Build or Buy – The Media Bookcase – part one

I’m ignoring for a moment the Build or Buy decision tree/worksheet to put some figures down and help the decision process.

In the buy corner is the Ikea Billy Bookshelf. Yes, it is made from particle board. Yes, sometimes if you look at it wrong it will chip or break. That said, we have had some damn good luck with Ikea products no matter what they were made from. My last two computer desks are Ikea. All my office furniture in the bedroom is Ikea. Three out of the five dressers in this house, plus the TV stand, three bookcases and a few floating shelves all came from the Scandinavian peninsula. I’m hoping that after awhile, a lot of the furniture we use will eventually be built by me, to join the items in the kitchen and dining room. First on the list is probably going to be an entertainment center. But, that’s a different blog entry.

I really like the Billy bookcase. So, the thought of buying it is one I would be fine with, if I didn’t take pride in my woodworking and want to build it myself. So, with the thought of building it myself, I would lift a few ideas from the store version.

One such idea is the cutout on the bottom to clear baseboards. This is a simple idea that you might not appreciate until you see it. A lot easier to make full contact with the wall, and makes it easier to secure. Speaking of secure, I’ll lift the idea of an L-bracket at the top to keep it from tipping over. Since the bookcase will end up white like the store version, I would use 1/8″ white hardboard on the back. There would be one fixed shelf just like the Billy, and there would be a little toe kick/bottom shelf support at the front.

Did I mention that if I build this, it will be my first all-metric project?

I would copy the Billy dimensions of 80cm wide, 202cm tall, and 28cm deep. I may go shallower, because games don’t need as much depth as books, but it will depend on how easy it will be to use the LR32 on the sides.

In the next entry, I’ll detail what the game sizes are, how many shelves I think I’ll need and be able to fit, and any other details I can think of.

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