Built in with adjustable shelves design help - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-11-2020, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Built in with adjustable shelves design help

Just got done redoing our bathroom and there is an area I left to build a built in lining closet to store towels and toilet paper and all the other stuff the woman has in the bathroom. I finished the area with drywall and it's all painted right now. The area is open floor to ceiling and is about 22" wide and about 34" deep. I'll try to get a picture up to better show the are.

I'm thinking just a simple face frame with 2 or 3 doors. That part isn't an issue for me. But wondering what the best way to do the adjustable shelves on the inside is. Since all the walls are finished and painted I don't really need to build a full cabinet, the walls could serve as the sides and back and just have a face frame. But then that doesn't leave me anything to screw rails that hold clips to for adjustable shelves. Unless my framing works out that I could screw my rails to 2x4s. Guess I should have planned this better when framing. If needed I could build a whole cabinet with sides and back and slide it into the opening but just seems like a waste of wood to me since the walls are already finished. But if that would be better to support the rails for adjustable shelves then that is what I will do. The only thing that might not work with using the walls as the sides and back is they probably aren't uniform all the way up and down so getting a shelf the right size to work might be an issue.

So, would you do a whole built in cabinet or would you just do a face frame and use the finished drywall walls as the sides and back of cabinet? Then, what are some good adjustable shelve systems? I've only used the ones that is a metal rail and has slots all the way up that accept clips to hold the shelf up. Is this the best way and if so what is a good brand or system? Or if I go with a full built in I could get one of the jigs that you drill holes all the up in and use pegs for shelves. Is this way any better and if so what is a good jig to get?

Thanks for your help
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-11-2020, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the picture from my phone. Hopefully it works.

Not sure why it's sideways but guess you will have to tilt your head to the left. LOL
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Thanks for your help

Last edited by BigJim; 01-12-2020 at 08:54 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-12-2020, 07:46 AM
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Before any decisions can be made, you have to determine if any 2x4's are available and just where they are placed.


George
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-12-2020, 08:53 AM
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Why do the shelves have to be adjustable? Would be way easier to just build fixed shelves.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-12-2020, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Before any decisions can be made, you have to determine if any 2x4's are available and just where they are placed.


George
The wall to the left is the shower and there are a bunch of 2x4s in that wall placed where the shower surround called for them so I'm sure one of the 2x4s in that wall would work for a shelf support. The wall on the right is open on the other side so that wall I can add a 2x4 if needed. So I'm sure I could get the 2x4s to work out to support the shelf system.

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Why do the shelves have to be adjustable? Would be way easier to just build fixed shelves.
It probably doesn't HAVE to be adjustable. But, I've had non adjustable before and it limits what you can put in and what order you can put things in. Being floor to ceiling cabinet I think it would be nice to have adjustability to be able to change things to fit what we need in it.

Thanks for your help
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-12-2020, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponch37300
It probably doesn't HAVE to be adjustable. But, I've had non adjustable before and it limits what you can put in and what order you can put things in. Being floor to ceiling cabinet I think it would be nice to have adjustability to be able to change things to fit what we need in it.
Your decision, at some point you have to decide if the effort is worth the reward.

FWIW I did fixed shelves in our closet bathrooms and it does not hinder our storage there one bit.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-12-2020, 03:06 PM
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Based on its intended use and the size of the space, I would make the shelves adjustable. It is true that people don't change adjustments often, but I like to keep my options open.

Two days ago, my spouse and I just adjusted the shelves in my section of our wardrobe, where I store most of my clothes. I had not changed the shelf positions in 14 years, but it was nice to have that option.

If it were my own space, I would think about making sawtooth shelf supports. There is no practical reason. Shelf pin holes are easier and just as effective. The only reason I would use sawtooth supports is for the fun of making them and pride in workmanship. I like 'em.

See the attached photo with a closeup of a sawtooth support in our wardrobe. I have seen them used in closets and cabinets, too.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-12-2020, 04:45 PM
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"It probably doesn't HAVE to be adjustable. But, I've had non adjustable before and it limits what you can put in and what order you can put things in. Being floor to ceiling cabinet I think it would be nice to have adjustability to be able to change things to fit what we need in it."


If you screw cleats into the sidewalls to rest the shelves on, you can have a tall space at the bottom, for example, and maybe 12" - 14" or so spacing above that. If you ever want to change it some time down the road, it's just a matter of moving a couple of cleats. Pretty simple method, really, and you can utilize the space as is, with just the face frame. My preferred method for a space like this, where cabinet walls infringe on an already narrow space.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-12-2020, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwood_1 View Post
"It probably doesn't HAVE to be adjustable. But, I've had non adjustable before and it limits what you can put in and what order you can put things in. Being floor to ceiling cabinet I think it would be nice to have adjustability to be able to change things to fit what we need in it."


If you screw cleats into the sidewalls to rest the shelves on, you can have a tall space at the bottom, for example, and maybe 12" - 14" or so spacing above that. If you ever want to change it some time down the road, it's just a matter of moving a couple of cleats. Pretty simple method, really, and you can utilize the space as is, with just the face frame. My preferred method for a space like this, where cabinet walls infringe on an already narrow space.
Great idea.

Based on the pic of the space it is deep, and narrow. I would be reluctant to constrain an already narrow space with 3-4" of face frame as well. In addition that is likely too tall for a single door, so now it has to be split into a top and bottom. Not my favorite look, but that space is good for shelves and a draw curtain that matches, or compliments the shower curtain. It will provide the most effective use of the space available.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-12-2020, 06:03 PM
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quick and easy adjustable shelves .......

Most adjustable shelves use a metal bracket with slots and specific brackets OR a series of equally spaced vertical holes.



I have a different approach. I cut vertical spacers that are the height and of matching wood of the shelves and then build the shelf system from the bottom up. These form "dados" without all the work. They are typically hidden by the face frames. You can use a few tabs of two sided tape to hold them to the vertical shelf sides OR just the weight of the shelves and the load will hold them in place. They are totally interchangeable or replaceable if you need to change them out.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-12-2020, 07:55 PM
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The space is a bit deep for 22" opening and there might be a problem to reach for far placed items. I would use a slides and make the access to the shelves from the side. You'll block your entrance door for a moment but will get a lot more space to use.
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