minimake: music shelf!

As you may recall from a previous post, I have a variety of keyboard/synthesizer/music stuff that I enjoy playing with. One glaring deficiency in my setup is my lack of enough table space to easily work with everything, and I've been intending to build some sort of shelf for my keyboard stand for a while now.

Last night I happened to look in my garage and noticed that all the materials I needed were sitting right there waiting for me (leftovers from previous projects). For this simple shelf I cut some plywood and some 2x2's down to size, attached the 2x2's to the bottom of the plywood, and sanded everything a little bit to take the majority of splinters off.

Behold, the result!

I'm going to give this a try for a while to see if it's a good size/plan - assuming it is I'd like to put some kind of veneer over the surface to make it look nicer and add a small lip to the front edge to keep things from sliding off.

This shelf is 35" wide by 18" deep, which comfortably fits my Arturia MiniBrute SE next to the Alesis ControlPAD midi controller:

It also (just barely) fits my Korg MS-20 mini and the MiniBrute side-by-side:

Please forgive the poor quality of the photos; I took these when I popped home over my lunch break so I didn't have time to move the things to better lighting or get out a better camera.

Anyway, I'm really happy with the results, especially given that I was starting with scrap materials. I hope my synths' newfound accessibility encourages me to use them more :)


My last post detailed the progress (or seeming lack of it) made so far on the remodel of the main closet in my office. I am happy to report that this closet is now complete!¹

When we last left our heroic closet, it looked approximately like this:

Since that time, I added additional baseboard along the long back wall - some of the floorboards didn't quite make it to the back of the closet, so this was my way of covering up those gaps. After that, Caitlin and I painted the inside of the closet a bright white that matches the trim in the rest of the office, and then I was able to replace the old outlets not just in the closet, but in 3 other locations around my office as well. I also installed the face plate for the network jacks and set the shelves in place on their cleats:

These are pieces of 3/4" red-oak-faced plywood which I had cut (a little too long, as it turned out) and stained nearly a year ago. They sat nicely on the cleats and were pretty stable once I installed some small L-brackets to hold them in place, but there was still a notable amount of flex near the middle of the shelves. While they probably would have been okay, I didn't want them to sag over time, so I attached a piece of 1x2 pine to the bottom of the shelves at the front as shown in the photo above. To prevent splitting, I pre-drilled about 10 holes per board (just under an 8' span) and then screwed this reinforcement piece to the shelf above it. This added a lot of rigidity. The final step was to add a face piece to the edge of the shelves in order to clean up the look a little bit. I went back and forth on several options but ended up going with strips of PVC lattice, a little over 1-1/2" wide and around 1/8" thick. I attached them to the shelves using J-B Weld ClearWeld Epoxy. I wasn't sure how well that would turn out but it went much better than I would have guessed.

I mixed up the epoxy and used the stir stick to spread a thin layer on the back side of the face strips and on the edge of the shelf. Then I stuck them together, using two clamps to help wrangle the long flexible strip into place. I left the clamps in place for a few minutes until the epoxy had set, during which time I also used several pieces of painter's tape to hold the strip firmly against the shelf. This worked very well:

The plastic below is to catch any drips from the epoxy, but that turned out to be a non-issue.

After the epoxy had cured (I gave it about 90 minutes) it seemed like the strip was securely in place, so I repeated the process with the next two shelves. This time I used a foam brush to get the epoxy to spread more evenly across both surfaces:

I was quite happy with how well the PVC strip cleaned up the look of the shelves:

And with that, the project was complete! Here's my #shelfie:

¹okay, fine: mostly complete. That space up above the closet needs to have the sliding doors painted and reinstalled. However, they don't prevent me from using the shelves below which means I can get this office back in order! Excitement abounds.