Floating shelf weight rating - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Floating shelf weight rating

I can't seem to find a hard answer on this so I'll gather opinions here.
I want to make floating shelves in a room of mine; there will be 4 separate corner pieces (it will circle the room aside from windows and door frames). I think I'm going to go with a ladder support system as that seems stout and is easy. I'll either make the shelf outer from pine boards or plywood and rip to size. I may rout the edges, or leave square (still unknown).

I was going to make the ladder support from 2x6s that I'll rip to 2x3s (more consistent size and shape vs 2x4s at my local store). These will of course be screwed (or lag bolted) into studs at every opportunity. Shelf will stick out 12". It's fore small kitchen appliances, plates and bowls, etc.

Is there some formula for structural wood to calculate this? I'd be happy if each 16" wide piece of shelf would support 50 lbs, aside from shelf weight.
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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I found this!

http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/

Seems cool. I suppose I'd use doug fir as my species since that's the framing lumber for the support and not plywood as that's the surface covering.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 01:30 PM
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I am confused. Are the shelves going to be floating or are you going to use a ladder support?

In my definition of a "floating shelf" there is no visible support.

How much weight the shelves can support is going to be purely based on how well you build them.



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post #4 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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ladder support being the 2x ladder type frame that screws directly onto the wall. The "box" then slides over the frame to look like a floating shelf. Or some people just nail facing material directly to the frame for the same look. I am still deciding how I will do it for mine.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 01:46 PM
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One idea if they're corner floating shelves. Get steel angles, one a little under 16" for the length and the other 12" for the depth. The angles with the holes in them. Cut a shallow mortise on the back and side of the shelves @ the depth of the angle's thickness and the dimensions of the vertical side of the angle. Cut a slot the depth and thickness for horizontal side of the angle to fit into snugly. Position and fasten the angles to the studs where possible and slide your shelf right in. Some liquid nails might be a good idea. If you use wide angles, say 2" I think you will have plenty of support as the shelf will be slotted in from both the back and side. You can screw into the angles from below and countersink. You'll still see them on the higher shelves but nice looking screws with decorative heads could actually add to the look. Just an idea. I haven't done this but was considering an approach along these lines for some floating shelves I'm doing in my house.


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post #6 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimeTurnsElastic View Post
One idea if they're corner floating shelves. Get steel angles, one a little under 16" for the length and the other 12" for the depth. The angles with the holes in them. Cut a shallow mortise on the back and side of the shelves @ the depth of the angle's thickness and the dimensions of the vertical side of the angle. Cut a slot the depth and thickness for horizontal side of the angle to fit into snugly. Position and fasten the angles to the studs where possible and slide your shelf right in. Some liquid nails might be a good idea. If you use wide angles, say 2" I think you will have plenty of support as the shelf will be slotted in from both the back and side. You can screw into the angles from below and countersink. You'll still see them on the higher shelves but nice looking screws with decorative heads could actually add to the look. Just an idea. I haven't done this but was considering an approach along these lines for some floating shelves I'm doing in my house.


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I saw someone do this online but they put the angles directly against the stud, then re-patched the drywall and painted over it. While super sturdy, I just really don't want to do that IF it's not necessary. If it's going wall to wall, I'd imagine the direct to stud screws would be good enough no?

another thought, since all four corners of the room will have a shelf, I could just make straight shelving frames butt into the corners then have another butt into that on the adjacent wall. I mean technically I'll need to do that anyways. I'm not building a custom L shaped frame.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mendozer View Post
I saw someone do this online but they put the angles directly against the stud, then re-patched the drywall and painted over it. While super sturdy, I just really don't want to do that IF it's not necessary. If it's going wall to wall, I'd imagine the direct to stud screws would be good enough no?
Not sure if this answers your questions, but this was my solution to my wife's mixing bowl collection. Works very well and pretty low tech. Aluminum screwed through the drywall into the studs, no additional measures taken.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Those welded together? That's probably quite a bit more than wood

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post #9 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 04:52 PM
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Those welded together? That's probably quite a bit more than wood

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I had a local shop weld them up, 1/4" AL, can't remember how much it cost but it wasn't too bad. I could have drilled/tapped/screwed them but welding was the easy way out.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-19-2017, 07:16 PM
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Those welded together? That's probably quite a bit more than wood

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If I was going to do this in wood I would dado a 1/4" slot 1 1/2" deep into the top of the 2 x 3. I would install a 1/4"x 20 hanger bolt into the stud, then a rod coupling, then 1/4" threaded rod from the rod coupling out to the end of the 2 x 3, finally a nut and a large washer. The threaded rod drops into the slot, now you have a long bolt directly into the stud.

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post #11 of 13 Old 03-20-2017, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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is a 1/4" rod that much stronger than the wood itself? And you'd do this for every stud mount?
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-20-2017, 09:06 AM
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Couple of observations:
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-20-2017, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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I know there will be some sag bc of drywall. The heaviest thing will be my kitchen mixer. Everything else is under 5-10 lbs

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