Author Topic: Shelf construction  (Read 2967 times)

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Offline KingpenM3

  • Posts: 10
Shelf construction
« on: May 21, 2019, 12:42 PM »
I have a somewhat simple shelving project that I would like to see how others would approach.

Room is a large closet that has a 15'2" wall, 9' ceiling. Storage will be mainly for Rubbermaid storage boxes that can get pretty heavy when stuffed full.

Idea is to put 4 shelves evenly all the way across the 15' wall, 24" deep.

What I have done in the past would be something like this. Rip down some plywood  to 1.5" and mount it to the wall level around the room, both the back wall and the side wall, and also adding a vertical "wall" of plywood in the center of the room. Then 24"x~7.5' sheets of plywood can be brought in to sit on all of the plywood rips. Then face everything with 1.5" solid (soft pine is what the big boxes sell). Then I will see how strong the shelves are to determine if I need to add some L shaped brackets (don't want to give up space by using triangle brackets), and then possibly add another set of vertical 1.5" pieces on the front at the 4' marks. Brad nail construction, everything getting painted.

So from both a structural, design, and material standpoint what other options should I consider? Thanks!

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Offline BarneyD

  • Posts: 101
Re: Shelf construction
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 06:34 PM »
I think it depends on what's going into the Rubbermaid containers - how heavy will they be? But I suspect a 7-1/2' long shelf will be too long. But here's a link to a "sagulator" which should be helpful:

Good luck with your project.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4187
Re: Shelf construction
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 06:53 PM »
Given your stated usage, I'd go with 8 partitions, each 3/4" thick and 7 columns of shelves, each 25" wide.  That will leave you with 1" left over to compensate for wall irregularities. 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 680
Re: Shelf construction
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2019, 12:21 AM »
I agree with Sparktrician and I think that his plan absolutely works. Generally I use a rule of thumb of no shelf wider than 32” without extra vertical support. Having said that if you don't want solid dividers breaking up your open shelving my other suggestion would be to use a triangular wooden brace attached to another 1.5” wide piece mounted vertically under the bottom shelf on 32” centers positioned over studs. I would then run a 1.5 - 2” piece of wood (not plywood) from the bottom shelf up to the top shelf affixed to the front edge of all of the shelves all the way down the front at these 32” intervals. That way the weight is carried by your nailers in the back and by this trim piece in the front down to the triangular brace and back to a wall stud. It will look like trim but it will carry the structural weight across the front.

Also I would not use brad nails on this project at all. I would suggest glue and 15 gauge finish nails at a minimum. Personally I’d probably use glue and 15 gauge nails and then augment with some strategically placed trim screws. Specifically where you carry the weight down the front with vertical support and find studs to go into for all of the nailers in the back.

The width that you are trying to span is way too wide without vertical support but that issue is further exacerbated by the use of 24” deep shelves. Not only do you have big spans to deal with along the width but now also along the depth. If you don’t use Sparktricians method or mine you have to come up with a way to support the span across the front better from top to bottom as well as find a way to support the shelves across the depth.

If you weigh the heaviest of these bins and multiply by how many will fit on all of these shelves I think that you will be amazed just how much weight you are potentially talking about.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 6738
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Shelf construction
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2019, 10:12 AM »
This is what I use to determine the length and how much a shelf will sag

Offline KingpenM3

  • Posts: 10
Re: Shelf construction
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 11:24 PM »
Cool deal! Thanks for the advice and links. Already changed up my plan a good bit.

Offline KingpenM3

  • Posts: 10
Re: Shelf construction
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2019, 09:08 AM »
Project done!

Offline KingpenM3

  • Posts: 10
Re: Shelf construction
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2019, 09:15 AM »