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Hi Jamie,

I have a built-in floor to ceiling bookshelf in my office behind my desk. I have power and ethernet outlets in a couple of the sections at the bottom with about 3 inches of space to pass wires behind it and the wall.  I have various telephone, cord power, and ethernet just hanging out the front because the shelves are flush against the back and sides of the bookcase. I have an idea of cutting 1/2 by 2 inch rectangle hole in the back of the bookcase where the adjustable shelves line up.  I would also then cut notches on the back of the shelves of about a 1/4 to 1/2 inches.  The shelves themselves are about 1 inch thick.  So my idea is that if I cut a 1/4 inch notch from the bottom to the middle of the shelve and top to middle on other shelves, I could hide the cord holes in the back of the bookcase to make it look more pleasing. Also I am hoping if we do sell the house in the future the holes will not be as noticeable because the shelf will cover most of the hole.  I hope that makes sense and sounds like a solid idea.

Now to my question, how do I cut the notches in the shelves?  I plan on using a Dremel to cut the holes in the back of the bookshelf, but I don't know the best tool to use to cut the notches in the shelves.  I don't have an elaborate set of tools because I don't do this kind of thing at all.  But if there's some tool that makes sense to get that I might use in the future, I'll be happy to get it.

Anyway, I hope I was clear enough with my idea and if there is a better way of doing what I need to do please let me know.  I really appreciate your help on this.

Have a great day.

Jason

Answer
Hi Jason,

Your idea about notching the shelves is a perfect one - and not very hard to accomplish. You could notch those shelves with a variety of tools, but the easiest might be a jigsaw or a coping saw. With either one of those saws - you could cut a small notch. You only need a notched curve about the size of a nickel, which wouldn't be too hard to accomplish.

Here's a link to what a coping saw looks like: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Buck-Bros-6-1-2-in-Pro-Coping-Wood-Handle-Saw-12028/1

They're rather inexpensive, and readily available, so you shouldn't have any trouble locating one. I would put a piece of blue painters tape on both sides of the wood that you're cutting, and then trace a nickel on the edge of your shelf. Using the saw - cut the circular notch, staying vertical with your cut. The tape will help with any chipping that you might experience.

I wouldn't worry too much about the notches, they will virtually disappear with the shelf is in place.

Good luck with this, write back if you need more help,

Jamie in Vegas

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Jamie Yocono
Wood It Is! Custom Cabinetry
Las Vegas, NV
www.wooditis.com

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

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Jamie Yocono

Expertise

Woodworker, Furniture designer/builder, industrial arts educator. Bachelor degree in Furniture Design, and journeyman carpenter, with a 4 year apprenticeship. Currently owner of custom furniture/cabinet shop in Las Vegas, NV. Can answer most woodworking questions EXCEPT those regarding repairs, refinishing, and antiques.

Experience

Bachelor in Furniture Design - Ohio University (1980) Journeyman Carpenter, Local 639 Adult educator - Developed adult education woodworking program for the University of Akron, and taught classes there for 9 years. Opened a private woodworking school in Las Vegas, NV and teach private and semi-private lessons. In 2011, I will begin teaching UNLV woodworking classes at my school. Sweet!

Organizations
Furniture Society

Publications
Tile Design and Installation Magazine (Article on inlaying tile into wood)

Education/Credentials
Journeyman Union Carpenter Bachelors degree in Furniture Design (Ohio University) College of Hard Knocks!

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