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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 05-16-2012 01:28 PM 1013 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1710 days


05-16-2012 01:28 PM

After a very long journey, I am getting into the final assembly stages on my entertainment center. My design called for two drawers on the bottom and a shelf on the top. My wife doesn’t want drawers at all so it ended up having 2 shelves. I am a little concerned about supporting the top shelf and would like some tips.

The overall dimensions are as follows:
Top – 42” wide, 18” deep with an overhang
The shelves are 40” wide and 16” deep to the face frame.

Construction is solid, laminated 3/4” soft maple throughout except the back which is 1/2” ply

The bottom shelf is supported by 6 evenly spaced runners. I am wondering if the top shelf is adequately supported. I cut rabbets in the sides. Since the design originally called for drawers on the bottom, the face frame has provisions for that. I plan on keeping the divider and just making the bottom shelf a divided shelf. This will also be solid maple. my questions are:

Will the rabbets on the sides and solid maple (3/4 thick, x 7” high x 16” deep) divider be adequate support for the top solid maple shelf?

I am having issues figuring out how to attach it to the top shelf. It will be screwed into the bottom shelf from the bottom. I obviously cannot do the same for the top shelf, and pocket holes will be visible and not an option either. The options I thought of are either: – Dowels – rabbet since the front is hidden by the face frame – Sliding dovetail which I have never attempted in a project, but have made a few in scrap that came out pretty good.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/


6 replies so far

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2312 days


#1 posted 05-16-2012 01:53 PM

I can help, but I am confused. A photo or drawing would help. Are the two drawer spots side by side or stacked?

When you say “bottom shelf” do you mean the bottom of the cabinet? Typically, a cabinet, or cabinet section, has a bottom and a top and those horizontal areas between them are shelves. I can’t tell if the “top shelf” is part of the faceframe.

As for the vertical divider, you’re way overthinking here. Screwed from the bottom is fine. A few dots of glue and a finish nail, puttied, down from the top at the back, will suffice. Screws through the back, if you’re still concerned.

A related question would be about load. What you’re describing, when completed, will hold your lifetime collection of priceless anvils. : )

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1710 days


#2 posted 05-16-2012 02:28 PM

Lee, thanks. I do have a blueprint, but I am old school and draft on paper. If this helps, here is a mock-up of the face frame. The center divider is on the bottom where side by side drawers were planned. The top shelf will be left open. The actual frame is identical to the one pictured below.

Yes, bottom shelf is the bottom of the cabinet. There is a 2 1/2” space between the bottom shelf and the floor. In that space I have 6 perpendicular poplar runners attached to the face frame and the back. The top shelf will house a cable box and a small A/V receiver.
Even though that is not much weight, I am concerned about the weight of the shelf itself. It is quite heavy.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2312 days


#3 posted 05-16-2012 03:16 PM

Thanks for the picture! Now I have it!

So the front of the shelf is glued to the face frame rail? With that and the divider, you’re good to go. A few corner blocks or cleats in the back if you want. It’s not going anywhere.

As for the divider, what I suggested, or something like that, will be fine. There is no lateral force exerted on it, so not much is required there.

Just for your reference, in building kitchen and pantry cabinets I’ll let a 3/4” particle board (Melamine) shelf span 18 inches, resting on shelf pins only. It has no front support or back support.

Kindly,

Lee
btw, I draft on paper as well. I like the feel of it, the sound of the graphite, the involvement, the nuances, the result.

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1710 days


#4 posted 05-16-2012 03:51 PM

I work on computers all day, but for some reason CAD drawings don’t have the same depth and feel as good old paper. Plus I have a lot of drafting equipment and I would hate to see it go to waste. It’s a lost art among my generation. I’ll tale your advise, thanks. Screwed from the bottom. some glue and a few 18 gauge brads from the top. In addition to the glue, I was also going to throw a few dowels in the shelves to attach to the face frame

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2312 days


#5 posted 05-16-2012 04:47 PM

No need for the dowels, Joe. You’ve got a flat grain to flat grain glue joint, and it can’t get any better than that. Dowels will only make the assembly more tedious and offer more opportunities for misalignment.
When I suggested the brad, I didn’t realize you had a face frame stile there. Just some glue on the ends and glued to the stile, the divider is there forever. Glue and clamps, glue and clamps.

I wonder how many other LJs do paper. Obviously we both get the same goodies from it. I used to do large format stuff, but now it’s all 11×17—easy to manage and cheap to copy on a public copier, and large enough to communicate anything I need to show! The bunkbeds in my blog were designed on and sold via one sheet of 11×17.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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lumberjoe

2893 posts in 1710 days


#6 posted 05-16-2012 05:44 PM

I thought the dowels my help with indexing as the face frame divider is a little narrow and I was worried about it shifting under clamping pressure, but I SUCK at dowels and was not looking forward to doing it. I’ll just glue and clamp. If I have issues I’ll address them.

I’ve wondered that myself about paper vs electronic. I am good with autocad and sketchup, I just prefer paper. I took “college for kids” classes when I was young every summer for mechanical drawing and it’s something I always have enjoyed. I still have the drafting table I helped my dad build for me when I was 9. It was the first project I actually got to help with (not just hold stuff) and use power tools. It’s maple ply and the finish is in rough shape 25 years later. I’ve often considered refinishing it but I use it too often to be without it. It also makes a great fly tying bench.

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

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