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Shelf design problem

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Forum topic by myxology posted 08-08-2015 11:57 PM 603 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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myxology

43 posts in 700 days


08-08-2015 11:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining

Hey guys,

Relative noob here, running into a problem. I am trying to build some shelves for a friend. These shelves will most often be holding large bottles of whiskey; 1.75ml bottles weighing in at about 2lbs when full. I think I’ve made a big mistake with the design in that I don’t think these shelves will manage that kind of weight. Also, I have designed them in a way that doesn’t really allow me a lot of options now to join them without showing some kind of nail hole or something. I’d like to stain them and not have brad nails show. Would love some help! I’ve posted some photos below and I think it should make sense to you from the shots. I have essentially built a box with a rabbeted edge and a stop dado on the ends, and then a dado to slide a bottom in, much like you would a drawer. The idea then is to hang these up using a french. I am using poplar with a maple plywood for the bottom. Please let me know if you need more info. I could use some help! Thanks guys!


10 replies so far

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Yonak

979 posts in 981 days


#1 posted 08-09-2015 04:16 AM


ok ok… sorry :)

thanks for your advice.

with respect,
Pricilla

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Picklehead

1013 posts in 1389 days


#2 posted 08-09-2015 12:28 PM


ok ok… sorry :)

thanks for your advice.

with respect,
Pricilla

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- PricillaBannet

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- Yonak

Best I can figure. Flagging each one I see.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2187 posts in 941 days


#3 posted 08-09-2015 12:52 PM

How long is the shelf?
If it’s 36” or less I think you will be OK.
Once you get the shelf glued into the grooves there will be a lot of strength there.

There is nothing wrong with using pegs or screws and plugs.

If the shelf is 48” long OR you are still concerned about the weight, you could double the thickness of the shelf by laminating another board on top. It won’t show and will only lessen the depth by 3/4”.

Hope this helps.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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myxology

43 posts in 700 days


#4 posted 08-09-2015 03:54 PM

Hey rwe2156,

The shelf is 42” long, so right between what you said. My son and I always joke that woodworkers online are always saying “but the glue is going to do most of the work” after they’ve used brad nails or something but I’ve always wondered how right they were. I’m skeptical about the glue holding those heavy bottles at those rabbit joints. Also, should I not glue the bottom panel in, much like a drawer?

Thanks for the feedback. I still need more help!

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sras

4391 posts in 2589 days


#5 posted 08-09-2015 04:04 PM

If you have ever tried to break apart a glued joint, you should find that the wood broke while the glued joint stayed intact. The main reason for brads or screws is to hold the joint tight while the glue dries. This allows to project work to continue without waiting for a clamping time.

If I understand, you have created a box that is glued on all seams – right?

If so, the front and the back of your box will do the majority of the work in limiting any deflection. And – if the top and bottom are glued along the length, they are going to be much stiffer than as a single board. Box structures are very stiff.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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myxology

43 posts in 700 days


#6 posted 08-09-2015 04:16 PM

Steve, thanks for chiming in. I don’t know if you could see the photos above. My plan at this point is to glue inside the stop dado on the back of the shelf on both sides and then to glue them at the rabbit joints on the front. I was not planning on gluing the bottom panel in. Was going to leave that loose, like a drawer bottom. Also, I’ve heard that before about the board breaking before the glue. If that’s true, then I should be ok with this build because I don’t think the boards will break. I am a little concerned about sag, so I’m going to make a couple of braces for the bottom.

Any other feedback still appreciated.

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sras

4391 posts in 2589 days


#7 posted 08-09-2015 04:23 PM

Is there as reason to leave the bottom loose? Gluing it in place will greatly increase the stiffness.

On the other hand, you might not need to. You can evaluate the stiffness after after you build it as planned and then decide to glue the bottom or not…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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myxology

43 posts in 700 days


#8 posted 08-09-2015 05:01 PM

I was thinking to leave the bottom loose to allow for expansion and contraction like you might do in a cabinet door. Thoughts?

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sras

4391 posts in 2589 days


#9 posted 08-09-2015 06:30 PM

I’m placing my bets that the shelf will be stiff enough and you won’t need to glue the bottom. Who knows, it could be the secret place to store the good stuff!

If you did want to glue the bottom, I think it would be okay. Wood expands across the grain much more than along the length. The plywood would likely expand about the same as the wood will along the grain. Since the boards that mate to the bottom all have the grain running along the plywood there should be no issue.

This does mean the shelf and the ends have different grain directions. Even so, I would not consider this an issue since the distance to so short. Often, in cases where the end grain meets cross grain (say a bread board end of a cutting board or table top) the center few inches are glued – which is similar to your shelf width.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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myxology

43 posts in 700 days


#10 posted 08-09-2015 06:39 PM

Ok, so here is my solution to the concerns for weight. I made a couple of brackets that should be pretty low profile once the shelves are up. I think they came out pretty good. I don’t know if they’re necessary based on our discussion here, but it will make me feel better. Those whiskey bottles are heavy!

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