August 18, 2022 - The Bookshelves - Planning


We have had the library in boxes since we moved up to Denver in 1997, ☹️. Since we had only rented, there was never a place we lived in that really had room for the library. At The Views, we had the architect design the office to be big enough. When we told Ian, the structural engineer what we were putting in that space, he immediately sharpened his pencil and increased the size of the steel beams that support the floor!


We’re using the Rakks system and they were really helpful. Unfortunately, we didn’t fully understand the system and we are terrible at converting plans into 3D space, so we specced way too much shelving for the space. We also didn’t really appreciate how much the system relies on the structure of the space it's put in, so we had to do a lot of extra work.

Here’s the original plan we sent to Rakks. It turned out that the in-the-room shelves just ate up the room and the one in the room nearest the door would block the door a lot worse than we thought it would.


Then, we started to work on mounting the posts and realized that we had to fasten the AB0035 ceiling mount brackets to the LVLs, just anchors in drywall were not going to be strong enough for the Sandberg & Hembree Bridge & Trestle Company. (Motto: We always overbuild everything 😉)

The other part of the rough original plan, how many shelves would there be and their spacing. This eventually caused a really nasty surprise and 5 days of reworking things. That 7 1/2-inch number is absolutely critical, because a standard paperback, which is most of our library is 7 inches tall.

Here’s how the Rakks CAD people designed it, just like what we’d asked for! In the 3D rendering the 12” shelves are blue and the 4” in orange-brown.

The Rakks front view. We originally built to this, not noticing that the 7 1/2-inch  spacing had been changed to a 7 1/2-inch stride, which meant the top 7 shelves were too tight. We didn’t notice this until we started to load the shelves and it didn’t work! That took us 5 days to fix because the shelves were all buckled down and we had to remove all the hold-downs and splices. The Rakks system is infinitely adjustable, so changing the spacing was no problem.