Long-time readers of this blog know that I love mechanical furniture that folds up into tiny spaces and is durable. So 19th-century British campaign furniture is right up my alley. These examples have a Gothic look to them, but you could alter the profiles of the folding end pieces to be unicorns, Ford F150 trucks or even silhouettes of ear mites. I don’t judge.
What is ingenious about these shelves is that they telescope open and shut based on how many books you have. The telescoping action is regulated by a leather belt. I made my own leather belt, but you can use one of your own if you like.
The telescoping action is all about interlocking tongue-and-groove joints that slide in and out. They are fun to fit.
The ends of the bookshelf fold flat thanks to piano hinges. I took a 3’ length of piano hinge and hacksawed and filed the bits until they looked nice. It’s simple work with common tools.
Finally, the ends are locked in place with simple brass door latches. These are available anywhere you can find decent door hardware. Sometimes they are called “Dutch latches.”
The video shows how these fold down, fold open and lock.
— Christopher Schwarz
If you like campaign furniture, check out the DVD on my Campaign chair via this link.
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.