need advice for corner joint that can be partially taken apart

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Forum topic by coloradotrout posted 12-22-2014 04:22 PM 1019 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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61 posts in 2000 days

12-22-2014 04:22 PM

I want to make a plant-starting/growing shelf. I’m planning to use wire shelving. My thought was also to permanently assemble a “frame” for the sides using lap joints or biscuits. Just a rectangular frame about 48” tall by 16” wide. Then somehow I would connect those frames at the top and bottom.

But I’m struggling with how best then to connect the sides at the top and bottom in a fashion that lets them be taken apart, yet strong enough to hold up to the rigor of use.

I was just thinking to cut some dados across those end frames to slide the shelves into. My initial thought was to cut a series of dados so the shelves could be adjustable.

I also want to attach some heavy duty wheels to the bottom.

The total size will be approx. 48” tall x 16” deep by 48” wide when viewed from the front.

The more I think about this—the diagonal racking is also bugging me.

Any ideas appreciated.

4 replies so far

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4074 days

#1 posted 12-22-2014 06:11 PM

A sketch would help. I’m sure someone here will have the perfect idea.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2254 days

#2 posted 12-23-2014 01:52 AM

Make the top and bottom shelves a few inches longer than needed and cut a dado in the bottoms that can be dropped over the side rails. That will connect the two end assemblies and help to control racking. If necessary, you could drop a bolt through the shelves and rails. HTH

-- Art

View runswithscissors's profile


2751 posts in 2022 days

#3 posted 12-23-2014 07:56 AM

Make your back however seems best (solid wood, plywood, or ideally, welded metal, such as rebar or square tube). Hinge the sides sol they will fold into the back. By opening the sides up, you now have a structure to support the shelf ends. You could also hinge the shelves at the back (to hinge down), so that you put the assembly away by first folding down the shelves, then folding the sides in to make it a more or less flat unit (the thickness being the sum of shelves, sides, and back). To make this work, you’d need to play around with shelf height (space above the shelves) and so forth.

I used to have a bookcase like that (much smaller, though), out of wood. Quite a nice tidy package when it got put away, and sturdy when in use.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View coloradotrout's profile


61 posts in 2000 days

#4 posted 12-23-2014 10:04 PM

A bit ashamed to admiit it, but I found this.

The black one ran $80 w/ tax and I added the $20 casters. The chrome version is now $59.

I did not want a back—and wanted open sides all around. So this wire shelf fits the bill better than I could have hacked-up in the shop. But I’m still kind of interested in how this would be done.

My original plan was to use this——but the shelves alone would have run me nearly $50. I’ve got another WW project in flight, that I have some Qs. I’ll post another thread though.

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