Advice Sought on Constructing 2" Thick Panels

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Forum topic by Scott R. Turner posted 10-11-2010 09:48 PM 1183 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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Scott R. Turner

267 posts in 3215 days

10-11-2010 09:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: panel question laminate bookshelf bed

I’m planning on building my daughter a built-in bed similar to the one shown in this picture:

The sides of the bookcases/bed platform are about 2” thick. I’m considering various possibilities for constructing these panels. In the picture above it appears that the bookcases have fixed shelves. I’d rather have adjustable shelves, so I’d like to have panel sides thick enough to support shelving pins. I was thinking of building a frame (or torsion box) for each panel out of 1×2 or plywood and then facing it with 1/4 or 3/8 plywood. I can face frame much of it with solid wood to hide the plywood, but the curved portion will probably require veneering. (I suppose I could bend laminate. Or even make that section from solid wood… Thoughts?) If I do veneer, I’d like to keep the panels 2” thick, since veneer is easily available in that width.

Thinking about building up the panels, it occurred to me that I could buy some hollow core doors and use them for the interior of the panels. They run about $25 at the local big box for a hollow composite slab door. They’re 1 3/8” thick, so the addition of 3/8” plywood on the bookcase facing side and 1/4” on the other side would bring them to 2”. That seems like a cheap and easy way to build up the necessary panels.

Any thoughts or advice?


1 reply so far

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3010 days

#1 posted 10-12-2010 02:24 AM

Hi Scott,
If it were me I wouldn’t fool with hollow core doors. You might as well build the torsion box panels instead of the hollow core doors. Since this appears to be a built in project my suggestion would be to laminate 2 sheets of 3/4” plywood this will give you an 1 1/2” thickness and be sturdy enough to hold shelf pins for the shelves. I wouldn’t worry about the 2” thickness unless you really wanted it that thick.
I built a corner desk for my daughter with this method, it has withstood her abuse growing up with it including her sitting on it as a teenager. I edge glued a thin strip of wood on the plywood edge for the solid effect, which has almost the same arc you would be using.
Thats what I’d do if I were going build this project for a little girl to grow up with.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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