Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense


The Library

(tl;dr… the finished library pics are at the end)


When we had our house remodel done back in 2015, there was a room added that was specifically designated as a library… my room. Until January of 2020, that room was basically a big storage room while we finished other rooms and got organized from the chaos of a huge, full-house remodeling project. Then, finally, I started working on it sporadically as time permitted. I had been drawing various plans for months, waffling between building them from scratch and using Ikea Billy Bookcases and tricking them out to look like custom built-ins. I went for the “build them from scratch” option.

Here’s an idea of what the room has looked like for the past few years. The liquor boxes are full of books, not liquor… and no, I did not drink the liquor that WAS in the boxes!

The goal was to have an “old world traditional” look mixed in with a bit of a “Lord of the Rings” fantasy vibe and maybe just a tiny pinch of Steampunk… so when you walked in, you felt like you were walking into a different world.

So after a lot of measurements and bookcase design and figuring out how wide to make the bookcases on each wall, I got to it with a few sheets of red oak plywood from Home Depot. The bookcases were all 11-1/2 inches deep, but the widths varied a lot. The widest one is 31 inches.

Bookcase sides

I had nineteen bookcases to build, which seemed overwhelming, but I figured “baby steps,” right? I started with enough plywood for the first three bookcases. It was a lot of cutting, an absurd amount of drilling (for the adjustable shelves – 2,052 shelf-pin holes), and a lot of gluing and clamping. I made various jigs to help with streamlining the repetitive process, but I won’t bore you with those here.

Unfinished bookcases

Eventually, I figured I should get them out of the garage and into the library to make sure I’d measured correctly. I put them in more-or-less the correct spots and was mildly surprised that I hadn’t borked that up. Unfortunately, I found the exterior walls were kicked out a bit at the bottom, so the bookcases on those walls wouldn’t be able to get attached flush to the wall, but that was something to deal with later. La! La! La! La!


Playing with Library Designs

I had been using Chief Architect’s Home Designer Suite 2015 to do my house models to play around with furniture layouts and the like, but found it too limiting. The Pro version would probably be better, but I’m not going to shell out $495 to help figure out where to put my couch.

So I tried out Google’s Sketchup program and, after a relatively short learning curve, started making some models and had a go at creating a design for my library. I took the measurements from our actual Architect’s drawings and built the "room" and then went from there.

I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to play out. This was just a first draft of a design and it’s all kind of rough, but SketchupSketchup made is really easy to visualize how things would look and how the colors would work together. Here are a few pictures of my first go-round (more pictures after the break). Click on any of them to get a larger view.

Library Design 001-06


I made my d20 saving throw

Saving throw vs... Megan is reading the first book in the Warrior Series, a fantasy series about clans of cat warriors, and I asked her if, when she finished the first book, she was going to start the second one right away or if she was going to read one of the new Bella Sara horse books she just got.

She said, “I already started one of the Bella Sara books. I’m dual-wielding books.”


I’m so proud.