... there's carpenters and carpenters ... some think they can do joinery ... some can and some can't so you need to insist on someone who is used to a higher standard of finish than most carpenters produce.

I used to be married to a carpenter ...............
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby Herbidacious » January 10th, 2018, 1:30 pm

ok. Maybe the carpenter route then.

Thanks all.

Was hoping to avoid more workmen in the house. It's tricky asking for time at home which this will require and/or difficult for me to trust workmen not to let the cats out the front.
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby Ratatouille » January 10th, 2018, 1:47 pm

Which is the one we are going down right now. Our tame and very very good carpenters are coming tomorrow to fit the shelves and cupboards we ordered before Christmas for the libaray which already has a full wall of floor to ceiling shelves of various depths to fit various things, books, cds, cd's, magazine files etc.

We can't wait to get it finished. They have done fitted wardrobes in all our bedrooms, Boxed in various unsightly pipes etc and are lovely people. As a husband and wife they make a perfect team and even made us a special door to the balcony complete with cat flap! Shall I get them to pop over?? :lol:
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby uschi » January 11th, 2018, 6:48 am

Most highish, free standing shelves will require at least two brackets each to anchor them to the walls. Alternatively you can lay small wooden wedges under the front of the shelves so they are pitched against the walls. But I would not be quite easy with that solution.

I built my own shelves from solid wood. It is a very simple "ladder" construction and two sets of hands can erect one large shelf within half an hour or so.
Wedged against the wall they only needed smallish brackets. The good thing is that you can choose how you want the shelving spaced.

Mine are 20 cm deep. I used to have two shelves where I put three 40 cm deep shelves as the bottom elements, about 80 cm high. This gave me space for some bigger boxes at the bottom and made the shelves really stable.

Depending on whether you have room to stand several shelves side by side you can also connect them and then only secure one or two to the walls.
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby Ratatouille » January 11th, 2018, 9:03 am

There is all hell let loose in our library right now. Monique and Olivier arrived at 8.30 and are aiming to be finished by tomorrow lunch time. They are real craftspeople and fitted a new dressing room for Her Madge when she stayed at the Snowdon house near us - the one where thoe pictures of Kate were taken.

They always cost less that we anticipate and are the perfect answer for a house that doesn't have a single right angle in it, very very hish ceilings and two narrow staircases which make getting any large piece of furniture in a total nightmare.

I 've seen advert on UK TV for firms which specialise in fitted furnitureso it might be worth investigating however I believe they do it by adapting premade parts.
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby Herbidacious » January 12th, 2018, 7:22 pm

I suspect always costing less than expected is not likely to ever happen in London! Sounds exciting Rats!

Can’t decide what to do. Will discuss with husband. I think he too is reluctant to make a permanent change to our room but perhaps we need a rethink. We are not likely to ever not have books in the sitting room. Although not having CDs is a possibility one day I suppose. (If not CDs would be more books)
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby MariaKK » January 16th, 2018, 2:07 am

Herbidacious wrote:Perhaps I am being a bit precious but I rather don't want to tinker with the walls too much. It's an Edwardian house complete with bells pushes for servants, dado and picture rails and quite a high skirting board. I realize custom made shelves might need to be fixed to the wall for stability but the less messing with the walls the better.


Not precious at all, makes perfect sense to me. Have you tried looking for bookcases at auction - or even French armoires in Normandy? Nobody wants the latter these days and if they do sell it may be for as little as 100 to 200 Euro.Only a few years ago you'd have had to add at least a 0 to those prices. I even saw an English mahogany break front bookcase, finally down to 150 Euro, withdrawn at auction recently. I was sorely tempted, but we don't really have the storage space and Victorian / Edwardian bookcases are too low for our needs - ceilings a minimum of 3.60m in our flat!!

To answer your initial question: yes we have had book cases made to measure. Initially one for husband's study from scratch and more recently for mine - recovered free-standing shelving from a museum in La Rochelle that had to be adapted - a few extra shelves, but at least they had the height and width - whole wall and full height. But we also use an early 19th century armoire for very large and heavy volumes.

Anyway, if you want more info you can PM me. OH does auctions pretty regularly and we know quite a few of the local brocanteurs. It's not that far from Normandy to the Loire estuary,

All the best

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Re: custom made shelves

Postby Herbidacious » January 16th, 2018, 2:27 pm

It's definitely worth a look, Maria, although we'd have to pay to get something that big back to London (but that can be more or less expensive if one uses a bidding site.) Also we really want to maximize the space in the alcoves. They are about 12ft high. (? I should measure.) But there is also a shelf depth issue for the cds. Hmm that makes me think though. Could one customize some book shelves (without them looking terrible)?

I may well pm you. We are always interested in brocante anyway, and have only really found one place local to us in Normandy (although the Loire estuary is about 3 hour's drive from us, so it would be quite a long day trip!)
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby MariaKK » January 17th, 2018, 9:29 am

1 -
Herbidacious wrote:there is also a shelf depth issue for the cds.


Drawers? Can rest on a shelf or have rails fixed under a book shelf

Herbidacious wrote:Could one customize some book shelves (without them looking terrible)?


Certainly - i've done it twice. Can ask Monsieur to take photos.

Anyway, I've sent you a PM - might be easier via e-mail
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Re: custom made shelves

Postby Herbidacious » January 17th, 2018, 10:22 am

thank you!
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