Shelving unit in triangular alcove - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-23-2018, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Shelving unit in triangular alcove

Hi. First time here on this page. Just bought a new table saw for a flooring project but felt a little guilty so I want to make amends by building a set of shelves for pantry items, etc. in an alcove we have going down a set of stairs. It is only 7" deep but it runs about 8' and is 7' high at one end near and 0" at the other end as it is a right-angle triangle. It will not interfere with the stairs. It is a great spot for stocking many items and avoiding a trip to the basement storeroom.

My issue is I'm caught in the middle of making this a masterpiece, fully trimmed out bookcase shelving unit versus a spartan shelving unit. I'm hoping to land somewhere in the middle as this is the first thing you see going down the stairs, so hey, right?

I'm looking for ideas on how to build the shelves, what material to use, spans to avoid deflection, etc. I have two basic ideas: 1) build basic boxes with shelves or 2) build something more "built-in". My heart is with the 2nd option but my head is reminding me I have very limited skills in this area. Would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-23-2018, 06:25 PM
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this is a poplar 'lattice work' shelf - uprights rabitted / glued / nailed. screwed a horizontal board at the bottom, shelf screwed to that - L-brackets to hold the top in. the bottom is set out from the wall about 3/8" so things don't walk off the shelving from vibrations.


Shelving unit in triangular alcove-pantry.jpg
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-24-2018, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Very nice unit TomCT2. Love that finish. Is that 1by poplar you used? Would you mind sharing dimensions? Nice tip kicking out the bottom.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-24-2018, 11:05 AM
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plain ole' 1x poplar from Home Depot. finish - used a stain conditioner followed by Minwax Colonial Maple #223 and 2x satin polyurethane.


the clear distances:
between uprights - 18"
upper horizontals - 8-1/2"
lower is one 5" and one 13" at the bottom.


stacking two soup cans was the design criteria resulting in the 8-1/2" height.


no sagging noted - however with 150% intent I made the shelves narrow / un-deep
things can only be 'one deep' - no hiding!
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-25-2018, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks TomCT2. Great logic on that 1 can deep rule. Good visual when making up a shopping list. You mentioned you nailed uprights along with glue. I'm new at this so I'm scratching my head wondering how you were able to get nails into some of the uprights. Did you not nail some, or did you toenail them?
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-25-2018, 07:07 PM
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the horizontal pieces have a dado for the uprights. glued, nailed thru the dado into the lower upright.
the bottom of the next upright is not nailed on the bottom, only glued/clamped. frankly, with nice tight dado, the glue is probably enough to hold - nails not needed....

where you can nail thru the dado is of course determined by whether you start the assembly from the bottom or from the top.

center joints
Shelving unit in triangular alcove-img_0937.jpg

left/right verticals dado'd
Shelving unit in triangular alcove-img_0938.jpg
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-26-2018, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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I've never made a dado but I know a good one when I see one! Nice work, TomCT2. Thanks for sharing.
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