CD Bookcase

   In the fall of 2001, I realized that I needed a new place to store my CD collection.  I had CD's stacked in piles all over the place: in the bookcase, in the entertainment center, on top of the stereo, and even on the floor.  I came up with several possible designs including one that involved stackable revolving carousels.  I knew that a bookcase-type design made the most practical sense as far as how much space it took up, but I really wanted something unique.  So, here's what I came up with:

   The CD bookcase is 36" wide, 48" tall and 13" deep.  The sides and shelves are made of 5/8" poplar and the back is made of " plywood.  The entire cabinet has been stained using a Plantation Walnut finish.  It's designed to look like a three-shelf bookcase filled with books.  The books are actually just the spines of books that have been glued flat to pieces of " plywood.  These plywood doors swing open from the bottom and then slide back into the bookcase like the doors in a "barrister's bookcase" (or, as my brother and I refer to them, like little garage doors).  These doors are hinged on brass rods that ride in dadoes all the way to the back of the case.

   Behind each false row of books is a secondary inner shelf, so my three-shelf bookcase actually has six shelves for my CD's.  The cabinet will hold a total of 550 CD's.  The book spines for the "false books" came primarily from three old sets of encyclopedias (I did feel a little wasteful in tearing them up for this purpose but, then again, they were thirty years old and I did recycle all the paper).

   The top two shelves of books also have another interesting feature.  The first four inches of these shelves (from the front edge back to the books) are actually separate pieces of wood from the rest of the shelves.  I wanted to set things like photographs on the shelves to make the whole cabinet look more like a real bookcase.  But, these things would have to be moved each time the "garage doors" were opened to access the CD collection.  So, I made the front section of each of the top two shelves movable.  Each of these front shelf sections pivots on pins that are set into the ends of the shelves near the front edge.  These pins extend into small holes on the inside of the sides of the bookcase.  The pins are followed by small springs that keep the pins in the extended position.

   Now, I don't need to move the photos and other items on the shelves before I open the CD doors.  All I have to do is rotate the front half of the shelf out of the way until the door clears it.  Then the shelf can be set back down in place.  The photos and other things on the shelf are held in place by small strips of velcro that hold them to the shelf.

   Overall, this was a very interesting project to work on.  It was enjoyable to design and build, and it has room for all my CD's and then some.  Furthermore, it has definitely become a conversation piece.  In fact, I took it as a compliment recently when a family member who was staying with me (and who shall remain anonymous) approached the bookcase to try and remove one of the encyclopedias in order to look up something.  What a surprise she got when she realized that all the books were fakes.  WoodCop strikes again!

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