Cabinets and shelves question

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Forum topic by ACR_SCOUT posted 06-26-2013 12:08 AM 1359 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ACR_SCOUT's profile


23 posts in 2645 days

06-26-2013 12:08 AM

Hello again,

I am building cabinets for my garage and still learning by doing.

The first cabinet I made I installed one fixed shelf. Now that I have it and looking at it, I think an adjustable shelf would be better.

This cabinet is 36” wide 12” deep.

Now the questions.

1. I already have the carcass put together for the second cabinet, what would be the easiest way to drill for shelf pins?

2. Considering 3/4” plywood, what are the limits in size for unsupported shelves?

3. Is it acceptable to use biscuit joinery to add solid wood to the front and back of the shelf?
3a. Will adding solid wood make that much of a difference for strength?
3b. Does the solid wood have to taller than the edge of the shelf to be useful?

I saw a forum post that suggested the woodpecker shelf piin jig and I think I might invest into that. I also saw the Kreg jig but compared to the woodpecker I don’t think it will be as good.

Once I get the technique down on these smaller cabinets I need to make taller, wider, and deeper cabinets for the garage.

Thank you,

-- Sears Table Saw Model: 113.298150

9 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2814 days

#1 posted 06-26-2013 02:45 AM

I made my shop cabinets all with adjustable shelves using the kreg jig. It worked great. The woodpecker jig looks nice, but kind of big and bulky to add holes after assembly. That’s one of the reasons I love the kreg jig; nice and compact. Cheap too, even if you buy the extra drill bit in the other size.

You can add solid wood to stiffen the shelves, biscuits are fine as is just gluing and clamping. They’ll add some strength; use a solid hardwood like oak or maple for best results. It doesn’t have to be taller, but 1” strips wouldn’t really take much away from the storage capacity.

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

View kdc68's profile


2692 posts in 2514 days

#2 posted 06-26-2013 02:54 AM

An inexpensive alternative is to use peg board….the holes are 1” on center. Cut a piece to fit inside your cabinet. Mark the pegboard at the top “up” and an edge “outside edge” so you can orientate it correctly when drilling holes in each side both front and back ….draw a circle around each hole on the pegboard that you use for drilling…use stop collars for your drill bit so you can achieve the correct depth each time…

+1 on solid wood edging

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3468 days

#3 posted 06-26-2013 03:15 AM

The Kreg shelf pin jig works great to retrofit a cabinet for adjustable shelves or for building new shelves. I did this recently for a friend on an entertainment center. Her kids put it together backwards. It has pins now.

If you like, check out my blog. i am doing my own garage/shop makeover. I mention all of the stuff used building the cabinets and getting them mounted and finished.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3074 days

#4 posted 06-27-2013 06:56 PM

I also use peg board – but I don’t do a whole of shelving.

Yes on the hardwood edging. You will notice that a 3/4 strip will be about 1/32 thicker then your 3/4 plywood because your 3/4 ply is not 3/4 thick.

I’m not sure about the jigs, but if you decide to use peg boards, mark your boards and keep them in order (facing each other). And always measure from the bottom up (even the top holes).

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View jeff's profile


1132 posts in 3702 days

#5 posted 06-27-2013 08:34 PM

I used peg board also…You will probably have to strengthen your 36” shelf…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View darinS's profile


714 posts in 3105 days

#6 posted 06-27-2013 10:30 PM

Pegboard sounds like a good idea to me.

As far as the adjustable shelf, check out the sagulator. You can input different things and see what will work best for you.

Here’s a link:

-- Rule 40 - If it seems like someone's out to get you, they are.

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

608 posts in 3136 days

#7 posted 06-28-2013 02:00 AM

MT+ 1 Ya the Kreg shelf pin jig would make life easyer.

View SharitaJBevilacqua's profile


3 posts in 1990 days

#8 posted 08-08-2013 11:21 AM

I want a moving and adjustable cabinet shelves as I need before remodeling of my home,do anyone have idea about it?

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3159 days

#9 posted 08-08-2013 11:53 PM

A lot of work to make the shelves adjustable. After you do this you will wonder why you made them adjustable. I recently made a total of 28 feet of 24” deep closed cabinets in my garage. I suggest you decide what you plan to store there and space the fixed shelves accordingly. A bit simpler.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

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