27 January 2018

[Crafts] Office Wall Improvements 2018

Disregarding the tech on the table, ever since I moved from the sitting desk to the standing desk, the orientation of where my attention is in the room, where I'm situated, how the lighting now affects the surfaces I work off of, I have not fully changed the rest of the room to follow suit. I've been going at a desk with an off-centered fluorescent lamp with still no steps towards doing something about displaying the big cars. I've done too much idling and decided it was time to start something; anything- just do...something!

So being lousy at documenting progress for whatever readers (who actually read this) can see for easier following, I can only show the first photo as a frame of reference. Since 2013, I've had that glass shelf on the wall in that spot, not center-aligned with the width of the wall it is attached to. The left side of the wall has been neglected for many years, and in all fairness, the previous one who resided in this location had a bookshelf on the left, which shrinks the visible width of this wall. That would explain why the framed paper, and lamp are where they are. Well I've had enough of that. It was time to finally make use of this wall to do something I have no other use for; display my model cars! I've already used up all the real estate on my bedroom walls. This is some of the last remaining space I've left, so what I do from here on forth should be carefully considered. The white foamcore Hot Wheels shelf on the right has been hanging since 2013. It still looks great for what it is, but it is also a hindrance for expansion and development of the remaining wall space. Basically, there were a few objectives to this makeover:

1) Accommodate space for 1:18 model cars.
2) Accommodate space for the Monster Hunter figures.
3) Bonus: Set up some LED spotlights to up the display game.

So with all this in mind, it was time for another round of IKEA shopping. With a new year and putting more thought and consideration into budgeting for needs and wants, more time was taken to find a suitable balance between end-results and cost. Other factors taken into consideration were the dimensions of the wall influencing my options, what restrictions are imposed based on the display cases' sizes. Let's have a look at what products were considered.

These are the BESTA and EKET respectively. They provided initial interest due to the closed-frame appearance that would give the car or figure its own "home" so to speak. Having a roof over its head also opened up the possibility of installing a spotlight. It's basically more than just a plank of wood on a wall. Unfortunately, I had to turn down the BESTA because of the bezel on the front window that covers up a portion of the bottom compartment. Any car displayed down there would be 50% visible. If an individual EKET shelf came in larger sizes, I would've most certainly bought these for the figures. It can fit Barufaruku and Rathalos, but I'd be forced with one or two display angles, and I don't want to close off my viewing options just so I could have a square box on the wall. It's arguable I could make my own wall shelves, but nah. This would be one of those things I wouldn't want to spend the time and effort into building. Let's move on to whatever other options were available:

The SVALNAS is a recent addition to IKEA's product line. It's light on materials, meaning I wouldn't be too concerned whether the drywall could even support it. The vertical bracket means it can take on a good weight load, and it's modular enough that I can customize how many shelves I want to line up beside each other, as well as how far apart to space each shelf. I believe I turned this down because of its high cost and because the width of the shelf too short to hold two cars while also being too long to hold just one.

And here we are with the basic shelf. A floating shelf like the EKBY JARPEN (white shelf) wasn't a terrible idea. Having no visibility of a bracket underneath is a nice feat. The board itself has a gloss white finish, which means dust is less noticeable and is easy to clean off, except the JARPENs and the EKBY BJARNUM brackets were $15 and $8 respectively. The board is wide enough to comfortably hold 2 cars, mean I could work with an even number of cars in a row on the wall. Doing the math, I could do 6 cars per row, two rows in total, depending on how much wall space I want left over. But then doing the math on cost, I'm paying about $8 per car to be displayed. Looking at the triangular bracket, EKBY VALTER, I can save big depending on how many models are to be displayed with a low cost of $2 per piece. Most would say that having too many visible brackets is unsightly, but when put close together with at least two rows and a lineup of cars, I can see it looking like structural framework to an underpass or bridge. Appearance checks out, cost checks out, except one thing: the display cases would obstruct the brackets from being installed. Luckily there was another bracket I could use that works out even better:

Enter EKBY STODIS. Plastic bracket, $1 each. The lack of a triangular brace means that I can install the top row of shelves closer to the bottom row. They still have the look of a structural support for an underpass. The board that was being marketed with it is the EKBY LAIVA (seen on the right), shorter than the HEMNES or JARPEN, and at a whopping low cost of $3. It's too short to hold 2 cars, but the total width of two boards can comfortably hold 3 cars! I can go for a row of 6 cars with 4 boards. If I were to house 12 cars with this combination, I'm paying about $3.76 to display each car.

This is it installed on the wall. The overall appearance isn't terribly ugly in my opinion. And for $45.11 after taxes, I'd say I got great value out of this. I also positioned the uncovered lamp so that it is centered with the wall. This wall is now done and complete. I now have a place to display the big cars. Now comes the question of what I've done with the glass shelf.

I ain't throwing this away. I lined this up with the bottom LAIVA shelves (well, I tried to) because it wasn't too high to make viewing the figures less desirable, as well as being able to cover previous screw holes that the Hot Wheels foam shelving used. What about the Hot Wheels that used to be there? Should it go above? Or should it go under????

Seeing as how there are still a bunch of ugly holes between the shelf and the utensils rack, this is the perfect excuse to squeeze more stuff on the wall. So how should this be approached?

I did want to explore the box-on-the-wall options like the EKET shelves. I original thought of crafting small foam boxes that I would strategically scatter at random, each only housing a single car. The idea seems cute, but I managed to give myself another reason to do another frame with K'Nex. So in above pic, I'm exploring how far I want to space each row; how much head room do I want to give each car? What's the perfect balance between the positive and negative space, and how many rows can I do without the space looking too crowded?

Here's a side-by-side of a second pattern I sampled. On its own, it's cute, it's tight and is extremely pleasing to the eye of how the cars all fit together... but that's when it's just a rack of 3 cars. Visualizing what they pattern would look like if I extended it across the stretch of the wall, I felt that would've been too many cars. So I'll stay with the former.

This is almost identical to the wall shelves I made years ago for the Kyoshos, but the row spacing is tighter this time around. I've also left out the idea of building platforms with the K'Nex pieces because I simply didn't have the pieces available, and I could easily get the job done quicker with strips of foamcore.

There's that triangular bracket look when you have a lot of them together.

I've saved on materials by using less in the back, but I threw in the red rods at the front just to be a little different.

This was a cheap project, so I'm cheaping out on the finish. I'm avoiding the idea of using a single piece of material to run the stretch of the framework, so I'm piecing multiple strips together instead.

And with that done, it was time to throw the cars in there with no clear cut spacing. Without a thought on how many cars I planned to hold, this is doing about 13 cars per row, in all shapes and sizes. Quite an upgrade over the max capacity of 20 from the previous shelving.