Attaching shelf panels legs / stretchers - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-25-2012, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Attaching shelf panels legs / stretchers

I am building a set of shelves for my sister's pantry. The frame of the shelves is about done (see pic).. Just need to attach stretchers between the legs.

My sister is planning on having a counter top made for the top shelf, but the mid shelf will be MDF since the shelf will be painted. Originally I was going to cut the MDF to sit on top of the stretchers, but I decided to change it to sit flush with the top of the stretchers. I am not sure of the best way to attach the shelf.. My first option was to use pocket screws and screw the shelf panel into the legs and the stretchers and the stretchers in between the front and back legs will support it. I'm not sure if this will provide enough support at the edges of the shelf though (using 3/4" MDF).

The other option was to nail & glue cleats to the outside stretcher for the shelf to rest on with pocket screws on the middle supports to hold it in place. Which would be the better option? Or is there another way this should be done?

Thanks!

John
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-11-2012, 04:36 PM
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If its to be flush, I would definitely go with the cleats, all around. Mdf needs support IMO, so that's what I'd do.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-11-2012, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayking49 View Post
If its to be flush, I would definitely go with the cleats, all around. Mdf needs support IMO, so that's what I'd do.
+1 on the cleats and need to support MDF.

If this were not already built then rabbits may have been another potential option.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-14-2012, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I ended up attaching the shelf using pocket screws. There is a stretcher under the middle of each shelf (max span on each side is 21") to help support the MDF. Based on the advice here I think I will go back and add some additional cleats for extra support.

If I did build this again I would probably rabbet the legs stretchers so the panel would be resting on them instead. Plus that would allow me to have a rectangular shelf instead of having to cut out around all of the legs. It was a pain trying to get the big puzzle piece shaped shelf in place with no gaps.
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