shelves in upper kitchen cabinets - design

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Forum topic by Ben posted 10-25-2013 12:17 PM 968 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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372 posts in 2826 days

10-25-2013 12:17 PM

Hi all,
I’ll be building my uppers pretty soon. I have a few where the doors will close into each other – no center stile- and thus about a 30” span on the shelves.

I don’t think 3/4” ply with an edging is going to span that. So would it be crazy to make my shelves out of solid stock? And how would I best join the shelves to the plywood carcass sides?
If I do shelf pins, won’t they cup? Just loose in a dado?

Or maybe small cleats above and below the shelf screwed into walls that capture it and allow it to expand/contract?


4 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4907 posts in 3929 days

#1 posted 10-25-2013 02:46 PM

On the 30” shelves, use ply ‘cause solid will warp for sure. If possible, drill the center of the cab back same as the sides so you can put a shelf pin in the back for support. Won’t be as good as having the support front and back, but better than nothin’.
I’ve never had a shelf pin cabinet fail if the holes are drilled correctly.


View cabmaker's profile


1723 posts in 2777 days

#2 posted 10-25-2013 05:17 PM

3/4 ply, 30 inch span, No problem!

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2499 days

#3 posted 10-26-2013 03:32 AM

The Sagulator says 0.01” total sag (0.004” per foot) for plywood over the span of the shelf. No worries.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Loco's profile


210 posts in 1718 days

#4 posted 10-26-2013 08:54 AM

One meter. 8 years. No warp.Sitting on 3/4 cleats. 3/4 solid mahogany.I don’t know that I’d try it with Disneywood(glued scrap).
Yes. T&G in back and on top. Don’t all “custom” builders do that ? ;-)

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

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