building a long valance
Hello, new guy here ... I have just built an addition to my house, a study, with the help of a friend who is a carpenter. Just got certificate of occupancy yesterday (!!) but there is some interior stuff left to do.
Main thing I want to do is to built a valance along each of two opposite walls of the room. These would run the entire length of the wall and be attached to the neighboring walls at each end. Each would be T-shaped. A vertical piece, maybe 8-9" tall, would run across the room; there'd be a horizontal piece between the wall and the vertical piece. So the cross-section would be a "T" lying on its side. Basically each valance would be a long shelf, with a band at the outer edge of the shelf that extends several inches above and below the shelf. The band serves to hide what's on the shelf and to support the outer edge of the shelf. One valance would be 15+ft long and about 1ft wide, the other about 13ft long and about 2ft wide. I'd have rope lights for diffuse room illumination on top of the shelf, and attach task downlighting to the bottom of the shelf.
Hoping I've explained the basic design in a comprehensible way, here's my question. What should I build the vertical member from ? It not only needs to support itself across the entire 13/15ft width of the room, but it needs to support one edge (so half the weight) of the horizontal piece. The horizontal piece is less critical and would probably just be 3/8" plywood, and wouldn't carrying a lot of weight, mainly just the lights I mentioned.
At first I thought I would use 2x10 clear fir, but the local lumber yard that can get the fir says 2x10 would be hard or impossible to get. Carpenter recommended radiata pine, but again, as a wood primarily used for trim, it does not seem to be available in 2x10. Current plan is to use plywood. Of course plywood doesn't come in the length I need, so I'd glue & screw a sandwich of two pieces of 1/2" or 3/4" plywood (with the joints staggered), with a 1-by band along the top and bottom edges. Plywood also means I'd have to probably give up my plan to have a wood finish, and paint it instead - but I think I'm ok with that.
Anyhow, does plywood seem like the best bet ? If so, what kind of plywood ? Thanks much !
Last edited by RustyShackleford; 08-08-2013 at 02:00 PM.