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floating cabinet dowels

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Forum topic by treesner posted 07-17-2016 05:31 AM 363 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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treesner

167 posts in 432 days


07-17-2016 05:31 AM

hey guys I’m working on this shelf system and originally was thinking I would just stack the boxes on each other. Then realized it would need some kind of locking mechanism so I drilled holes 1/4 deep for 1/2 dowels (not glued in).

I started playing around with the design and though the floating aspect looked nice, and could even add in a little more shelf realestte in-between. Do you think that these 4 1/2 dowels will be fine holding the weight of the cabinet (i’ll end up stacking like 5 of these up so it’s tall.

Was looking at maybe using some larger stock, like the clothes hanger dowels but i don’t like the idea of drilling big holes so i guess i could use the 1/2 dowels to lock it in place off the same holes.

Any other ideas to explore?


13 replies so far

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Jeremymcon

48 posts in 148 days


#1 posted 07-17-2016 06:19 AM

I’d worry about the plywood or whatever you used giving out underneath the dowels before the dowels themselves would fail. Not sure what you’re planning to put in them, but 5 tall with heavy stuff I could see the dowels pushing through the plywood where you made it thinner to create the hole for the dowel. Wouldn’t be an issue if you had the faces touching – that’d distribute the weight across the whole surface of the top rather than over 4 half-inch sections that aren’t full thickness.

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1777 days


#2 posted 07-17-2016 06:30 AM

I would do something like I did here. In the picture there are 4 separate cabs put together in the field. Side by side and stacked.

In your case you only have 2.

Build a 4 sided frame a couple inches wide and large enough that it over hangs the cabinets on the sides and front enough to put an detail on the edge. Put this frame on top the first cabinet and secure it, it won’t take much and then set the top cab on top. I secure the top cabinets with a couple screws from underneath This will dress it all up and bit eliminate the inevitable seem your going have if you just stack the 2 together.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/vs-lumberjocks.com/oag4q95.jpg!

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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runswithscissors

2192 posts in 1493 days


#3 posted 07-19-2016 07:17 AM

As long as the dowels aren’t too long, the upper cabinet bottom will be resting on the lower cabinet top. The dowels won’t be bearing any of the weight, only acting as alignment pins.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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muleskinner

881 posts in 1905 days


#4 posted 07-19-2016 02:23 PM

What is that? 11 or 13 ply? Hell you could drive a truck on that stuff. You hold your spacers and pins (your first option in your floating sketch) out toward the sides, I don’t think you’ll have a problem.

-- Visualize whirled peas

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Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1198 days


#5 posted 07-19-2016 02:33 PM

Glue the dowels on the tops of each unit and you won’t be losing dowels when you move each individual unit. My question is, how accurate will you be at drilling 8+ holes, and having them align? Also, you don’t really need 4 holes for each piece. Two will keep the units aligned if you drill them accurately.

Is the second picture showing a misaligned hole?........... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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Kazooman

628 posts in 1420 days


#6 posted 07-19-2016 02:39 PM



As long as the dowels aren t too long, the upper cabinet bottom will be resting on the lower cabinet top. The dowels won t be bearing any of the weight, only acting as alignment pins.

- runswithscissors

From his picture and description of liking the “floating look” I think he is actually contemplating having an open space between the units. Like half inch deep holes in the top and bottom spanned by a two inch long dowel. ALL of the weight would be bearing on the ends of the four dowels. I think that is a recipe for failure. It could work with beefier dowels and minimum depth of the holes, just enough to align the dowels and not so much as to compromise the strength of the plywood (or no holes at all).

View jbay's profile

jbay

820 posts in 367 days


#7 posted 07-19-2016 02:47 PM

The way your cabinets are built, (with the top shelf setting in between the sides) ,
all the weight will be on the joints. The weight of the whole stack will be on the top shelf of the bottom cabinet.

It might be better, if you want space in between the cabinets, to make a block or put the dowels in the sides of the cabinets instead of out in the middle.

Thinking ahead for next time, if you want to stack cabinets the way your talking about, it would have been better to run your tops end to end so that the sides could support all of the upper weight.

Thinking along the lines of Nubsnstubs, If your going to go with dowels out in the field, I agree with attaching the dowels to the surface instead of trying to recess them and line them all up.
I would use bigger dowels (1 1/2”) and I would attach them to the bottoms in case you ever wanted to remove them, (unstack them and use them separately some where else.)

-- 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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treesner

167 posts in 432 days


#8 posted 07-19-2016 03:18 PM



What is that? 11 or 13 ply? Hell you could drive a truck on that stuff. You hold your spacers and pins (your first option in your floating sketch) out toward the sides, I don t think you ll have a problem.

- muleskinner

3/4 but drilling into it about 3/8 so making it weaker
Didn’t think to just dowel on the end that fixes the strength issue however I like that they’re inset and hidden

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treesner

167 posts in 432 days


#9 posted 07-19-2016 03:24 PM



The way your cabinets are built, (with the top shelf setting in between the sides) ,
all the weight will be on the joints. The weight of the whole stack will be on the top shelf of the bottom cabinet.

It might be better, if you want space in between the cabinets, to make a block or put the dowels in the sides of the cabinets instead of out in the middle.

Thinking ahead for next time, if you want to stack cabinets the way your talking about, it would have been better to run your tops end to end so that the sides could support all of the upper weight.

Thinking along the lines of Nubsnstubs, If your going to go with dowells out in the field, I agree with attaching the dowels to the surface instead of trying to recess them and line them all up.
I would use bigger dowells (1 1/2”) and I would attach them to the bottoms in case you ever wanted to remove them, (unstack them and use them seperately some where else.)

- jbay

Good point about the joint and having bottom and top go to edge. I did want the ends to be cleaner looking though and not see the end grain

I think I’m going to use this larger dowel with 1/2 pins that. This way I can pull it out and just use smaller 1/2 pins as alignment to stack flush. Do you think these smaller pins should be smaller? Could have used those metal ones people use for shelves maybe

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treesner

167 posts in 432 days


#10 posted 07-19-2016 03:25 PM

I also looked at rails that use same 1/2 pins to align things up

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muleskinner

881 posts in 1905 days


#11 posted 07-19-2016 05:26 PM

Yeah, I missed that the tops and bottoms are butt jointed inside. I was assuming they were rabbeted in. Disregard what I said earlier.

-- Visualize whirled peas

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treesner

167 posts in 432 days


#12 posted 07-19-2016 05:54 PM


Yeah, I missed that the tops and bottoms are butt jointed inside. I was assuming they were rabbeted in. Disregard what I said earlier.

- muleskinner

It is rabbeted

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muleskinner

881 posts in 1905 days


#13 posted 07-19-2016 07:14 PM

Ah.

I think I’d still feel a little better about my original comment if it had been a simple rabbet. Five high would be a lot of potential shear on a few plys of wood, depending on what you’re putting in them.

(Never the less, nice carcass construction.)

-- Visualize whirled peas

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