Shelf + Wood Movement

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Forum topic by Fettler posted 01-10-2013 02:26 AM 1040 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Fettler's profile


200 posts in 1993 days

01-10-2013 02:26 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood movement joint moisture

I’m working on a coat rack and trying to figure out the best way to attach a shelf (see pictures of rough layout).

I have a feeling that if I just use glue + pin nails eventually it will crack due to expansion / movement. Then again after I get done coating on the polyurethane It might just be fine?

The shelf is roughly 1/2” x 36” x 4”. Wood is fir and i’m in the Pacific Northwest.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

6 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3155 days

#1 posted 01-10-2013 02:44 AM

Finish will not keep it from moving, but it’s only a 4” board. I’d think it’s safe attaching it however you want.

-- jay,

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2253 days

#2 posted 01-10-2013 03:15 AM

Pins will bend with the wood movement of approximately 1/8”. As another option, you could make a sliding dovetail or a stopped dado for the corbel and glue it just a little at the back end. HTH

-- Art

View bondogaposis's profile


4725 posts in 2347 days

#3 posted 01-10-2013 03:22 AM

It is really a non – issue w/ this design because the corbels will move at the same time and in the same direction as the shelf. BTW, nice work there.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MNgary's profile


298 posts in 2413 days

#4 posted 01-10-2013 03:33 AM

It looks like the top cross-piece above the tile insets is 1/64 inch below the shelf, why not install the top shelf 1/64 inch from the wall, too. Using just one dowel (whatever) to fasten the top shelf should eliminaye movement problems.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View Fettler's profile


200 posts in 1993 days

#5 posted 01-10-2013 04:13 AM

The picture is before glue up… the pieces are just sitting next to each other on a non-flat walmart card table (my bench was a bit cluttered). The 1/64” shouldn’t be there, but we’ll see after glue-up (I make no promise for shotty workmanship =). I think i’m just going to glue the shelf to the corbels and side legs, but not the apron; then cross my fingers and see what happens in the summer.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2573 days

#6 posted 01-10-2013 04:32 AM

Gluing it to the apron will get you the strongest glue bond.
That will be plenty strong, but if you want reinforcement, a few pocket screws through the apron into the shelf will keep it secure.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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