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bookshelf spacing help needed

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Forum topic by Paul posted 01-19-2016 05:11 PM 401 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Paul

444 posts in 3056 days


01-19-2016 05:11 PM

I want to build some bookshelves from 3/4 ply with hardwood strips to cover the endgrain. Is there a rule of thumb as to how wide I can make each shelf to keep it from sagging under the weight of the books? would 40 inches be too long?
thanks for any advice.


9 replies so far

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

844 posts in 2442 days


#1 posted 01-19-2016 05:17 PM

I built New Yankee Workshop tall bookcase (one with green interior) that is about 35” wide in the early 90’s and no sag. My daughter used it for several years to store her DVD/BlueRay collection on. She had it packed with two deep movies and no sag at all. The fronts do have an 1-1/4 (or maybe 1-1/2) wide trim which probably helps, too.

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ChrisK

1809 posts in 2548 days


#2 posted 01-19-2016 05:40 PM

I have gone to 40” with 1-1/4” wide by 3/4” thick hardwood fronts. I usually rabbet the hardwood to help locate it and give a little more glue surface.

-- Chris K

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lew

11347 posts in 3222 days


#3 posted 01-19-2016 05:51 PM

I think a lot would depend on what you are planning to place on the shelves. DVD’s and CD’s aren’t very heavy. Books, on the other hand, well you know.

I’ve gone 36” using 3/4” pine without any sag after about 15 years- books on the shelf.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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jbay

819 posts in 366 days


#4 posted 01-19-2016 06:22 PM

My rule of thumb is 32” (keeping within 3 crosscuts to a rip)
Just for Alaska Guy: that is if the sheet is oversized otherwise you have to deduct for the kerf. (Happy?)

Otherwise, some kind of build up on the shelf edge, as mentioned above, and sometimes if I have to go long I will put the same build up on the back edge of the shelf as well.

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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Lifesaver2000

544 posts in 2579 days


#5 posted 01-20-2016 01:39 AM

Here is a site that will help you figure out what you need:

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm

You can try different combinations of materials and design to get just what you want.

View sras's profile

sras

4392 posts in 2596 days


#6 posted 01-20-2016 01:59 AM

I have 48” shelves with 1.5”tall by 3/4” thick oak strips in front. Glued and nailed to a 1/4” thick plywood back. Built them over 20 years ago. Have filled them with 10” tall books. If they sag, I haven’t noticed…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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jbay

819 posts in 366 days


#7 posted 01-20-2016 02:12 AM

In my mind I was thinking they were adjustable shelves,
but fixed shelves, should be no problem as sras says^

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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BurlyBob

3695 posts in 1732 days


#8 posted 01-20-2016 02:22 AM

Paul, I’ve got some bookcases I built a few years ago. They’re 36”x60”. The shelves are fixed in 1/4” dados, both sides and the back. They’re extremely sturdy. I used 3/4” oak plywood and did cover the raw edges with thin strips of oak. I’m probably going to build 2 more later this summer.

View Paul's profile

Paul

444 posts in 3056 days


#9 posted 01-20-2016 04:05 PM

Thank you all, very good info and reassuring to me.
Sagulator? who would have guessed….. very good website.

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