Introduction: I have been collecting beer bottles for several years now. Whenever I try a new beer, I generally keep a bottle. I started when I was stationed overseas and there was a great place called Rudy's Bier Garten. A very small place, but he had over 80 different bottles. I made it through most of them before I left. From there, I found myself working in a position that enabled me to travel a lot, so I always collected a couple new bottles every trip. The few times that customs or airport security people searched my luggage, then usually raised an eyebrow at the empty bottles :). Anyway, the bottles have been primarily residing in boxes, which kind of defeats the purpose of collecting them. So, this winter when I was looking for something to keep me out of trouble, I decided to go ahead and build shelves in the upstairs attic section of the garage as an annex of "man land."
Planning: The upstairs consisted of a peaked roof with 5-foot high studs to support the tresses. I decided that I would fit shelves between the studs to hold bottles. I though about it for a while, then decided that I really needed to put drywall behind the shelves to better present the bottles and to keep them from falling out the back. Then I played around with concepts for how to actually set the shelves in. I decided I wanted one wide shelf at the bottom to hold some of the larger bottles, and the rest would be 1/2" x 4" boards (same width as the studs). Then I thought, wouldn't it be cool if I made it look kind of like a bar and finished the sides, put a frame around it, and faced the studs. And if I was going to do that, then I should put drywall in front around the shelves to make the whole thing look built in. AND, while I was at it, I should wrap the drywall around the end wall too. But before I could do that, I installed wiring for two wall plugs.
Finally, (and actually this part was when the basic construction was complete) I played with how to space the shelves. I have bottles of all sizes and though the framed area was going to be about 14 feet in length, shelf space was relatively limited to hold nearly 200 botttles. I wanted to maximize the amount of shelf space so I was going to need a lot of shelves 11" and 12" tall, and some 8" and 9" too. I wanted to space the shelves a little, so I played around a little and here are the three that I liked best. After long deliberation, I decided on option B. I colored it in to see what it would look like and ended up with this.
I colored it in to see what it would look like and ended up with this. I liked it, and it was time to start working on it.
Construction: I forgot to take a picture of the place before I started doing anything, but I did start taking pictures before I got too far into the project..
|The first day, I put up three sheets of drywall behind the studs. Then I went ahead and painted the inside part before I went any further. At this point, I was not planning on actually finishing it up real nice, just the shelves between the raw studs. Here is what it looked like with some tools up there. Notice I didn't clean out the place too much before I started working.|
|Then I started working on the far wall. Many of the studs against this wall were set the wrong way, so I had to add another stud against it with a piece of plywood sandwiched inbetween to bring it out to the full width. Here is the first part of it.|
|I stopped here because I realized that I had not put any insulation between the outside wall and the drywall. DOH! I quickly took down what I had up, and ran to Home Depot to rectify the situation.|
|End wall up and initial mud and tape, plus a view of the side wall boxed in.|
|This is after all the mud work (and for me it was work to get it smooth - it took days) and a coat of primer on it.|
|Initial coat of paint on all of the drywall. I painted it because I figured that I could tape around the frame when I stained it, and that would be easier than cutting in the paint around it later. WRONG!|
|Another view of the initial paint on the end wall.|
|While I was at it, I went ahead and wrapped the drywall around the corner so that I could mud in the corner. I still haven't really figured out how to finish the window boxes, but I'll come up with something.|
|Now that the wall was painted, I decided to move these shelves back in and unpack all the bottles to see how many of each size I had. This is the first time I have seen them all out in one place! Actually, I think I have at least one more box somewhere, but who'se counting? I was starting to get excited about this.|
|Here I was trying to figure out how to make the bottom shelf 3" wider than the studs. I cut the shelves to fit between the studs, then I used a biscuit cutter to join the extra board to the shelves between the studs. I had to use two 8-foot boards to go full width, so this is just the first board.|
|And here is the full shelf done and glued in. I don't have a picture, but there is a brace underneath the extension that screws into the wall and finishes it up nicely.|
|So, here the opening is framed and I am test fitting the caps on the studs to see how it will look. I was also trying to decide whether to leave them plain or to route grooves in the boards similar to some bookshelves in our house. I decided on the latter as you will see below.|
And here I have stained the whole thing. Notice the grooves in the caps. You really can't tell very much, but I got quite a bit of stain on the paint. So much for the tape plan.
Right about here is where I actually started planning for the shelf layout (see the top images)
A view of the liners for the studs. These were strips of luan plywood cut to slightly narrower than the stud. I stained them and the shelf supports. Notice the bigger oops back towards the window.
Right about here is where I really started doing the planning for the shelf layout (see the top two images)
|Its coming together now. I am test fitting the shelves in. Because of the recent change in shelf spacing, I actually ran out of boards and had to get another one, but this gave a good idea of how it was going to look.|
|I don't have a planer, so in order to get a 1/2" board for the shelves, I had to use rough furring strips. So I cut the shelves and sanded them. It was a very time consuming process, but in the end, they turned out pretty good. The process threw a lot of fine sawdust that coated EVERYTHING, including the camera lens apparently. Anyway, here is what they are going to look like.|
|Shelves all stained|
|TA DA! all that's left now is to remove the tape and repaint where I stained the paint. Also, repaint the areas where I peeled the paint off. I think I would have been better off waiting to paint until after everything was stained and urethaned.|
|Finished product before bottles.|
And the finished wall with bottles on it.
For a more detailed look at each shelf, see Beer Bottle Wall - Part II
Now that this turned out so nice, I am psyched to start working on other projects that I am WAY behind on.