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  • Writer's pictureDeepak Mulajkar

Modular Montessori Shelf with Prelaminated Boards

We all live in a house. Most of the homes (rented or owned) have a built in kitchen, wardrobes in bedrooms. But we still need that extra flexibility with storage. Our requirements change over time and the built-in furniture may not be the best solution for places like kids room, guest room and living room, as we go thru the journey of our lives. Modular furniture provides us with the flexibility that we seek in these areas. This can be made easily in either a workshop or by yourself (i.e. DIY way), @ home, with some basic power tools (circular saw and a drill machine). I built this Montessori Shelf with a pre-laminated plywood available with a local plywood vendor. The colour choices available with this material are limited. You can also buy your own plywood and laminate it yourself on both sides to get a custom made pre-laminated board with your choice of laminates and same/two colour options. I chose plywood since it gives better life and strength over pre-laminated MDF boards. Advantages of using ready/home made pre-laminated boards - Faster than pasting laminate after assembly - Reuse material at a later date - Easy to transport I started my project with a 4ft x 4 ft pre-laminated plywood and cut it into 3 nos 4' x1' s and 2 nos 2' x1' s. Used a Bosch GKS 190 Circular saw to rip the sheet to smaller pieces and a Bosch GTS10J table saw to get the edges to be parallel to each other. Using a table saw for ripping sheets is not convenient if you don't have infeed/outfeed tables for the table saw.

For assembly, 2 barrel nut-bolts are used for each join. 12 such nut-bolts are needed for the project. Optional grooves can be made for lower shelves (and the top shelves as well) on the side pieces. This will transfer the weight of the shelves directly to the sides, with minimum stress on the connecting nuts and bolts. I skipped this step since I wanted flexibility of changing the shelf height at a later date. The grooves can be made with a palm router or a table saw. The joins are done with Barrel Nuts and bolts.

To drill holes for the barrel nuts and bolts, make a jig based on the dimensions of your bolts. More on alignment of these bolts at the below blog.

Finish the project by sealing the edges with an edge binding tape. Material:

  • White Pre-laminated 4x4 plywood sheets (19mm) : 1 Nos

  • White edge-banding PVC Tape : 20 ft

  • Fevicol PVCFix 500gm dispenser

  • Barrel Nuts and Bolts : 16 Nos (available at Saleh Sons on SP Road, Bangalore)

  • Drill bits as required for the barrel nuts and bolts

  • 3" C Clamps : 2 Nos

Power Tools:

  • Circular Saw

  • Bosch GSB 500 RE Drill Gun Or a Cordless Drill Driver

  • Palm Router (Optional)

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