Built-in Design/Assembly Questions
#11
  
I'm working on a design for a built-in bookshelf that will replace a (very ugly) railing by the stairs.  I think I have most of the design worked out.  

However, the entire thing is going to be about 8 1/2 feet long, so I think having one single assembly put together in the shop would be impractical.  Would it be best to install the two carcasses, then attach the front face frames and back as assemblies?  Or would it make more sense to not attach the "middle" pieces of the front face frame and back assembly until they are in place?  I'm thinking the former would make more sense.  Either way, the top would be installed in-place.  The shelves will not be fixed, I'll install support bracket tracks in the sides.

Not to start a joinery war, but I plan on using dominos for a lot of this, if that makes a difference in approach.

   

   

   

   
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#12
  Re: Built-in Design/Assembly Questions by lincmercguy (I'm working on a des...)
Don’t put things of value on top of that. If you do, you may want to put some kind of rail to keep stuff from getting knocked down the stairs.
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#13
  Re: Built-in Design/Assembly Questions by lincmercguy (I'm working on a des...)
I'm guessing that's anchored to the floor? Anyway, I'd go with your first idea....sounds like that will be as easy as the alternatives. The loose tenons will be fine, can't imagine that will impact anything.
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#14
  Re: Built-in Design/Assembly Questions by lincmercguy (I'm working on a des...)
If I were building that, those narrow vertical empty places would be secret compartments.
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#15
  Re: Built-in Design/Assembly Questions by lincmercguy (I'm working on a des...)
The design looks nice. I assume the back would be visible from the stairs?

If it were me I would build the two carcasses separately (as you have described), but would sit them on a single base (easier to level the whole thing that way) and would build each of them with the back(s) already installed. I would also build the face frame a s a single assembly and them attach to the assembled carcasses.

Do not see an issue with domino, loose tenons or pocket screws for assembling case components.

What are your plans for the shelves? Solid wood or (veneered) furniture grade ply? 3/4” thick (at least). Would certainly NOT go with particle board. It would likely sag over time – especially if loaded down with books. The shelves look long (3 feet?). May want to consider stiffening them with a thicker front edge.
 

   
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#16
  Re: Built-in Design/Assembly Questions by lincmercguy (I'm working on a des...)
"Don’t put things of value on top of that. If you do, you may want to put some kind of rail to keep stuff from getting knocked down the stairs."

There is one in the design, but it may be a little hard to see from the pictures.
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#17
  Re: Built-in Design/Assembly Questions by lincmercguy (I'm working on a des...)
"If I were building that, those narrow vertical empty places would be secret compartments."

The thought crossed my mind.
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#18
  Re: Built-in Design/Assembly Questions by lincmercguy (I'm working on a des...)
"The design looks nice. I assume the back would be visible from the stairs?"

Yeah, it would be. I didn't want a big piece of plywood in the back because of that, so I went frame and panel.

"If it were me I would build the two carcasses separately (as you have described), but would sit them on a single base (easier to level the whole thing that way) and would build each of them with the back(s) already installed. I would also build the face frame a s a single assembly and them attach to the assembled carcasses."

It will be a single base that is installed and leveled first. I could build them with the backs pre-installed. Any reason to have the face frame as a single piece and not the back?

"What are your plans for the shelves? Solid wood or (veneered) furniture grade ply? 3/4” thick (at least). Would certainly NOT go with particle board. It would likely sag over time – especially if loaded down with books. The shelves look long (3 feet?). May want to consider stiffening them with a thicker front edge."

Solid oak 3/4" with a 1 1/2" front similar to what you described. I planned for that as I figured even solid wood would bow somewhat over time. I hate particle board, and I didn't want the "generic" look of 3/4 ply. I have enough oak for the oak parts already in the shop anyway.
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#19
  Re: Built-in Design/Assembly Questions by lincmercguy (I'm working on a des...)
Personally, I would install it like I install base cabinets.  I always make the toe-kick separate from the cabinet box and level it before attaching the boxes.  I would make two boxes and attache them to the one long base.  I would join the boxes together using appropriately painted binder posts.  Four of the shelf holes would work for that purpose:



I might consider adding doors.  A higher back would reduce the risk of items being knocked over and down the stairs. 

Admittedly a single large cabinet would look better.  You could pre-build, and pre-finish one and then assemble on site.  Easy with a Lamello machine, more involved with dowels or biscuits.

There are inexpensive fixtures (using an electric drill) for installing these KD bolts.  I don't know how rigid the box will be however.


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#20
  Re: Built-in Design/Assembly Questions by lincmercguy (I'm working on a des...)
Just my 2 cents.  Check your local codes (and maybe insurance company).  In that location, that handrail you’re replacing qualifies as a guard rail.  Most jurisdictions require it to be 34"-38” high and able to withstand a 250 lb. lateral force. 
 
I’ll assume you have a handrail on the stairs of the staircase.  If it’s on that side, and someone fell down the stairs gripping that handrail, would there be enough wood to hold the handrail bracket securely in place?  If it did, would the cabinet be secure enough to the floor to not get pulled down the stairs after someone?

Would it be worth exploring maybe an integrated floor to ceiling column at the top of the stairs for stability?

By me anyway, if I replace it directly, I can get away with it, but if I modify it, it has to meet code.

Just a thought
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