The Unlazy Days of Summer, Volume 3: Making shadow box book shelves, Part 3

If you have been following along on my quest to make shadowbox bookshelves for my daughter’s room, this is the third post.  I’ve already finished building the boxes and painting them, and now it’s time for the final step: Assembly and Installation.  Time to put the whole shebang together!  First stop, back to Mike Pekovich’s shop for assembly.  I brought all of the frames and the boxes so that we could attach the hardware to hang the finished products, and attach the frames to the boxes using a power tool!  I bought D-ring hangers to hang the frames, but they were a bit thick and would cause the frames to tilt forward (and books to fall off the shelves!)  Luckily, I found rubber bumpers to stick to the bottom of the boxes to balance the difference in thickness.  Now all the items will sit level on the shelves.


The hardware


All the pieces out and ready to assemble

The first step was to attach the D-rings.  We put them on either end, but not right on the edge because I wanted them hidden behind the frame.  We made marks on the first box and then cut a piece of wood that fit the distance between the inside edge of each D-ring so that, going forward, all frames would have the hangers the same distance apart, making hanging easier.  Then we used a combination square on the next frame and set it to the measurement between the wood piece and the edge.  We butted the piece of wood up to the short edge of the ruler side of the combination square, so that the the position of the D-rings would not only be the same distance apart, but would also be on the same place on each frame. This step would also make hanging easier by saving time with measuring.


This is the piece of wood that measured the space between the inner edge of each hook to be attached.


This is the combinations square. The vertical piece was placed at the edge of the box and the wood piece was butted up against the ruler’s short edge.

Next, we drilled pilot holes in the frames and hand screwed in the hangers.  But then, it was time:  Power tooools!  I was getting to use a nail gun that shot the tiniest nails which sink into the wood and register them almost invisible.  Mike had me take a practice shot on scrap wood to get the hang of it.  My concern with this gun was that it didn’t have a rubber tip and left a dent in the wood when fired.  I really didn’t want the frames dented, so Mike pulled out a wood shaving and we tested to see if the nail would go through it without attaching it to the frame, and protect the frame from denting.  It worked!  Time to get nailing!


Drilling pilot holes for the hanging hardware.


The wood shaving that saved the frame from dents.

I did the yellow frame first.  Mike suggested that I start by nailing in two opposite corners to secure the frame from moving while nailing around the entire frame.  Eight nails, two on each side about two inches from each edge of the box, is all it took!  And the first one is done!


Mike holds the first of five shadow box book shelf frames.

I worked quickly to finish the remaining four boxes before rushing home to hang them.


Me and the power tool of the day – a nail gun!

Once I got home, I got out my drill, a screwdriver, a level, a measuring tape and screws with self screwing anchors.  I mapped out the placement of the frames on the floor and made some marks on the wall.  Then, I took my level and put it up to the back of the first box where the D-ring hangers were installed.  I used tape to mark off the center of each hook on my level.  This way, when I put it up to the wall, I could easily mark the drill points once I found a level line.


Marking the center of the hooks on the level with tape made the hanging process easier!


Time to drill. Anchors support the screw in the drywall when there is no wood behind the drywall.

The first frame is up!


The first frame on the wall.

I hung the rest up and loaded them with books.  This project is done!


Frames up and filled!


The view my daughter will have from her bed.

Check that box!!  Let’s see what’s next.  I only hope it involves power tools!



PS Did you know that besides doing DIY, my real expertise is as a Registered Dietitian? I subscribe to a non-diet philosophy and I am a Health at Every Size® practitioner.

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4 thoughts on “The Unlazy Days of Summer, Volume 3: Making shadow box book shelves, Part 3

  1. Hi Beth
    I love reading your blog, and I adore the shelves. We just moved and I would love them in my office. I am not mechanically inclined.If you ever go into business, put me first on the list . You are so talented in so many ways!
    I am a list writer but more so when my kids were young.. I’ll explains my lists when I get a chance. Keep up the good work..LoveCousin Diane

  2. Pingback: The Unlazy Days of Summer, Volume 3: Making shadow box book shelves, Part 1 | goodness. gracious. living.

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