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Forum topic by TomVonMom posted 04-10-2016 03:43 PM 893 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TomVonMom

7 posts in 238 days


04-10-2016 03:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bookshelf bookcase dowel routing dado joining

I’m building this floor to ceiling bookcase 3.5×2.4meters (sorry about the metrics scale guys, I’m Swedish)

(This is just a sketch, not a blueprint. ignore the details, like how the red dividers popping up on the top shelf)

I’m planning on:
1. Building the outer box first, and dadoing slots for the shelves (blue) into the two sides.
2. Dadoing slots for the upright dividers (red) into the shelves and top/bottom.

Is that the best way to do this? Or is there away that will not require so much routing (and dust)?

Another approach I’m thinking about is skipping the router procedure in 2. Instead I will butt joint the dividers (red) using dowels.

One thing that isn’t visible in the pict above is the back. There will be a back in 1/2” MDF. I’m thinking the shelves (blue) will be nailed or screwed to the back. No dados. If it helps, I’m thinking of using 3/4” MDF for everything except the back.

Thanks for the help!

Tom, woodn00b


22 replies so far

View ppg677's profile

ppg677

78 posts in 317 days


#1 posted 04-11-2016 02:08 PM

I’m kind of a n00b too, but that’s how I’d build it. I suspect, structurally, the dowels would work just as good. But I don’t think you’d save any time with dowels. Yes, you would save saw dust :-)

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devann

2200 posts in 2153 days


#2 posted 04-11-2016 02:26 PM

I would make the top as one piece. The vertical members of the unit I would ether dado for shelf standards and use the clips to place the shelves at desired locations or drill holes in the vertical members to accept shelf pins to hold the shelves at the desired locations. Ether way would allow you to adjust for shelf placement should you decide you need to. The standards will be the more expensive of the two options, and more sawdust.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3038 days


#3 posted 04-11-2016 02:29 PM

Hi Tom
Welcome to Ljs
I would use sliding dovetails for all of the joinery and I would have the bottom and top boards go all the way across .
An alternative is to make each unit separately and join them together,of course that would mean you will have doubled up vertical members in the middle,if you would like to hide that you can make a face frame to go over the front to make it all more uniform looking.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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ChrisK

1809 posts in 2542 days


#4 posted 04-11-2016 02:47 PM

I would use dados and glue. One piece top and bottom, use 5mm deep dados.

Jim, have you done dovetails in MDF? I would think the tails would be tough to slide in the slots? Machined MDF is not all that smooth.

This will be on heavy beast.

-- Chris K

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jdmaher

384 posts in 2040 days


#5 posted 04-11-2016 02:47 PM

What will be stored in this? Books tightly or loosely packed, magazines, curios, all of the above?

If everything will NOT be too tightly packed, you could use cleats to hold the vertical dividers. While the shelves are still a whole sheet, glue and nail 1/2” square cleats 3/4” apart at the divider locations, on both sides. And you’ll have to do the same for the top and bottom carcase pieces, but only on one side. THEN cut out the shelves, with cleats already attached.

Then you can just cut out the vertical members to slide between the cleats, snug fit.

You lose a little shelf space, but you maybe won’t need every square cm.

BTW, you could use the same cleats on the vertical sides of the carcase to hold up the ends of shelves. You won’t need all that much support at the ends because of all the vertical support at the interior of the case.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3038 days


#6 posted 04-11-2016 02:52 PM

Thanks Chris
I did miss that point that he’s using MDF In that case I agree with Darrell’s approach.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Yonak

979 posts in 982 days


#7 posted 04-11-2016 03:03 PM

Tom, you might consider making individual boxes out of 3/8” or 1/2” ply (or 1/2” MDF) and stacking them, then covering the edges like in the left and right sides of this bookcase : http://lumberjocks.com/projects/176554

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devann

2200 posts in 2153 days


#8 posted 04-11-2016 03:10 PM

My this tread doubled in a short time. I just looked at the bargain table saw.

Good morning Jim. I’d still go for the adjustable pins, but I like Jim’s idea about the styles & rails. I’d double the center four vertical pieces and use six styles and just two rails, one top one bottom.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2274 days


#9 posted 04-11-2016 04:16 PM

Be careful that you don’t weaken the structure with aligning dados on both sides of the uprights. For instance, typical 1/4” deep dados would only leave you with 1/4” thick upright at the joints. That is too thin for structural integrity. I would use a 1/8” deep dado for alignment purposes, and rely on glue for strength.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1770 days


#10 posted 04-11-2016 06:42 PM

Over the last 18 years working in the carpenter shop at our school district I’ve built a ton of cubbies of all different size for class rooms and library’s.

After trying many ways of building cubbies I’ve settled on this and it pretty much the way you are headed.

A picture is worth a 1000 words. If you have question …..ask

Use a table saw and dado blade to cut dados.
Use a brad nailer with 1inch nails and toe nail the shelves in place. Forget the glue it just pushes out when you slide shelf into the dado.

I make my dados 1/8 deep.

It does not weaken the unit to dado at the same place on both sides.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View TomVonMom's profile

TomVonMom

7 posts in 238 days


#11 posted 04-11-2016 06:59 PM

THANKS FOR ALL THE FEEDBACK!


What will be stored in this? Books tightly or loosely packed, magazines, curios, all of the above?

All of the above. Max load per cube is 40 pounds. 15 pounds on average.
What I am most scared of is shelf sagging.

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TomVonMom

7 posts in 238 days


#12 posted 04-11-2016 07:10 PM

THANKS FOR ALL THE REPLIES!
Meanwhile, I’ve got some interesting feedback from a Swedish friend. He suggests that in order minimize the “number of moving parts”, I should make the dividers go all the way from top to bottom.
And instead of dadoing each junction, do this interlock instead.

Comments?

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TomVonMom

7 posts in 238 days


#13 posted 04-11-2016 07:15 PM



A picture is worth a 1000 words. If you have question …..ask

Impressive CV. Toe nailing it sounds crude, but is probably smart. A real pragmatic at work, I give you that. In 18 years I hope to get to that point.
But tell me, how do you cover up the nails?

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TomVonMom

7 posts in 238 days


#14 posted 04-11-2016 07:42 PM

This will be on heavy beast.
- ChrisK


You are right! 500 ibs. Oops!
Eeh…. just lifting the frame with the back will weigh over 200.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1770 days


#15 posted 04-11-2016 08:02 PM

I assume that you’re going to paint since you’re sing MDF

Some paint and caulking going a long way it hide brad hole (not nail holes).

Don’t over think this. They are simple cubbies.

Actually you’re only toe nailing one side. the other side you butt nail through the dado into the shelf before sliding in the next shelf.

Hope that make sense.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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