Too Short Shelves

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Forum topic by rhybeka posted 569 days ago 1210 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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261 posts in 1752 days

569 days ago

Rather than getting stuck trying to figure out where I went wrong (still convinced the plans were wrong but oh well), I’m trying to figure out how to lengthen some plywood shelves, and wanted to run it past you guys to make sure I’m on the right path. The cut list stated to make the shelves 19 3/4 deep by 17 1/2 inches wide…well somehow my opening is about 18 1/2 inches wide even though I’ve followed all of the directions. Is my best bet going to be to rip some 1×3 into 3/4 lengths and biscuit/kreg jig/ glue/clamp it to the ply to get it to fit? I don’t believe these shelves are going to be holding anything significantly heavy (it’s for my SO’s craft area). So weight shouldn’t really be much of a factor. Or, should I just grab another sheet of plywood and rip new shelves? Thanks all!

-- aspiring jill of all trades

16 replies so far

View madts's profile


1247 posts in 971 days

#1 posted 569 days ago

I would do as you want to do. Glue is strong.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View DaleM's profile


911 posts in 2015 days

#2 posted 569 days ago

Since it’s for your home, I would do what you’re thinking and rip a thin strip for each side, biscuit, glue and clamp and call it part of the plan.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1600 days

#3 posted 569 days ago

You could put a couple of screws in for good measure and plug them.

View Tag84's profile


573 posts in 1287 days

#4 posted 569 days ago

put alot of dowels in the extra part together with glue maybe?

-- -Thomas -

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Dan'um Style

12926 posts in 2614 days

#5 posted 569 days ago

cut the new plywood … a liability for future generations

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Dallas's profile


2869 posts in 1118 days

#6 posted 569 days ago

plywood stretcher. That’s the only legal way!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View huff's profile


2799 posts in 1916 days

#7 posted 569 days ago


How are you finishing the front edge of your plywood shelves? If you ripped a little of the depth of your shelves, you could make a solid wood edge for the front and each end of the shelves. Miter the corners, glue and clamp. Your shelf will be plenty strong and would look finished on the front edge and ends.

Good luck.

-- John @

View DIYaholic's profile


13298 posts in 1306 days

#8 posted 569 days ago

Yep, edge band the three sides, even if you need to redimension one side.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View RogerInColorado's profile


291 posts in 585 days

#9 posted 567 days ago

Amen to edge banding (half inch on each end) three sides.

View rhybeka's profile


261 posts in 1752 days

#10 posted 567 days ago

Thanks all :) as soon as it warms up a bit I’ll be breaking out the table saw. I need to figure out how to make up a shelf pin jig too – off to search the forums :)

-- aspiring jill of all trades

View MrRon's profile


2794 posts in 1874 days

#11 posted 566 days ago

An easy fix. Rotate your shelves 90° and re-cut to 18-1/2”. The 17-1/2” width now becomes your depth. Add a 2-1/4”x18-1/2” filler piece to bring the depth out to 19-3/4”. You can place the filler strip either at the back or the front. This will be a much stronger shelf.

View ChrisK's profile


1105 posts in 1712 days

#12 posted 566 days ago

Three biscuits would be strong and fast.

-- Chris K

View rhybeka's profile


261 posts in 1752 days

#13 posted 556 days ago

Huh thanks Ron! I hadn’t thought of that! The shelves aren’t face framed, just edge banded from the look of it, so adding to the back may be my best option. Got a new to me craftsman table saw from my dad last night I’m itching to get cleaned up!

-- aspiring jill of all trades

View MrRon's profile


2794 posts in 1874 days

#14 posted 555 days ago

Remember; there is always more than one way to skin a cat.

View rhybeka's profile


261 posts in 1752 days

#15 posted 210 days ago

yes, I have slacked on this project and I’m still stuck working with the shelves. but it’ll be done by mid february since I return to class and my SO will have a small cow if it’s not done. doesn’t help that the decision was changed to stain it instead of paint. I’m going to rotate the shelf, and kreg jig the left and right side – still debating on leaving a gap at the back for electrical cords or just setting it all the way back and trimming the front flush with a face frame.

-- aspiring jill of all trades

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