Yesterday we went to the local home improvement store and purchased (among other things) my stud finder, the firring strips and twelve 1X6X6 number 2 pine boards for the back of the shelving.
Today I took the stud finder to the wall next to the fireplace and it worked great! It found the edges of the first stud so I was able to mark the center of that, which gave me where I needed to look for the other stud, and sixteen inches to the right I found it where I expected it to be. On the perpendicular wall though, I couldn't find a stud. Studs are supposed to be sixteen inches on center (ceiling joists are twenty-four inches on center) and in the thirty-nine inches of wall, there was no stud to be found anywhere in the middle of the wall where it should have been. I even took the stud finder out to the front hall to the other side of my kitchen wall to try it there and same thing: not a beep- no stud.
So I scratched my head and thought, well what the hell am I going to do now? With the amount of weight I'm planning on putting on my shelves, I want them anchored in a stud. But there is no stud, so I'm stuck- it looks like I have to do a hutch. But I still have the problem of the gap that the hearth creates. I went out to the garage and found the leftover waste of a 1X4X8 and try that as a filler next to the fireplace brick. It fits! Now all I have to do is get Steve to understand the issue, because he just spent $140 on materials the day before, and he just needs to understand what's going on here.
Steve comes to the kitchen and I point out the problem with the missing stud in the wall.
"Well, can't you use a molly bolt?" he asks. I don't like molly bolts- they're fine for some things, but not something that's supposed to hold a lot of weight. Then he says,
"Hey- isn't the door in that wall? How would you get it opened or closed if you had something nailed in it?"
Oh yeah! We have a pocket door there! That's why there's no stud there- the space in the wall is for the pocket door!
I can hear it now- how come I can't get the door closed? BECAUSE YOU NAILED IT INTO THE WALL, DUMBASS!
I'm really glad he and I had that little conversation, and now I know what I'm building. A hutch.