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Forum topic by RexInMinn posted 03-15-2014 12:19 PM 1267 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RexInMinn

17 posts in 2246 days


03-15-2014 12:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stock plywood laminate pocket screws glue

I’m planning to build two wooden boxes (five sides) to replace milk crates in a brick & board style shelf unit for my old books that I keep in my basement library. These boxes need to be strong enough to support considerable weight. Gluing the joints is not a great option as my shop is unheated. The finished size will be 19×11 x 13. Which stock sizes would you use (that would be available at a Lowe’s or Home Depot)? One design I thought of was to create panels using 2×4 to frame 3/8” plywood for each panel, then insert plywood into slots made in each one. Maybe a laminate would be better than plywood. The panels would then be nailed together. I am not equipped to make fancy joints, although I could make a rabbet joint for the corners. Emphasis on strength and economy for this project. Any ideas would be welcome. If you believe gluing to be a must, say so; I can glue in my basement if need be. One person mentioned using pocket screws. What are pocket screws and would they be better than using nails for this?

-- Like baseball history? Go to www.almanacfield.com and check out my website!


8 replies so far

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Rick M

7913 posts in 1843 days


#1 posted 03-17-2014 05:46 AM

I would glue the joints but here is an idea that might help:
http://www.ibuildit.ca/Woodworking%20Projects/stackable-trays-1.html

Other options: box joints or spline or peg the joints.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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RexInMinn

17 posts in 2246 days


#2 posted 03-17-2014 02:56 PM

I really appreciate your comment, Rick, and I really like the stackable trays thing. Nice project! Yes, I think I will wind up gluing the joints. For weight-bearing boxes this size it’s the safest way to go. I want to use solid wood for the project so I’m going to use a plan based on an old soda water bottle crate that I have in the house. Will share photos when completed. Thanks again.

-- Like baseball history? Go to www.almanacfield.com and check out my website!

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brtech

896 posts in 2386 days


#3 posted 03-17-2014 04:07 PM

If 2×4 and ply is a good option, I’d use pocket holes and glue to put the 2×4 frames together, and then glue the panels, with brad nails just to hold the panels in place until the glue dries. Edge band the exposed ply edges.

Pocket holes are holes drilled into wood at a very sharp angle near the edge of a board so that the tip of the screw exits through the edge. Google “Kreg Jig” and look for some videos. You drill holes with a jig and drive a screw that has a nice wide, flat head into the hole. You put pocket holes where they won’t be visible. They make strong butt joints that are easy to put together. While the Kreg jig is really good, there are others that work fine.

I think 2×4s are overkill though. I think 1×4s would do fine, and 1/2 ply is plenty. If you don’t mind filled screw holes, you can do it even easier. Make all five panels with 1/2” ply. Cut 1×3s to fit around all four sides of each panel. Make the long ones run along the length of the box and the short ones run front to back. Glue and nail or screw the 1×3s to the panel. Then pre-drill and screw through the 1x side into the edge of the adjacent panel to assemble the box. This is basically the way you build a packing crate.

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RexInMinn

17 posts in 2246 days


#4 posted 03-17-2014 04:49 PM

This is very much what I was looking for. Not sure what you mean by “edge band,” is this some kind of strapping? I will look into the kreg jig. I was thinking about using an antique crate for soda water bottles as a model. It has open sides; I would tack 3/8” pine to create enclosed sides. It uses 1×4 and 1×2 to create the ends; the 3/8 side members are built onto the ends. There was no glue and they used a fairly stout looking nail in the end members, but they tack on 1/2” metal strapping around the bottom. You can definitely stand on this thing and there is no wobble or fear that the thing will collapse (I’m 200 lbs. +) so I thought a design based on this would support three or four bookshelves. Thanks for the great reply, give me plenty to think about. I want these boxes to look as good as they are strong.

-- Like baseball history? Go to www.almanacfield.com and check out my website!

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brtech

896 posts in 2386 days


#5 posted 03-17-2014 05:19 PM

Edge banding is a very thin piece of wood sold maybe 1” wide in a roll. You glue it to the exposed edge of plywood to make it look finished. Sometimes it has a heat activated glue layer so you can just use an iron to attach it. You then need to trim it – often you find trimming is harder than attaching it, but a little practice with a box cutter type knife is all you need.

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Rick M

7913 posts in 1843 days


#6 posted 03-17-2014 06:29 PM

You can also make your own edge banding by cutting thin strips and attaching with wood glue.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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dbhost

5605 posts in 2695 days


#7 posted 03-17-2014 06:45 PM

For simple strong utility you can go as simple as screws and glue. I did my library cabinet that way, rececced the screw heads and plugged the holes. A strong metal free approach that is plenty simple is dowels / pegs in a glued butt joint. Things get more complex from there.

Finger joints, if you can rely on the glue they offer a great surface area for glue to bond to, no end grain to deal with.

Dovetails offer incredible strength, even if the glue fails they are still strong, but can slide apart if oriented wrong.

Dado & Rabbet joints are another one I have used with good success, I tend to use pin nails to hold the joint while the glue dries…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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InstantSiv

259 posts in 1058 days


#8 posted 03-22-2014 04:30 AM

OSB, construction adhesive(wood glue will not work with osb), brad nails, and butt joints. I made some boxes like you described but smaller. I was surprised at how solid they came out. Not sure about how long they would last but I’m not worried about it.

Osb is around $7 for a 48”x96” sheet. 1 or 2 sheets needed
construction adhesive is around $5-$8 dollars
Caulking gun $5?
Brad nails is what $5, they make the ones you can hammer in if you don’t have a nailer. Maybe even staples?

$22-$32 + tax

About the construction adhesive… use gloves like the instructions say. My hands turned black for a couple of days.

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