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please recommend top for cabinet

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Forum topic by fiddlejake posted 657 days ago 591 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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fiddlejake

9 posts in 2078 days


657 days ago

Hi y’all,

I’m making a 54×18 frame and panel cabinet. I’m going to put a bookcase on top of it. The book case is 38×12 and will line up with the rear and right sides of the cabinet. Most of the weight will be on the 4 posts of the bookcase. I’m concerned about all that weight. I’ve considered buying a 1 inch thick plate of steel or gluing up a butcher block top with the end grain all pointing up.

What do you recommend?

Thanks so much!


10 replies so far

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1386 posts in 960 days


#1 posted 657 days ago

Gotta see a picture.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2441 posts in 950 days


#2 posted 657 days ago

Yeah, hard to envision. The butcher block top could take more weight if the grain was oriented lengthwise to the cabinet. A 1” thick piece of steel seems extreme, more like the deck of an aircraft carrier than a cabinet.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1522 days


#3 posted 657 days ago

You are kidding about the 1” thick plate aren’t you?

At about 62# per/sq/ft that would add approx 418 lbs to your cabinet.(+ or – a few lbs)

-- Life is good.

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

277 posts in 1178 days


#4 posted 656 days ago

Does the base cabinet have any interior support?

Last year I built a “bookcase” for my wife that is larger than that (72×30 base, 72×18 top). But it’s really four cabinets joined, so the middle of that length has great support (two base cabinet sides screwed together). The base cabinet top is hardwood-edged maple ply.

I would be concerned, in your case, about support for the upper cabinet in the middle of the length. But I’d just add some vertical support structure to the base cabinet in the middle of the legth. I would not add steel.

However, as Clint said, gotta have a picture to offer a pertinent suggestion.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

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fiddlejake

9 posts in 2078 days


#5 posted 656 days ago

Here are some pix of the cabinet. It’s in a temporary location right now. I haven’t started on the bookcase but it is minimal, with only 4 posts connecting the shelves.

View jdmaher's profile

jdmaher

277 posts in 1178 days


#6 posted 656 days ago

Looks nice!

No top rail in back ,huh? I’d consider adding one (supported on blocks glued and screwed to the back legs). Then, if the top is at least 5/4 (I might use 6/4), I believe it would be able to support an upper set of shelves (three, maybe four – so long as they are not too densley packed).

You could fit a vertical post, inside, back, beneath the new top rail, but I’m thinkin’ that’s unnecessary.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3047 posts in 1274 days


#7 posted 656 days ago

Have you got a lot of help to install that 1 inch plate steel top? Man that is heavy. Make the top out of the same stuff as the rest of the cabinet.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2492 days


#8 posted 655 days ago

You are correct to be concerned about sagging in the middle, especially with a book case added to the top, and even more so if you fill it with books.

I have on occasion used angle iron myself and in your case behind/inside the top front rail. You could also use a piece of hardwood like a 2×6 tucked into the same spot. Otherwise it might be wise to put a centre stile in the middle behind the doors, and extend another leg under it

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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a1Jim

111999 posts in 2176 days


#9 posted 655 days ago

It’s hard to see what the back is made of if it’s a 1/2” thick or more and attached properly you may be ok but considering you have a 50” span or more I would install at least a 3/4” by 4” horizontal member to the top edge of the back . The weight of the upper book case will rest mostly on you 4 legs but you do need to be concerned about the span. you need to be concerned about the base cabinets constitution more than the top, if the top is supported properly a 3/4” thick top will be more than enough. All of my concerns are based on the book shelf being filled with books rather than just lighter displayed items.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View fiddlejake's profile

fiddlejake

9 posts in 2078 days


#10 posted 654 days ago

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I’ll try to combine most of them into a solution.

Is a butcher block with the grain horizontal less prone to sagging than one with the grain oriented vertically? I would have thought that it would be the other way around.

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