I had wanted to start building my vertical storage extension, but the leftover pre-laminated OSB panels I had were no good for this project as I didn’t have the ability to saw them into the right sizes on my own, and many would’ve been too small to begin with, so after I finished drawing up my plans, I made another panel cut layout image so I’d know for sure what I’d need — then bought everything I’d need to get started with the building process.
For reference, here are the plans I’d drawn up: (ignore the bottom half, which is storage cabinet I’d already built)
I wasn’t sure what part of the vertical extension would be best for me to start with, so I more or less randomly decided to build from the middle outward. I already had the two middle panels (I had those cut to the right size at my local home improvement center, Praxis) so I focused on the vertical panels instead. These were almost trivial at this stage — they were essentially just what I’d already done several times before. I started by drawing pencil guide lines, used a thin marker to indicate drill holes for the carrying pins, drilled the holes, and put the pins in them. It’s amazing how far some of the basic techniques I taught myself were able to take me.
Once I had all four vertical panels done (two for the left “tower” and two for the right), I realized I’d forgotten that the right tower was going to need to be made to fit around the wall socket in that room. In the image above, it looks like the wall socket (indicated in red) reaches all the way down to the desk top, but this isn’t so. There’s a good 10 or so centimeters between the bottom of the wall socket and the top of the desk. I very carefully measured the height between those two points, as well as the dimensions of the wall socket itself, and then draw pencil help lines on the panel that accurately reflected where the cutout would need to be. I clamped the panel to my main desk, then used a jigsaw to make the cutout.
This, unfortunately, didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I still didn’t have a lot of experience with the jigsaw and made a rookie’s mistake by forgetting that when the power to the jigsaw is cut, the saw blade continues to move for another few seconds. And it could almost be a Newton’s law, but a jigsaw that is in motion, wants to stay in motion — and the result was that I ended up cutting a good couple 2 or so centimeters more into the wood than was my intention. I learned that the hard way — let that be a lesson to my readers as well. Luckily for me, the wall socket extended a little bit from the wall, and would go on to hide most of my mistake.
With the cut being done, it was time to connect the middle two vertical panels with the two large back-panels. I went with fairly bulky back-panels as I wasn’t sure yet what tools I’d hang on the tool wall, and I wanted to be sure that the back panels would be able to fully support the weight. Speaking of… I initially wasn’t sure how I was going to connect those back-panels with the vertical panels. These panels have a pretty laminated outside that makes them look sturdy but their inside consist of small glued-together wood chips. The back panels, as their name would imply, were are meant to go in the back. This means they’d screw into the far end the vertical panels, close to the edge. I had some valid concerns about just slapping some screws into them that close to the edge. There really isn’t that much for them to grab onto when you take material structure into account. It might have worked, or it might not have — but I ended up going for an alternative approach to err on the side of caution.
I’d used large steel corner brackets before, and I’d wanted to use something similar here. The ones I had were, at 4cm wide, much too large to use here. Local home improvement stores sold smaller ones, and sold them separately — but they charged crazy prices for them, as much as €2 per bracket for some of them. Respectfully, that’s just nuts. Don’t pay such ludicrous prices for something that costs cents – just keep looking for a better deal! I did, and I found this cool 180-piece set from HBM-Machines for the amazing price of only €3. This set was perfect for what I’d wanted to do with it.
Even though the floor in the hobby room is as wibbly-wobbly as the rest of that room, I decided that laying everything out on the floor was going to be my best bet to putting this all together. The corner pieces had a width of 15mm, which was just short of perfect for my 18mm-thick panels. By the end of it, each of the two back panels were attached to the vertical panels with 4 corner brackets and 16 screws each. The best part is that… even without inputting this into complicated software (which I don’t have, and am pretty sure I could not afford) I’d wager that this gave me a much better load distribution than just screwing the panels in without the brackets. I was really pleased with the progress so far:
I leaned the entire thing against the wall so I could get the top panel on — there just wasn’t enough space to do this with the entire thing on the floor. This was tricky, though. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but that wonky room continued to kick my ass. Even trying to find the straightest area, the floor was still noticeably warped, as was the wall, and consequently trying to get everything to stand stably and keep standing without something falling down was an exercise in both patience and trial-and-error. Eventually I managed to get these on as well, and I had my dad help me put it into place. See those thin panels I’m using in the vertical storage? That’s two pieces of pre-laminated 2mm hardboard glued together. It’s incredibly sturdy, and at just over 4mm, takes up much less space than if I’d just used more 18mm panels. Even if it did take a long while to glue together 40 of them to make 20 of these mini-panels (you’re only seeing half of them on this picture).
In my previous post I mentioned that I had some concerns about stability. It’s hard to notice on this picture, but the entire storage cabinet is leaning forward just a few degrees. It’s low enough to the floor that it isn’t terribly noticeable, but as the vertical storage went much further off the floor, the effect became that much more pronounced. It’s easier to see this effect if you look at the shadow cast by the right “tower” on the wall behind it. I think you can see why I had some concerns that the entire thing might come tumbling down.
Hilariously, one of the design elements of this storage extension was that it would have to fit underneath that horizontal beam under the sloped roof. I’d made my measurements incredibly carefully, and it was an almost perfect fit. The extension was perhaps a millimeter too tall — but that largely solved the stability problem by itself. It took a lot of maneuvering to get that vertical storage into place underneath that horizontal beam. It was a very tight fit. And that tight fit helped a lot to make sure that it wasn’t going to go anywhere without a lot of help.
To be on the safe side, I managed to locate a vertical wood stud in the wall behind the storage. See that tape running vertically along the wall behind the vertical storage? That’s not a mistake — I taped that to the wall so I’d have a visible indicator of where that stud is. I pre-drilled a couple of holes, and was able to drill into the stud behind the wall. I then took a couple of large screws and screwed both back panels of the vertical storage into the wall stud as well. I might have had some valid concerns about stability initially, but both these things combined have made definitively certain that the storage extension would stay in place for as long as I’d need it to.
The only thing left to do was to mount both of the tool walls. I had my dad help me by keeping them in place as I screwed them in. I really wanted to get this done, so I ended up cutting up a leftover pre-laminted OSB panel I had to create 8 stand-offs that I could mount the boards to. This was poorly done, and I wouldn’t recommend this. At some point in the future, if I can find the time, I plan to redo this properly, because as it is, I can’t really use these boards to their full potential.
But I was satisfied with this for now. It took a lot of design work and some interesting problem-solving, and I’d made some mistakes along the way… but I finally had a space that I could easily store my small-to-medium size items, such as various types of glue, in a convenient and easy-to-reach way:
And with this… my room was done! Again! For now!