Built In Closets #1: Getting Started - I hate wire shelves

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Blog entry by SPHinTampa posted 10-15-2010 04:50 PM 5730 reads 4 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Built In Closets series Part 2: Making the pieces »

Recently the wire shelves in our closets have started to fall down due to overloading. A normal person might have given away some cloths and re mounted the shelves. An aspiring lumber jock, however, will recognize a chance to rip out everything and rebuild from scratch.

So I decided to the take the lessons learned and the designs from my previous closet project and scale it up to a room that is nearly three times the size

Basic design is 6 towers and 4 sets of shelves. Each tower consists of four plywood panels (left, right, top and bottom), three shelves (top, middle, bottom), a toe kick across base and a mounting strip/shelf support under each shelf. Shelves are biscuit joined and pocket screwed.

Plywood box will be strengthened with a solid woodface frame and then mounted directly to wall using 3” cabinet screws thru mounting strip into wall studs. Space between towers will be filled with floating shelves, supported by 1/4” dowels in holes drilled into panel sides. Face frame is biscuit joined. All maple stock.

I do not use sketch up for design – I used power point to make a scale drawing. And then built a story stick to mark the shelf, support and pin locations. Then used it to place the biscuit locations for both the towers and the face frames. A plywood story stick (avoids warping) was a good idea in the 16th century and hasn’t required improvement since then.

Part 2 – Cutting up all the wood

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

4 comments so far

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3594 days

#1 posted 10-15-2010 06:21 PM

“An aspiring lumber jock, however, will recognize a chance to rip out everything and rebuild from scratch.”

Spot on! :)

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Rick's profile


9728 posts in 3059 days

#2 posted 10-17-2010 09:03 AM


I’m trying to figure out which words go with which picture. The picture with the White Columns behind a tower….Do the words ABOVE the picture apply to that picture?

Also the “Story Stick” I’ve never used one before. I THINK I can see HOW they are used. (the height/location of various components?) how do they avoid warping?

Sorry for the confusion on my part.

-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 3712 days

#3 posted 10-18-2010 01:30 PM

Sorry for the confusion … I tried to show a couple of pictures of the tower. The first picture is intended to show the room prior to installation. The second picture is an example of what I am trying to achieve based on a prior project.

The third picture (the one with the white columns) shows what an assembled tower looks like so people can see the basic construction (two sides/three shelves/toe kick and three shelf braces).

The last two pictures were the best I could do to show the story stick.

The story stick is a just what you have described … a stick with the project dimensions measured and labeled on it. I use plywood to make mine because I find that plywood warps less than a ripped piece of stock, which can bow over time. Story sticks are not more accurate necessarily, but they are more consistent. You measure once, double and triple check, mark it and re use the same measurement over and over again.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View Rick's profile


9728 posts in 3059 days

#4 posted 10-19-2010 02:29 AM

Thanks Shawn. Look forward to watching your Progress in Your Blog.


-- LIFE is what happens when you're planning on doing Other Things!

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