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plywood sheathing for shelves

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Forum topic by txn posted 07-09-2014 02:43 PM 1067 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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txn

62 posts in 211 days


07-09-2014 02:43 PM

Hi all im new to the forum been lurking for awhile. Ive got some shelves to build for a customers closet ane was wondering how would plywood sheathing stand up over time she wants them painted so the finish isnt a problem they will all be around 25in wide 7ft tall and 14in deep. And will be assembled with dados


28 replies so far

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

869 posts in 798 days


#1 posted 07-09-2014 02:56 PM

I’ve used plywood sheathing for utility shelves, and the wood is pretty poor quality. They also smelled like some serious pine resin. It’d veer away and just go for a birch plywood. I recall using 2 sheets when I rebuilt a pantry shelving for a friend.

-- paxorion

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1813 posts in 473 days


#2 posted 07-09-2014 02:59 PM

You’d probably be better off with birch, poplar or oak veneered plywood as they would be more stable, flatter and stronger. Do make sure that whatever the shelves are to store, the construction will support the weight.

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txn

62 posts in 211 days


#3 posted 07-09-2014 04:13 PM

its going to be for shoes in her closet i bid the materials at 300 and I’m finding out that if i go to 3/4 birch it will blow the budget out of the water

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ChrisK

1287 posts in 1834 days


#4 posted 07-09-2014 04:17 PM

If the shelves are not to big look at MDF. It will sag if a heavy load is on it. The shelf will need support along the back edge if it is long.

-- Chris K

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1593 posts in 1122 days


#5 posted 07-09-2014 04:21 PM

Not sure what your design is , but if you got a sheet of birch plywood…if you cut the size of the plywood portion of the shelf to 23 7/8×13.25 you should be able to get 14 shelf pieces out of one sheet of plywood, and get to your final size by adding face frame. If you were looking at sheathing before, you’d probably consider 3/4” ply from the big box store, which goes for around $50/sheet. How many of these shelves do you have to build?

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

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2115 posts in 1983 days


#6 posted 07-09-2014 04:26 PM



its going to be for shoes in her closet i bid the materials at 300 and I m finding out that if i go to 3/4 birch it will blow the budget out of the water

- txn

Looks like you have miscalculated. Live and learn from your mistakes. This one is on you. Do it right and make your customer happy.

I would use birch…less than $50/sheet at my local orange box store. In fact, I just bought two sheets for some cabinets I am building that will be painted.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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bigblockyeti

1813 posts in 473 days


#7 posted 07-09-2014 04:32 PM

Another option might be to look at AC plywood, cheaper than birch or any of the others mentioned and only a little more than CDX sheathing. I’ve used it with success and I’ve had it warp on me before too, just luck of the draw.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15816 posts in 2970 days


#8 posted 07-09-2014 04:36 PM

Unless you have access to some much better sheathing than I’m used to seeing, don’t do it. All the voids and crummy veneer will make cuts and dados a nightmare, and even with a thick coat of paint, sheathing still looks like sheathing.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1593 posts in 1122 days


#9 posted 07-09-2014 04:39 PM

Are you new to this sort of contracting? Seems you’ve missed your mark with the estimate, and like Mike said, you may have to bite it on this one. Not sure why you bid it using lowest quality materials, especially if you weren’t sure if it would work. I don’t do this as a job, but if I did, I would price materials for closet shelving and/or cabinetry using quality materials. If the lady wants a quality job at the material cost of sheathing, I would try to explain to her otherwise, or pass.

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

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2115 posts in 1983 days


#10 posted 07-09-2014 06:09 PM

I did a quick workup and estimate of just the materials using 3/4 birch plywood from HD @ 49/sheet. Two sheets with some left over for the next project.

Two sides at 13.25×84 inches
8 shelves @ 13.25×23 3/4”
1 Toe kick at 3 1/2×24 (white pine)

8 rails (white pine) 1 1/2 x 24
2 stiles (white pine)
1 1/2×24

$123 bux including 8.25% sales tax.

Note: Final cuts may vary slightly.

I don’t see where the problem is. This would result in nice shelves with a face frame to add to the appearance (and hide dadoes). The only thing left off is the cost of paint/primer and labor.

I say go for it.

It should come out looking something like this, just wider, taller and with more shelves. The ones in the pic are adjustable using shelf pins. 3/4 inch birch sides, top and bottom, half inch back. This is a wall cabinet ready to paint. the face frame is poplar.

I also applied edge banding to the shelves to hide the edge grain of the plywood and give it a finished look.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1286 posts in 825 days


#11 posted 07-09-2014 06:10 PM

We routinely do all of our closet built ins out of FF’ed MDF shelving. Cheap, and paints great.

-- Who is John Galt?

View paxorion's profile

paxorion

869 posts in 798 days


#12 posted 07-09-2014 06:30 PM

Just for better estimation, how much shelving are you on the hook to build?

-- paxorion

View txn's profile

txn

62 posts in 211 days


#13 posted 07-09-2014 08:11 PM

it is 3 seperate cases, one 25in wide one 28in wide and one 24 wide, all of them 14in deep and 7ft tall, the two wider ones will have a shelf every 8in and the 24in wide one will have 5 drawers that will be 8 in deep and all will take up the bottom 5 ft of the shelf. I thought about mdf and just rounding over the edges once assembled but worried about the moisture, they are in her walk in closet that shares a wall with her walkin shower

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1287 posts in 1834 days


#14 posted 07-10-2014 11:35 AM

If you paint the MDF moisture will not be an issue. If it will see direct contact with a puddle of water there will be a problem. I used a piece of MDF to cap the top of my shower, cut an 8” wide dog leg from about a 42” sq. Painted it with three coats of indoor paint, been their 6 years no problems. No direct contact, but lots of moisture almost every day.

-- Chris K

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1593 posts in 1122 days


#15 posted 07-10-2014 12:42 PM

txn, what is the customer expecting and what was quoted?

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

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