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Illuminated shelf system started with a casting tube.

A tall tube and solid-core doors became an illuminated shelf system in the Los Angeles house of designer Emily Ain and architect Jim Matson. The heavy cardboard casting tube (a form for pouring concrete columns) was wrapped in thin galvanized sheet metal; expansion bolts secure the vertical seam on the back. To make the shelves, Ain and Matson cut doors into 18- by 60-inch and 10- by 36-inch lengths. Using the tube as a template, they cut half-circles in one end of the bigger shelves, quarter-circles in the smaller ones. Next, they chiseled shallow recesses into the undersides of the shelves. L-brackets bolt to studs, fit into the recesses, and screw to shelves. The shelves get added support from wire cable looped through eye screws in the shelves and the studs. Inside the tube, wood crosspieces support a 60-watt lamp that plugs into a wall socket behind the tube. Look for tubes, $2 to $4 a foot, at construction supply yards specializing in masonry.
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Title Annotation:book shelf
Date:May 1, 1990
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