Simple shelf joint? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-07-2015, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Simple shelf joint?

First time building a cabinet... I am building a basic bottom cabinet. box is 3/4 birch ply. The sides will not be visible, so I was debating the merits of pocket screws vs end screw to attach bottom and fixed shelf to sides. I plan to glue the joint, so I am guessing either screw method will work fine, but was just curious which actually provides a stronger connection (if there were no glue)... pocket screw on bottom of shelf into side, or screw through side into end grain of shelf plywood. I read that the limiting factor is pull through of the head and not face vs end grain for the thread side... using Spax screws.

After thinking about the above for a while, I am leaning towards a dado in sides for shelf and bottom... and glue, obviously... in that case, I assume a pocket screw would not work since with the dado there is not much side thickness to screw into... so I assume that I could use a screw from outside into end of shelf... or is it better to just, glue, clamp and no screws at all?
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-07-2015, 03:01 PM
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I prefer dados and glue.No screws into end grain of plywood.I will shoot a few brads into the shelves to hold everything into place while I square and clamp.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-07-2015, 03:49 PM
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1/4 inch dado in the inside of the side pieces for the bottom to fit. Also a dado across the top for stretchers to fit. Glue does a good job. I have use brad nails or screws (predrilled).

I built my kitchen using the basic workflow shown in the videos produced by Kris Reynolds.

I used Knotty Alder for my frames, doors and drawer fronts. Pre finished Birch plywood for the carcases.

Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-08-2015, 07:25 AM
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dado's for bottom shelf at least, yields a stronger cabinet. when using dados for shelfs, which are typicall not full depth on base cabinets, you have to use a stopped dado. or install a filler.

i nail or screw through the back into the shelf for extra support of the shelf.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-30-2015, 07:18 PM
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Nice Job!

Beautiful cabinets! Maybe someday I can get to that level
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-30-2015, 09:08 PM
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With proper joinery (dado's) no fastener is necessary. Glue and clamps are all that is needed. If you must you can use brad nails to hold the piece until the glue dries. Be aware that the latter does not produce a joint as strong as with clamps. That being said I use brads all the time because I don't have an abundance of clamps yet, and I've never had a problem with a bad joint.

As to the original question I would think screws through the side into the shelf would be stronger than pocket screws up through the shelf into the side.
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