Too Short Shelves

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Forum topic by rhybeka posted 02-03-2013 10:26 PM 1701 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1186 posts in 2026 days

02-03-2013 10:26 PM

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!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades

16 replies so far

View madts's profile


1397 posts in 1244 days

#1 posted 02-03-2013 10:41 PM

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

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

View DaleM's profile


943 posts in 2288 days

#2 posted 02-03-2013 10:47 PM

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 1873 days

#3 posted 02-03-2013 11:02 PM

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

View Tag84's profile


573 posts in 1561 days

#4 posted 02-03-2013 11:30 PM

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

-- -Thomas -

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

13731 posts in 2887 days

#5 posted 02-04-2013 12:03 AM

cut the new plywood … a liability for future generations

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

View Dallas's profile


3449 posts in 1391 days

#6 posted 02-04-2013 12:09 AM

plywood stretcher. That’s the only legal way!

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

View huff's profile


2822 posts in 2189 days

#7 posted 02-04-2013 02:00 AM


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


16405 posts in 1579 days

#8 posted 02-04-2013 02:22 AM

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 procrastination a bad thing?

View RogerInColorado's profile


317 posts in 858 days

#9 posted 02-06-2013 12:21 AM

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

View rhybeka's profile


1186 posts in 2026 days

#10 posted 02-06-2013 01:02 AM

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 :)

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades

View MrRon's profile


3255 posts in 2148 days

#11 posted 02-06-2013 08:56 PM

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


1356 posts in 1986 days

#12 posted 02-06-2013 09:04 PM

Three biscuits would be strong and fast.

-- Chris K

View rhybeka's profile


1186 posts in 2026 days

#13 posted 02-17-2013 11:47 AM

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!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades

View MrRon's profile


3255 posts in 2148 days

#14 posted 02-17-2013 04:41 PM

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

View rhybeka's profile


1186 posts in 2026 days

#15 posted 01-29-2014 01:14 AM

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.

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades

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