Will this built-in colapse? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 05-02-2012, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Will this built-in colapse?

I'm not so worried about it colapsing, as sagging. I have two plans I have drawn up. the first is the one the wife likes the most, and will probably provide more resale value to the house. The second I like a little bit more, but only because it 'seems' easier to build!





The plan on the first one is up in the air. I can see a couple ways of doing it, but since I have never done any cabinetry I am sure at least one of them is completely opposite of correct. I plan on using a torsion box for the long span above the desk.

Option 1: The 4 carcase verticals go from the base all the way to the ceiling (or close to it). This would mean either finding 4'x10' plywood, or doing a scarf joint to make the full length.

Option 2: I make the cabinets on the sides separate boxes and build the rest of the carcase off the cabinets.

Any better ideas on that one? Does it look possible?

Plan two looks easier, though I would still end up with two long verticals on the sides, or run off the desktop. The middle part of the built in would be one or two separate boxes. The bottom shelf would probably end up being torsion box also.

As can be seen, I have a long way to go. But since I have very little funds available for this right now, I have lots and lots of time to plan!

Any help or insight will be very much appreciated.

Andrew
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post #2 of 20 Old 05-03-2012, 08:25 AM
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As long as each of the dividers are attached to a hanger cleat and especially if the cabinet has a back either design would work. If you look at the wall cabinets in your kitchen I'm sure there is a 8' run thats not saging. Once the cabinet is attached to the wall the weight in the center will be suspended from the wall framing.
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post #3 of 20 Old 05-03-2012, 10:51 AM
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What kind of unit is this supposed to be? Is it intended to be like a bookcase wall, or go into some type of family oriented room? Are there any finished ends?

Both designs if constructed and installed properly would work. A torsion box isn't needed. The second picture does offer a different type of storage, if that's what you're after.






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post #4 of 20 Old 05-03-2012, 11:40 AM
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I don't think you need a actual torsion box either where you have it indicated. I think the the length of the desk top would bow with items placed on it & it was not supported properly. Maybe use your torsion box idea on the desk top.

You could place a piece of trim at the front edge were the torsion box is located creating a recessed area. Use it to disguise under mount lighting for the desktop.

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post #5 of 20 Old 05-03-2012, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for ideas. I will consider the torsion box for the desk, but that whole part of it is still up in the air. I might end up doing a desk with slide out drawers, it might get legs on the front, and/or I may end up running half-arch supports from the wall to the underside of the desk for added strength.

Our house was at one time a two-story duplex (an apartment on 1st and 2nd floor each). There is a nice sized room at the top of the stairs that can't really be used as a bedroom. We're using it as an office since you pretty much have to go through it to get anywhere else on the second floor. This built-in will be a bookshelf/2-computer office desk that takes up the entire interior wall of this room.

Here's the main thing that is holding me back from progressing my plans, at the moment: I have only a slight idea as to how all these parts will go together. Using the first plan, would it be better to run the four floor to ceiling dividers the entire way (from base to top) and then build in the middle shelves as their own box (this way would have 3 separately built boxes). Or would it be better to separate the two side pieces into shelves and cabinet (this way having 5 boxes)?

Thanks again for all the help.

Andrew
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post #6 of 20 Old 05-03-2012, 05:20 PM
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I think that you are "over thinking" this project. You are not limited in the number of "boxes" that you can build. You can make as many of these as is most practicable. Much will depend upon the design that you want to show on the two ends.

Is each of those rectangles supposed to represent an "area?" Are these open, enclosed or what? What are the shaded rectangles?

If you would make your drawing to represent the front appearance of the final product and a 3D perspective I think it will lead you to a better understanding.

George
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post #7 of 20 Old 05-03-2012, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adbuett View Post
Here's the main thing that is holding me back from progressing my plans, at the moment: I have only a slight idea as to how all these parts will go together. Using the first plan, would it be better to run the four floor to ceiling dividers the entire way (from base to top) and then build in the middle shelves as their own box (this way would have 3 separately built boxes). Or would it be better to separate the two side pieces into shelves and cabinet (this way having 5 boxes)?

Thanks again for all the help.

Andrew
For the first picture...I would make the two end units separate to fit on top of the base cabinets. So on each end you have a base cabinet with the upper section on top. For the center cabinets, I would make two (55" each). If all the cabinets have backs and are installed to the wall, there will be no sagging.

For the second picture, here's a suggestion. Do the two separate desk sections, but break up the space, by having a single cabinet to the left of the left desk, a cabinet in the middle, and a cabinet to the right of the right desk.




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post #8 of 20 Old 05-03-2012, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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George: I am definitely over thinking! But that's what I do when I get a project in my head. I absolutely obsess over it until it's done. To answer a couple of your questions, the rectangles are supposed to indicate shelves. I am going to dado shelf standards into the sides of each vertical for more placement options. The grey squares are the air returns and registers that I need to figure a work around for. But until I get a plan made up those can wait. Also, as can't be seen from the picture, only one side will be visible. The left side is up against a wall, while the right side will be up against, or close to, a hallway opening. Sorry about my sketchup skills!

Cabinetman: The base cabinets with the shelving on top was the direction I was leaning. Mainly because it will keep me from having to make scarf joints, or find a place to buy a 4'x10' sheet of 3/4" plywood. The other idea I had was to split the side shelving up into two separate parts, so each side would be shelf on top of shelf on top of cabinet. I think it will be easier to make smaller sections instead of one large one. Also, probably a little more rigidity from the creation of inch and a half thick joints in more places, which wont matter because I plan on putting faces on all the edges.

Another thing I just realized while mulling over my design is I was planning on having 1' deep shelves, but the way I have it drawn, that would mean 1' deep cabinets too, which is not a whole lot of room. I'm thinking the cabinet is just going to have to stick out past the shelving on the bottom. Wow, I have a lot of mulling-over to do. Thanks for the insight everybody,

Andrew
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-03-2012, 10:33 PM
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What I normally do on a section like what you are building is make the base cabinets deep like the counter top and then run the top from end to end. Then the upper cabinets I set on top of the counter. Doing that would eliminate the need for the 10' plywood. Also keep in mind to make the cabinet in one piece the side panel on the cabinet is longer from corner to corner than it is tall and it makes it problematic standing it up. You usually have to make the cabinet a couple of inches short and trim the gap at the top once the cabinet is stood up.

On the return air vent if the rafters in the ceiling are running towards the cabinet you can route the air across the top of the cabinet into the ceiling and put the vent in the ceiling in front of the cabinet. You would just have to recess the top of the cabinet down a couple of inches and cut a hole in the ceiling above the cabinet.
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post #10 of 20 Old 05-04-2012, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Steve, thanks for the idea! I was just at *big box home store* and happened to walk through the prebuilt cabinet isle. At about $50 bucks a cabinet, that would save me TONS of time and pain/agony... I am definitely going to put your desktop idea at the top of my list of possibilities.

As to the air returns/registers: you can't see it in the first picture, but there is an air return below the desk. Since I feel the return is woefully undersized as it is, I am maybe going to block off the top one and make the bottom one much larger (duct size allowing). The lower one will be hidden by the desktop, and I wont have to worry about it getting obstructed by anything on the shelves. The air registers I am thinking about putting a removable routed-out grate in the upper trim somewhere and running ductwork from the wall to the new grate.
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post #11 of 20 Old 05-04-2012, 06:59 PM
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Usually on a return air there is no ductwork involved. It's just a hole in the wall with a grate over it and the air just passes through the wall. If someone has put two grates, one at the top and bottom of the wall there must have been a shortage of air to begin with. If the air flow is going up the wall if you close off the top vent the AC may be starved for air since the space between the studs determines the amount of air the unit is getting. Someone might have added the vent at the top of the wall to allow more air flow. Enlarging the hole at the bottom won't help in this situation. You might be able to put another vent in the next stud section to the existing one or the ceiling. My best advise is to get a heating and air guy to evaluate the system before you start closing things off. It would be a lot easier to modify the house before you put your cabinet in there.
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post #12 of 20 Old 05-05-2012, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice Steve. The 2nd floor air handling unit is right behind the wall with the vents. I took a look at it and saw that you are right about the lack of duct work. It looks like the return ductwork just connects to the wall inside the furnace closet and air comes from above and below the connection through the stud. I guess it's kind of limited as to how much air can return by the size of the gap between studs.
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post #13 of 20 Old 05-05-2012, 02:41 PM
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Thanks for the advice Steve. The 2nd floor air handling unit is right behind the wall with the vents. I took a look at it and saw that you are right about the lack of duct work. It looks like the return ductwork just connects to the wall inside the furnace closet and air comes from above and below the connection through the stud. I guess it's kind of limited as to how much air can return by the size of the gap between studs.
I'm guessing originally there was only one vent close to the floor for return air and after using it someone determined there was not enough air flow so a second vent was cut at the top to reduce the distance the air had to travel. If this was the case you could come closer to capping off the vent close to the floor than the one up high you need to. Without being there the see it the only thing I can think of is to make another avenue for air flow like the stud section next to where the existing vent is.
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post #14 of 20 Old 05-06-2012, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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This house was fully renovated 8 years ago (before my ownership) and they put an air handling unit for the first floor, and one for the second also. All the registers on the 1st floor are in the floor, and it has a rather large air return. The 2nd floor system only has the two grates, and if it matters, the actual unit outside is bigger than the 1st floors. I took the grates out upstairs and found there is only about a 6"x8" hole behind it, MAYBE. I'm definitely going to at least make the grates the width of the studs. I would like to move the upper air return into the ceiling, but I think the framing of the wall might get into the way. We shall see!
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post #15 of 20 Old 05-06-2012, 10:43 PM
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If you don't have popcorn texture on your ceiling perhaps you can drag an electronic stud finder across the ceiling to determine which way the joists run. If you recess the top of your cabinet some you can vent the air across the top of the cabinet into the wall. What I'm thinking is if the joists are running toward the cabinet you can put a hole in the ceiling outside the space where the cabinet is and then put another hole in ceiling where it will be covered up by the cabinet. I did a job in 2000 where we ran some ductwork over to an upstairs bath through the wall where a vanity was. I removed a bottom drawer of the cabinet and made a false front on the cabinet and cut a hole in the floor of the cabinet and the house floor and made a vent in the downstairs ceiling. It was the only way to vent the air but it worked. Not being a heating tech, I made the homeowner get someone to run the ductwork and verify that it would work but I did the work. Sometimes you have to get creative when doing remodeling.
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post #16 of 20 Old 05-07-2012, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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I am almost positive the joists will be running toward the cabinet, but I will check it out anyway when I get the chance. I think what I'm going to have to end up doing is taping off an outline of the cabinet on the wall and try to figure it out from there. I don't want to get too far into exact measurements just yet; the entire second floor is carpeted, with the home's original hardwood underneath, and the wife is hell-bent on pulling it up. Not that I would have built the thing on the carpet anyway!

I haven't really paid much attention to built ins before, but the wife is worried that the shelf standards are going to look tacky or amateurish. I am insistent on using them because 1- I hate those dang holes that you stick a pin in, and 2-I think adjustable shelves will be more appreciated in the long run: not everything is the same size, and it's hard to un-cut wood... Does anyone have two-cents to add?
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post #17 of 20 Old 05-07-2012, 10:46 PM
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I am almost positive the joists will be running toward the cabinet, but I will check it out anyway when I get the chance. I think what I'm going to have to end up doing is taping off an outline of the cabinet on the wall and try to figure it out from there. I don't want to get too far into exact measurements just yet; the entire second floor is carpeted, with the home's original hardwood underneath, and the wife is hell-bent on pulling it up. Not that I would have built the thing on the carpet anyway!

I haven't really paid much attention to built ins before, but the wife is worried that the shelf standards are going to look tacky or amateurish. I am insistent on using them because 1- I hate those dang holes that you stick a pin in, and 2-I think adjustable shelves will be more appreciated in the long run: not everything is the same size, and it's hard to un-cut wood... Does anyone have two-cents to add?
Are you going to use metal shelf standards like this? As long as they compliment the finish they would look fine. Now if you were to use white with a stain or clear finish then it just wouldn't look right.

Here is a picture of a cabinet that was built to go over the toilet. The picture is before the doors are mounted & you can see what the metal standards look like. The 2nd & 3rd pictures are before the standards were mounted so you can see the dado's they will sit in.
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Last edited by jlord; 05-07-2012 at 10:52 PM. Reason: picture
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post #18 of 20 Old 05-08-2012, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adbuett View Post
I am almost positive the joists will be running toward the cabinet, but I will check it out anyway when I get the chance. I think what I'm going to have to end up doing is taping off an outline of the cabinet on the wall and try to figure it out from there. I don't want to get too far into exact measurements just yet; the entire second floor is carpeted, with the home's original hardwood underneath, and the wife is hell-bent on pulling it up. Not that I would have built the thing on the carpet anyway!

I haven't really paid much attention to built ins before, but the wife is worried that the shelf standards are going to look tacky or amateurish. I am insistent on using them because 1- I hate those dang holes that you stick a pin in, and 2-I think adjustable shelves will be more appreciated in the long run: not everything is the same size, and it's hard to un-cut wood... Does anyone have two-cents to add?
I don't see anything wrong with the KV255 standards if you like them. I've used them for years. They seem to have gone out of style and my customers don't like them so I'm currently using 5mm pins. The pins also cheaper so it saves me money when I build a cabinet. I almost never make fixed shelves in a cabinet anymore. It's so much easier to finish the inside of a cabinet without shelves. When I use the standards I make dados in the side of the cabinet so the hardware only protrudes about a 32nd.
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post #19 of 20 Old 05-08-2012, 09:40 AM
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Personally, I don't like the standards. To me they look too industrial/commercial. But, I do what the client wants. I would rather use nice clean holes spaced apart in groups. IOW, figure from the bottom, approximately what height you might want, could be 10" or 12", etc. At those locations, drill groups of holes...maybe 3 or 4...1 inch apart. You don't need holes up the whole side of the cabinet.

You can get creative, and instead of using metal or plastic shelf supports, just cut lengths of " wood dowel rod.




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post #20 of 20 Old 05-09-2012, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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It will probably end up being whatever the wife wants it to be... but since it's being painted white, white standards would pretty much all but disappear I think.
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