That was funded with our summer vacation fund. In the meantime, the basement/crawlspace dehumidifier needed a dedicated outlet. Thus an electrician was brought in to install said dedicated outlet as well as provide another line and outlet to the TV room so a space heater can be used there without overloading the circuitry in that room.
The consolation project comes in when we decided to add another line and switch for our library/music room.
While the room has great daylight, reading light at night became a problem when we added another couch. One floor lamp provided adequate light for one person and another lamp was good for ambient light but is not good for reading. One solution was a two-armed floor lamp and replacing the table top lamp. But I've had that lamp for close to thirty years and DW veto'd replacing it anyway. The cost for 2 lamps was not worth it given that DW did not like the looks or the price of the two-armed floor lamps we looked at.
She did like the look of overhead wall mounted lights. I did not like the work and expense in wiring three wall mounted lights. Meanwhile we were going to run out of bookshelf space probably within a year. Kondo-ing our book collection was an option, but we're not ready for that just yet. Just like with foundation and electrical work, the thought of book-culling does not spark joy.
When I proposed a floating shelf with built in lights to DW, she was skeptical given my- 'em limited ability to verbalize my ideas . She gave the go-ahead noting that prior projects she's had the same trouble with have turned out well even though they didn't sound so great as initially presented.
The design needed to be sufficiently wide and strong for art books and vinyl records throughout its length and sufficiently thick to be able to house canned lights. Given a 13.5" cantilevered width, it would also require some bracket support, thus it could not be a pure floating design but if the brackets held it from above, it could visually maintain a "floating" appearance. This was what I thought I would be able to use.
Then there was the need to provide a sufficiently thick face to support the railing for the ladder. For these reasons and having 1.5 inch x 7.25 inch x 20 foot ceiling joists still left over from the 2012 raising the living room ceiling project, I decided to use a solid shelf design rather that the box shelf used for most of the floating shelves I saw while researching designs. For weight and aesthetic reasons I was hoping to keep the thickness of the shelf to about 2 inches to allow for installation of the recessed lighting fixture shown below. These really lent themselves well to the task as they have a shallow design, are directional adjustable and dimmable.
My initial plan used Skag 10" lag screws for attaching to the wall joists and the Shelfology brackets as above for additional support. The 2 inch thickness made a for a bona-fide thick plank look while the side grain face provided a stronger gripping surface for the rail attachments.
Even keeping the thickness at 2 inches made for a really heavy design and the length made it a tight fit for my shop space. Having movable workstation with Festool tops once again came in handy.
Festool dominos enabled lining up the three planks making up the shelf so they could be assembled and taken apart as needed for the drilling, groove-making, cutouts and final installation.
After Russ's help
The 4th of July holiday gave me time to finish installing the lights and the soffit covers.
Here is the shelfie- plenty of space for expanding the collection.
The cat is happy with the space as long as he has a grocery bag to lie on while listening to the audio setup.
Bonus- the rail works great as a pull-up bar.
To end, it was a fun and satisfying project. More storage, much better night time lighting for reading purposes and kept me from being miserable about shelling out for foundation and electrical work.