Screw reinforcement

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Forum topic by BalsaWood posted 03-30-2015 07:38 AM 624 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BalsaWood's profile


28 posts in 577 days

03-30-2015 07:38 AM

For the bookcase I am working on, I have created dados for the shelves. I will also have some 1/4 plywood for backsplash. I am using 3/4 oak for the rest of it; shelves will be about 26 inches long and 11 inches wide. Would it help reinforce the shelves if I screwed the backsplash to the shelves from the back of the bookcase? I have seen people use screws along the sides of bookcases to help the dados but was wondering how much it would help if screws were used in the backside instead.

4 replies so far

View joey502's profile


482 posts in 936 days

#1 posted 03-30-2015 08:16 AM

The screws can’t hurt. It will help prevent sagging if you load them with heavy items.

View rwe2156's profile


2112 posts in 899 days

#2 posted 03-30-2015 11:50 AM

Yes it will help, and you should be fine with 3/4 oak 26” long. I prefer 1” thick shelves, especially in a bookcase.
You can easily have 40+ pounds of books on a shelf.

If this might be the case, then I suggest adding 1” thick strip along the bottom front edge in a rabbet.
you can do either a simple roundover or dress it up with either a beading or some other profile.

This strengthens the shelf and to me the added thickness just looks better.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View OSU55's profile


1039 posts in 1408 days

#3 posted 03-30-2015 12:02 PM

One or two screws through the backsplash into each shelf will reduce shelf sag significantly.

View bigblockyeti's profile


3570 posts in 1139 days

#4 posted 03-30-2015 12:26 PM

Screws in the back would certainly help for the back of the shelf. If you’re looking to balance the reinforcement on the front and back, an apron added to the front can really reduce the deflection along the front edge. As already mentioned, books can get very heavy very quickly as they are added.

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