How wide can I make shelves - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 Old 02-02-2016, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 47
View jimmy986's Photo Album My Photos
How wide can I make shelves

I'm making a bookshelf with no supports under the shelves, just the glued up shelves. They will be 12" deep. Made of hard maple into 1/4" dados on each end with pocket screws too. I will only be putting small paperbacks so not a lot of weight. How wide can these be without having any type of support running underneath?
jimmy986 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 02-02-2016, 09:22 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,973
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
there's a "sagulator" link online

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

I don't know about Hard Maple, but I've used Red Oak at widths from 38" ... very slight sag with heavy books to 34" with little or no sag with books and magazines.

Paper backs would be lighter, but you can't guarantee they will always be used for them.

I would add that my shelves have no back. They are just slid into the dados as well and can be flipped over at any time to reverse the sag.

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)

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-02-2016 at 09:55 PM.
woodnthings is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 02-02-2016, 09:25 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,991
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
If you are attaching the shelf to the back you would probably be alright with making the shelves 48" wide. If not attached to the back I try not to make a shelf more than 30" wide.
Steve Neul is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 7 Old 02-02-2016, 09:38 PM
Senior Member
 
Chamfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Posts: 1,450
View Chamfer's Photo Album My Photos
Over time any wood over any span will sag to some extent with or without a constant load.

Given my own experiences building bookcases/shelves/cabinets I would say with your intended design and use 4ft would be the max I would go.

One thing to consider (and the way in which I build bookcases/cabinets) is to use a 3/4" backing with 1/4" dado's for the backside of the shelves. Along with a bigger/wider face this technique really aids in minimizing sagging over time.
Chamfer is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 02-02-2016, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 47
View jimmy986's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks. That helps a lot. I was planning for 40" and it seems like that should be fine. And there is a back similar to the one described that will attach to the shelves that should add strength.
jimmy986 is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 02-02-2016, 10:12 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,991
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
My dad built this shelf for china sometime before 1950. It was made with whitewood pine shelves and is 48" wide with a back nailed to the shelving. This picture was taken in 2014. The shelf is still in great shape.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP0303.jpg
Views:	60
Size:	115.4 KB
ID:	212353  

Steve Neul is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 02-02-2016, 11:29 PM
Senior Member
 
sawdust703's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: St. Francis, KS
Posts: 113
View sawdust703's Photo Album My Photos
I built a set of shelves that was 6' tall, 6' wide, & 14" deep, & were made from pine. The shelves were put in dados, & nailed a backing to the complete set. Under each shelf at the ends, I glued & nailed a quarter support under them for extra support. Before the whole deal was over, I ended up having to put supports under the shelves throughout the set. This was a client order, and built to their specs. Just keep in mind, the wider you build, the less strength you'll have without support.

Sawdust 703
sawdust703 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drum sanders Vs wide belt sanders Catpower Power Tools & Machinery 14 01-19-2016 11:44 PM
How i make a knife epicfail48 Off Topic 28 12-25-2015 06:31 PM
What power tools do I need to make precision wooden children’s toys? JimGnitecki Power Tools & Machinery 57 12-11-2015 01:17 AM
Resawing 14" wide Sinker Mahogany difalkner Woodworking Videos 2 11-08-2015 12:00 AM
Best Way To Make These Cuts Crick07 Tips, Tricks, & Homemade Jigs 6 08-14-2015 10:54 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome