Room Divider Part 3 of 3

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A room divider, like a partition wall, separates one large room into two usable spaces, each with its own specific function. But unlike a partition wall, a room divider adds storage space to your home, while letting you retain the open feeling of a larger room.

 

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Time to Complete:
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Continue to Step 1

Overview

A room divider, like a partition wall, separates one large room into two usable spaces, each with its own specific function. But unlike a partition wall, a room divider adds storage space to your home, while letting you retain the open feeling of a larger room.
Room dividers commonly are used to separate a large kitchen/dining area into two different “rooms.” Adding a pass-through and overhanging countertop, as in the project shown here, creates a casual dining area.
In the design featured here, the room divider is built in two main sections: the base cabinet with countertop, and the upper shelf unit. The two sections are joined by a floor-to-ceiling plywood framework to create one attractive built-in.
A room divider lends itself to personal touches, like mounting a wine rack and stemware racks on the underside of the shelf unit to make a convenient dry bar.
The overhanging countertop gives this room divider an added dimension as a convenient dining surface located near the food preparation area of the kitchen. The cabinets on the kitchen side of the room divider also provide accessible storage space for pots, pans, and kitchenware. The open shelves in the upper half of the room divider are ideal for displaying glassware or collectibles.
We designed this room divider with a built-up plywood countertop that has a polyurethane varnish finish. This is an economical and perfectly appropriate solution. But if you’re looking to spice up the design a bit, consider replacing the countertop with a higher-end countertop material, such as granite or solid-surfacing. You’ll be amazed at how much difference a few well-chosen design highlights can make in the overall appearance of the project.
From: Complete Guide to Custom Shelves & Built-Ins, 978-1-58923-303-4

What You'll Need

Tools:

Stepladder
Pencil
Level
Tape measure
Plumb bob
Framing square
Router with 3/4" straight bit
Circular saw or table saw
Handscrew clamps
Bar clamps
Drill/driver and bits
Screwdriver
Hammer
Nail set
Putty knife

Materials:

Wood glue
Finish nails (1", 1/4", 2")
Screws (1", 1 1/4", 2", 2 1/2", 3")
Shims
3/4" hardwood strips
Countertop trim
Shelf-edge trim
Pin-style shelf supports
Finishing materials
Door hardware
5) 2 x 4" x 8 ft. pine
5) 1 x 4" x 8 ft. oak
4) 1 x 2" x 8 ft. oak
1) 1/4 x 4 ft. x 8 ft. oak plywood
4) 3/4 x 4 ft. x 8 ft. oak plywood

Cutting List
Part
No.
Desc.
Size
Material

A
4
Top and sole plates
71 1⁄4"
2 x 4

B
4
Sole plate cross braces
15"
2 x 4

C
1
Outer end panel
95 1⁄2" x 15"
3⁄4" oak plywood

D
1
Inner end panel
91" x 15"
3⁄4" oak plywood

E
3
Base panels
22" x 14 3⁄4"
3⁄4" oak plywood

F
3
Cabinet shelves
21 3⁄4" x 14 3⁄4"
3⁄4" oak plywood

G
6
Cabinet risers
30" x 14 3⁄4"
3⁄4" oak plywood

H
1
Cabinet back panel
32" x 70"
1⁄4" oak plywood

I
2
Countertop panels
70 1⁄2" x 24"
3⁄4" oak plywood

J
2
Shelf unit supports
33" x 15"
3⁄4" oak plywood

K
2
Top, bottom shelf panels
70 1⁄2" x 15"
3⁄4" oak plywood

L
1
Center shelf panel
69 3⁄4" x 15"
3⁄4" oak plywood

M
2
Shelf unit sides
25 1⁄2" x 15"
3⁄4" oak plywood

N
5
Shelf unit risers
12 1⁄2" x 15"
3⁄4" oak plywood

O

Face frame rails
33 linear ft.
1 x 4 oak

P

Face frame stiles
26 linear ft.
1 x 2 oak

Q

Face frame stiles
12 linear ft.
1 x 3 oak

 

Step 1

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 18

Measure and cut plywood shelf unit supports. Supports should be tall enough to leave a gap of about 1" beneath the top plates when the shelf unit is mounted on their top edges. Attach the shelf unit supports to the inner and outer end panels, using glue and 1 1/4" finish nails.


Step 2

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 19

With a helper, lift the shelf unit onto the tops of the shelf unit supports. There should be a gap of about 1" between the shelf unit and the top plates.


Step 3

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 20

Align the edges of the upper shelf unit with the edges of the end panels. Attach the shelf unit by driving 1 1/4" finish nails through the side panels and into the end panels. Space nails 4" apart, along outer edges of shelf unit.


Step 4

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 21

Set a 2 x 4 brace between the countertop and the shelf unit, then measure and cut 1 x 4 top and bottom rails for the face frames. Miter the corner joints at the edges of the outer end panel, and butt the trim against the wall at the inner end panel. Drill pilot holes, and attach rails with glue and 2" finish nails driven into panels and framing members.


Step 5

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 22

Measure and cut 1 x 4 countertop rail to reach from the wall to the outside edge of the outer end panel, on the front side of the room divider. Attach the rail to the edge of the countertop, using glue and 2" finish nails driven through pilot holes.


Step 6

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 23

Measure and cut 1 x 2 face frame stiles to fit between the bottom rail and the top rail at the back of the room divider. Make a 3/4" x 1 1/2" notch in each stile, where the edge of the countertop will fit. Attach the stiles to the end panels, using glue and 2" finish nails driven through pilot holes.


Step 7

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 24

Measure and cut 1 x 2 stiles to fit between the countertop rail and the top rail at the front of the room divider. Position stiles over the edges of the end panel, and attach with glue and 2" finish nails driven through pilot holes.


Step 8

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 25

Cover the countertop overhang with ornamental trim molding mitered at a 45° angle at corner joints. Attach with glue and 1 1/2" finish nails driven through pilot holes.


Step 9

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 26

Measure and cut 1 x 3 stiles to fit between the bottom rail and the countertop rail on the back side of the room divider. Position end stiles flush with the outside faces of the end panels, and center the interior stiles over the riser assemblies. Attach with glue and 2" finish nails driven through pilot holes.

Attach 3/4" shelf-edge strips to all exposed edges of the upper shelf unit, using glue and 1" finish nails driven through pilot holes. Cut horizontal strips the full length of the shelf unit, then add vertical strips between the horizontal strips.


Step 10

How to Build a Room Divider - Step 27

Cut adjustable shelves for the cabinets, attach shelf-edge trim if desired, then install shelves, using pin-style shelf supports.

Cover gaps at ceiling with cove molding, and along floor and wall with base shoe molding. Fill holes, sand, then apply finish. Build, finish, and hang overlay cabinet doors. Attach all remaining hardware.


 
 

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