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Forum topic by BB1 posted 10-14-2016 01:04 PM 1201 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BB1

487 posts in 314 days


10-14-2016 01:04 PM

I am developing my plan for some big storage cabinets for our garage because a puppy potentially is coming into our home (so beginning the puppy-proofing process). There will be two sections that large plastic storage bins will be stacked and then another cabinet with shelves for car wax, cleaners, etc. Everything will be behind doors (not sure if hinged or sliding doors). I have space for the cabinets to be 24 inches deep and 6 foot high. The section with open spaces for the bins will be a total of 84 inches long (split into two 42 inch sections – each with doors). The shelf cabinet will be 42 inches as well.

I have not yet figured out SketchUp so sat down to draw out the plans and determine costs. I was looking at using ¾ inch plywood for the sides, top, and bottom then ½ inch plywood for the doors, back and shelves (although the shelves might better be thicker to avoid sagging). My calculations come to 4 sheets of ¾ inch plywood and 6 of the ½ inch.

Some questions that I have:
• Since this will be in an unheated garage, would the use of pocket hole joinery be a good way to go, or should I plan for dados and gluing?
• What type of plywood would be recommended? I have used the maple and oak plywood from a big box store previously and was able to select pretty flat pieces. I looked at other options like the pine and the reviews were pretty critical of the plywood being very warped/cupped. Given my lack of experience with building anything like this, I expect that would be a major issue to getting this to be square. There is about a $10-15 per sheet difference that might be worth moving up to the oak or maple. I am not sure yet if I’ll be painting these are not – if painted, maybe other options exist that I haven’t considered. Any suggestions are appreciated.
• Or, should I step back from making the cases from plywood and build 2×4 frames and then attach thinner plywood (to save some $$). I’m not sure the best way to do this and still get a nice looking product. This was one option: http://www.familyhandyman.com/garage/storage/installing-large-garage-cabinets/view-all) although to this point, I have not found trying to work with 2×2 to work very well (hard to find straight pieces). Have googled “building cabinets” and tend to see plywood cabinets.

Hoping to get started on this in the upcoming weekends. Any comments or suggestions are welcome as this type of project is another new venture. Thank you.


16 replies so far

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Redoak49

1956 posts in 1454 days


#1 posted 10-14-2016 01:58 PM

Sounds like a very large cabinet. Having shelves 42” wide is a long span and you will need to build them so they do not sag. Also, doing large cabinet doors is a challenge. You will need to design carefully for large loads on a 42” x 24” shelf. I use 3/4” Aruaco Plywood for cabinets in my shop. I prefinish the parts before assembly using a foam roller and poly. My cabinets are all 24” wide. Another thing to check on is to design the cabinets with the least amount of waste plywood.

I looked at doing something like this and by the time I figured the cost to make it strong enough did something else. I went with heavy duty steel shelving from Menards. You can put almost anything on it weight wise.

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johnstoneb

2147 posts in 1639 days


#2 posted 10-14-2016 02:02 PM

This is in the garage for storage. I would just go with the A-C fir plywood as cupping is easily pulled back in when gluing up. I don’t like pocket holes in plywood I would go with dados and possibly 1×2 under the dados for additional support depending on the weight the shelf will be supporting.
Attached is a cabinet I did for storage in my garage. I used pine 1×6 glued into panels. The center shelves are supported by 1/4” dowels in holes drilled in sides. They are not supporting a lot of weight.
I found a picture of a single cabinet on line and just made to end cabinets from the pictures and added the shelves in a center cabinet.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/236594
Plywood would have worked just as well for this, probably less money, definitely would have taken less time. I wanted to work with the pine.

Plywood will be more stable for you given your climate with the humidity. Unheated garage isn’t really going to be a problem. You definitely will need to support the center of those 42” shelves. Dado them into the back or use a 1×2 on edge on the front edge of the shelf.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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BB1

487 posts in 314 days


#3 posted 10-14-2016 07:22 PM

I was thinking that I would do double-doors for each of the sections (as I questioned a door that wide). I think I have figured out layout on 4×8 plywood sheets that will give very little waste. I had not heard of Aruaco Plywood so will do some looking into that. I understand the shelving option – but my husband wants doors (to keep everything out of sight of the puppy that we may be adding to our family). May look into how I might use shelving as the frame and then enclose it.


Sounds like a very large cabinet. Having shelves 42” wide is a long span and you will need to build them so they do not sag. Also, doing large cabinet doors is a challenge. You will need to design carefully for large loads on a 42” x 24” shelf. I use 3/4” Aruaco Plywood for cabinets in my shop. I prefinish the parts before assembly using a foam roller and poly. My cabinets are all 24” wide. Another thing to check on is to design the cabinets with the least amount of waste plywood.

I looked at doing something like this and by the time I figured the cost to make it strong enough did something else. I went with heavy duty steel shelving from Menards. You can put almost anything on it weight wise.

- Redoak49


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BB1

487 posts in 314 days


#4 posted 10-14-2016 07:27 PM

Your cabinet looks great – will look more closely at the pictures to see what aspects I might be able to incorporate. I know that 42’ span is likely stretching it – but am looking at adding some support in the back and maybe a wood strip for the front edge for strength. Thanks so much for the comments and for sharing the link to your project.


This is in the garage for storage. I would just go with the A-C fir plywood as cupping is easily pulled back in when gluing up. I don t like pocket holes in plywood I would go with dados and possibly 1×2 under the dados for additional support depending on the weight the shelf will be supporting.
Attached is a cabinet I did for storage in my garage. I used pine 1×6 glued into panels. The center shelves are supported by 1/4” dowels in holes drilled in sides. They are not supporting a lot of weight.
I found a picture of a single cabinet on line and just made to end cabinets from the pictures and added the shelves in a center cabinet.

http://lumberjocks.com/projects/236594
Plywood would have worked just as well for this, probably less money, definitely would have taken less time. I wanted to work with the pine.

Plywood will be more stable for you given your climate with the humidity. Unheated garage isn t really going to be a problem. You definitely will need to support the center of those 42” shelves. Dado them into the back or use a 1×2 on edge on the front edge of the shelf.

- johnstoneb


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clin

514 posts in 462 days


#5 posted 10-14-2016 09:13 PM

1/2” material is much too small for large shelves unless you have some sort of added support. I built some garage cabinets 25 years ago mostly out of particle board, and they are still in great shape. The shelves are 48” long by 18” deep and 1/2” material. But I attached 1×2 material under the front and back edges of each shelf. Nothing else on the ends. The shelf pins spread the load across the 18” depth just fine. It’s the 1×2’s across the front and back the keep the shelf from sagging.

I’d really give the sliding doors consideration. Nice, heavy duty hardware is available for hanging these so they don’t have to roll in lower tracks which always get dirty. This type of hardware is available for heavy doors. 3/4” melamine doors are common.

2×4 construction is overkill for strength, unless you’re storing anvils. But, if these are meant more for utility than looks, 2×4 construction might be less expensive. Lots of garage storage projects are done this way. Frame carries load, so you can skin it with something relatively thin, since all that does is keep the dust out. And even this way, it can still look great when all closed up.

Also, if this is for bulk storage you don’t get into often, take a look at SafeRack overhead storage:

http://www.saferacks.com/

Current price is $280 for two 4’x8’ racks. These are very well built, heavy-duty steel. They’re a great way to make use of space over your head. In my case I have 9 ft garage ceilings, so there was room to fit two of these above my garage door. Now I can store a lot of stuff in what was otherwise completely unused space.

-- Clin

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3208 days


#6 posted 10-14-2016 09:24 PM

Why not just get a steel cabinet -
This one is 48 wide
but get one like this and 2 of the 36 inch wide on wheels.
second is 6 feet tall and 36 wide

Mobile and puppy proof/resistant – - stainless steel for any whizz… and not likely to be gnawed on.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2697 days


#7 posted 10-14-2016 10:16 PM

Just thinking out loud…

Rip your plywood 23 1/4 wide.
Consider 32 inches or slightly less (31 3/4) for cross cuts will yield 6 pieces per sheet of plywood with very little waste.

So you could build your boxes 31 3/4 wide x 23 3/4 deep x 63 3/4 inches high. The cutoffs could be used for a shelf leaving mostly sawdust. :-)

Still thinking…

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 919 days


#8 posted 10-15-2016 12:02 AM

Make the back out of 3/4” ply and section it so the back edge of each shelf is on top. On the front edge of each shelf put a piece of 1×2 as a decorative support. Route the edges for decorative touch if you wish. Use biscuits and glue.

m

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View BB1's profile

BB1

487 posts in 314 days


#9 posted 10-15-2016 01:14 AM

Clin – having the items up high is an option but the one spot we are looking at wouldn’t allow that due to the track of the garage door. I agree that I’ll need to reinforce the shelves if I don’t insert a center brace.

DrDirt I am going to look into those options. Definitely would discourage chewing. Afraid the cost may end up being a factor and our current storage bins may be too big to fit inside. Need to do more measuring. I have this sketched out and it seems to leave little waste per sheet if I go with plywood.

MT_Stringer I think I have been able to figure the plywood cuts so three will give me the back panels (4×6) and the the remaining 2×4 on each of those would be a shelf or top/bottom. Another couple of sheets would give me the sides ( 2×6) plus 2×4 for the other top/bottom or shelves. Another sheet for the long top and bottom…and then a few more for the doors.

MadMark – no biscuit joiner so would need to find another way to add strength to the joint (or have a good reason to buy a new tool).

Thanks so much for all the helpful comments and suggestions.

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BB1

487 posts in 314 days


#10 posted 10-15-2016 01:08 PM

I checked out storage cases but could not find anything in the dimensions needed (none were deep enough). Going to make a trip to check out plywood options today. Am thinking that I’ll use dados for the case and middle wall. Decided to start with the large case and then will move on to the shelf unit. Not yet sure about the doors. Like the idea of sliding doors but will have to investigate this a bit more.

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BB1

487 posts in 314 days


#11 posted 10-16-2016 12:47 AM

After a trip to look at the local big box store…decided to step back and go with metal stand and then will add sides and door to the front. Still trying to figure out that part. Considering using some wall paneling to enclose the sides and then use that in a frame and panel for the doors (will have to mount some wood framing to allow for mounting of hinges and the doors). If not wall paneling then will look at 1/4 inch plywood. Still a work in progess….

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BB1

487 posts in 314 days


#12 posted 11-14-2016 01:47 AM

Finally finished up the storage units. Went with metal shelving units with some paneling to close up the sides and then made some frame and panel doors. The storage bins fit nicely on the shelves and open section for easy to grab items. Hopefully puppy-proof! Much thanks to all the LJ that offered suggestions.

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BB1

487 posts in 314 days


#13 posted 11-14-2016 01:51 AM

Trying again to get the picture orientation corrected

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 462 days


#14 posted 11-14-2016 01:52 AM

Nice job!

Looks like a good, simple approach, and a little outside the box (a good thing to see). How about a pic of the whole thing and maybe with a door or two open. Maybe some closeups showing the details of the frame that supports the doors, etc.

-- Clin

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BB1

487 posts in 314 days


#15 posted 11-14-2016 01:56 AM

Will grab a few more pictures tomorrow as the vehicles are in the garage so no access.

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