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Forum topic by bdresch posted 03-24-2014 12:28 PM 850 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bdresch

121 posts in 1074 days


03-24-2014 12:28 PM

I am building a large plywood open front cabinet/shelving unit. It will be all 1/2” birch ply with a 1/4” back. I planned to rabbit the top to the sides and run 1/8 dados in the sides for the shelves to fit in. There are multiple dividers in the shelves that will just be straight cuts. I was going to use pocket hole screws for everything. I have everything cut but now I am wondering the best assembly sequence. Should I get everything dry fit together and then run the screws? Or show I build and screw together the sides top and bottom and then put the shelves in. I don’t have clamps (yet) long enough to clamp the whole thing, do I need them with pocket hole screws? I assume either way I would get the the whole thing assembled and the attach the back last. The link shows the type of shelving I am building.

http://www.nygeekcast.com/shoe-storage-cabinet-ikea/luxury-ikea-shoe-shelving/


9 replies so far

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#1 posted 03-24-2014 02:11 PM

If you’ve dadoed the sides to accept the shelves, I would skip the pocket screws and just glue the shelves in place. Using 1/2” material to begin with, you’re likely to either a.) not have enough depth to screw into the side or b.) drive the screw through the side.

If the units are as big as the ones in the link, I would probably construct the main cabinet box with 3/4” plywood, pocket screwed. Using 1/2” ply for the interior dividers, dado the sides 1/4” to accept the shelves. Then, dado the shelves top and bottom to accept the vertical dividers. All the interior pieces would be just glued in place.

If you’re going to use 1/2”, just be careful with your screw lengths, and I would suggest building the main box with glue and screws and then gluing in dividers. I think dadoing the shelves for the dividers would be easier than pocket-screwing them all in place. I’ve actually built a closet organizer like this out of 1/2” ply doing what you’ve proposed, when I was first starting out, and the above is how I would do it differently. Just lessons learned. You are going to need some clamps, and Harbor Freight has great clamps for the price (the blue F-style, not the orange plastic ones). Here is how I clamped mine up :

See those orange quick-grip bar clamps? Those are the ones NOT to buy. See the blue steel ones? Those ARE the ones to buy. A few bucks apiece. I now have right-angle clamping blocks cut from 3/4” ply that are way more handy than the method above, but you get the idea. Out box assembled first, then dividers. And all pieces were pre-finished before assembly, which saved a ton of headache.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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bdresch

121 posts in 1074 days


#2 posted 03-24-2014 03:40 PM

I was thinking I would need pipe clamps that would span the entire width, I hadn’t thought of corner clamps. It looks from that picture that you only clamped at the front. Is clamping just the front with corner blocks enough for a 15” deep box or should I get enough clamps to clamp front and back?

I think I’ll make some of those corner blocks. Is there a situation where I would want to use long pipe clamps over corner blocks? I bought 4 pipe clamps for this project but could exchange them for the bar clamps I would need and break even. Plus I would have more bar clamps.

About using dados in the shelves for the dividers, since I’m using 1/2 ply I would be losing half my thickness to the dados if I went 1/8 deep. Isn’t that gonna be a bit thin?

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#3 posted 03-24-2014 03:51 PM

I’m trying to remember, and I think I clamped at the front and back. I pre-assembled to establish the screw holes, then disassembled and reassembled it in the closet. There was no way to get it in the closet as one whole piece because the doorway was narrower.

For the corner blocks, I used this design.

I think you will need the pipe clamps when you go to glue in the shelves. Once you get the shelves in, clamp the assembly lightly across the width to make sure the sides and shelves are tight, but not so much as the sides are brought out of flat/square. If your case sides are truly flat and square, your shelves should be a good snug fit in the dadoes. If you have gaps between the shelf end and the dado bottom, your shelves are too short.

I don’t think losing 1/2 the width of the shelf for the divider will be an issue, as long as the joints are tight. The divider will be providing vertical support for the shelf. You could just dado 1/16th on either side, since the only purpose of this dado is to locate the divider properly as you glue it in.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2697 days


#4 posted 03-24-2014 03:56 PM

Try a dry fit and see if you can get your screwdriver in where the pocket screws go. Looks too cramped to me. Been there, done that.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#5 posted 03-24-2014 03:57 PM

+1 to MT_Stringer. Did it once with the case in the picture above, and even if you can get it in there, it was a pain in the butt. And unless you don’t mind seeing the holes, you’re going to have all those holes to plug, trim flush, in that confined space.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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bdresch

121 posts in 1074 days


#6 posted 03-25-2014 05:29 PM

Well I abandoned the pockethole screw idea and am doing all dado and glue joints. I cut all the 1/8” dados on the verticals last night and will cut the 1/16 dados in the shelves to locate the dividers probably tomorrow night since it will be 15 degrees in my garage tonight (thanks WI winter). I’ll do all the sanding before assembly, but I don’t think I will apply any finish until they are assembled because I don’t have a good place to lay out all those boards. I’ll try to post some pictures once assembly starts.

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#7 posted 03-25-2014 06:09 PM

I think you’ll be happy with that approach. Much easier to align things. Plus, you won’t have all those pocket holes to look at or worry about filling. Watch out for cold-weather gluing. Don’t know what kind of glue you’re using, but I don’t know what kind is going to cure at 15 degrees (I’m sure someone here does). I got anxious and glued up a small panel two weeks ago in my garage which was about 45 degrees, using Titebond III, and that joint failed miserably. I knew better than to do it, but I did it anyways. Had to plane the edges and re-glue indoors (much better results).

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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bdresch

121 posts in 1074 days


#8 posted 03-31-2014 12:31 PM

I got all the gluing up done over the weekend. I borrowed 3 pairs of Woodpeckers corner clamps and went to Harbor Freight to load up on the blue quick release bar clamps. Their half in pipe clamps are junk and slipped like crazy, but I was happy with the bar clamps. The first set of shelves/dividers were a bear. I had never done glued up dado joints so didn’t realize until after having a few joints not draw up that they needed a little more room. On the second shelf unit I opened up the dados 1/32 and it glued up great. Having 4 more pipe clamps would’ve made it easier, but I took it slow and did a few shelves at a time. Now all I got left is to nail on the backs and put on some finish. I’ll post a couple more pics once they are installed.


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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#9 posted 03-31-2014 01:03 PM

Looks like it’s really coming together nicely. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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