Wednesday, September 12, 2012

D' Fence

I was thinking of ways to keep the action figure dominoes off the floor, where they might get broken... or eaten...
Who, me??
Glass doors were not an option -- those kind of shelving units were just not in the budget. I briefly considered clear packing tape, just across the bottom, but dismissed the idea as both bad (would ruin the finish on the shelves) and ugly (shiny/distracting, plus dust would collect on the sticky side). Then it hit me: dowels, as a "fence" across the front of the shelves, fitting into the holes that were already there for the adjusting shelves! I grabbed a scrap piece of 1/4" dowel, but it was too wide to fit in the hole. No prob! I shaved it down in the electric pencil sharpener, and that worked beautifully. To the hardware store, Robin!

I bought 48" dowels that are 1/4" in diameter. I needed a bunch of them, because the shelves are 26" wide, which left me with a lot of "waste" (more on that shortly). I measured one, tapered it, fit it into place, then measured all the others against that.

For each dowel, I scored around the circumference with an X-acto knife, then with my thumbnails on either side of the scored line, broke the dowel to length -- very quick work. Then, each end was tapered in the pencil sharpener. Because the dowels are thin, they bend nicely to be fit in place.

Scored dowel
Broken to length
Tapered with the pencil sharpener
Fit into the pre-drilled holes
Worked perfectly!
And it doesn't look bad, either
The third shelves down don't have fences, because that is a fixed shelf, and had no pre-drilled holes. So I'll have to drill holes for those, or use glue, but I think drilling is the more sensible option. The nice thing about the dowels is that if they're just a little bit too long, they can be cut down a little with the pencil sharpener. If I glue them up, the width has to be perfect.

The "waste" pieces, I am going to experiment with finding a good (inexpensive) way to keep the figures from falling over in the first place. (Doll stands, even the small ones, run about $1.50-$2, and if I can make my own from scrap, yay me.)

UPDATE: The balsa wood and scrap dowel does indeed work to make a doll stand.

Princess Gwenevere can barely stand on her own with her teeny feet in those high heeled boots.

That's 1/4" balsa, a piece of the 1/4" dowel, some floral wire (heavy) and a little wood glue. It's very light weight, and the wire makes it a little top-heavy since the balsa is so light. BUT, the balsa cuts with an X-acto knife, "drills" easily with the tip of the blade, and sands quickly with an emery board.