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Putting up book shelves in victorian terrace - advice please

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by Klang180, 1 Feb 2017.

  1. Klang180

    Klang180

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    Hello

    We have just moved into a Victorian terrace built about 1905. In the dining room there is an alcove that we'd like to put up shelves in for numerous books. My partner is not keen on brackets or batons and would prefer a floating effect. I have of course looked all over the internet and into anchor bolts, thunder bolts etc. but my question is really what is best for walls like mine? The previous owner had put up some sort of shelf there so i can peer into the holes to ascertain the material but all i see is grey. It isn't just plaster it appears to be what the wall is made of. So with that in mind what is my best bet for securing these shelves?

    I had also started to wonder if reclaimed scaffolding might do the trick for the wood but as these aren't the thickest is it still possible to give a floating effect or something approximate to it?

    Thanks for your help. FYI the alcove is 1400mm wide and we'd like to use shelves of 200-300mm depth.

    I hope someone can help me diagnose my wall material and recommend a fixing strategy :)

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    I would have thought that floating shelves would look odd in an alcove - surely running the full width would be better?

    How would you propose to (accurately enough) drill the holes in the shelves for the supports?
     
  4. Gerrydelasel

    Gerrydelasel

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    Last edited: 1 Feb 2017
  5. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    For books?

    Depending on the type of books he wants to shelve (200-300mm depth implies not just paperbacks), that could be up to 60kg/m.
     
    Last edited: 2 Feb 2017
  6. Klang180

    Klang180

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    I might have used the wrong terminology but i mean the recessed part next to a chimney breast. I thought it was called an alcove but i am a newb. We do want them to run the full width but do not want visible brackets if possible.
     
  7. Klang180

    Klang180

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  8. Klang180

    Klang180

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    Yeah for books and yes not all paperbacks and yes it is mighty heavy and this is my concern with anything without batons or brackets!
     
  9. Klang180

    Klang180

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  11. Gerrydelasel

    Gerrydelasel

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    Then you would normally chase the shelves into the paster. This could hide any angle-iron brackets, althogh in the old days they didn't even bother with that -the bonding plaster itself held them up.
     
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  12. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Simple method is to mark level line and fix into it with screws every 200-300mm, leave head of screw protruding about 12-15mm, place you scaffold plank on top of the screw heads and tap to mark under side, remove and drill or chisel a small hole the depth of the screw [slightly smaller diameter]at each mark, replace plank and screw heads will disappear up into base of plank, sharp tap over each screw will seat the screw in timber.Work from bottom to top shelf and use large diameter screws.
     
  13. Klang180

    Klang180

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    Really? It can't be that strong can it? Not sure what you mean by chase the shelves into the plaster but i will look it up. Thanks
     
  14. Klang180

    Klang180

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    that does sound simple, thanks. Do you think this would be strong enough to hold books? A great deal are paperback but some are also hardback and oversized. My concern would be taht there would be little in the way of support on the front edge aside from the screws at the side. Would you recommend any particular type of screw like an M10 Thunderbolt or just use really long normal screws and if so how long?
     
  15. Gerrydelasel

    Gerrydelasel

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    Gouge out slots in the plaster
     
  16. foxhole

    foxhole

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    5-6mm screw , only long enough for secure fit. Takes a lot of weight.
     
  17. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Do you plan on leaving the boards au naturel, or are you going to tidy them up at all?
     
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