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post #1 of 6 Old 09-25-2011, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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small shelf project

I am wanting to make a small set of shelves that will sit in the ground. I plan on making them 29'' high and 15'' wide and deep. All I have to use is 1/2 inch plywood. What would be the best way to connect the pieces together? Would just metal brackets suffice and if I did use them what fasteners should I use?
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-25-2011, 08:18 PM
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Welcome Wyatt. Do you have many tools? Table saw or router?

Dado's and rabbits would be the way to go...

~tom ...it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt...
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-26-2011, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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No router. Any my main goal here is strength, I couldn't careless how it looks.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-26-2011, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyatt
No router. Any my main goal here is strength, I couldn't careless how it looks.
1/2" plywood by itself won't do it. You either need to built a frame or cut dados.

If dados are not an option build a frame out of 2X2's

If you have enough ply-wood, you could pull it off.

Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsmen can hide his mistakes!

Last edited by slicksqueegie; 09-26-2011 at 08:50 AM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-26-2011, 02:25 PM
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Dados are going to be strongest. If you don't have a router or table saw, I see two fairly simple options, other than building a frame.

1) (The more attractive option) Cut them by hand. I haven't done this with ply, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Start out by using a circular saw to cut across the board where you want the shelves. Mark where the top and bottom of the dado should be, and make a cut at each line; make sure not to make them too wide, and remember how wide the saw blade is! Once those are cut -- and you should use a straightedge to guide the saw for those two -- make a lot of cuts between them. The idea is to remove a lot of material easily and quickly. Once you've done that, you can clean it out with a chisel -- for cuts for half-inch plywood, I'd use a quarter inch chisel. REMEMBER THAT YOUR PLYWOOD ISN'T ACTUALLY 1/2"!!! (Yeah, I ran into that one myself. Oops.) Once you've cleaned out the cuts, you have a dado!

2) (The sturdier option) Double the plywood. At 29" high I assume you'll have 2 shelves, plus the top and bottom. If you double the wood, you'll need one piece for each side, plus two pieces for each gap. In other words, instead of cutting dados, build up the frame and leave gaps to put the shelves into. Glue and clamp the sides, then glue the shelves and fit them in and clamp everything. I've done something similar, and while it was pretty ugly, it was VERY solid. If you're more careful than I was, you might even manage to make it be... well, less unattractive.


If my explanation in option 1 wasn't good enough, let me know -- I should be able to take some pictures of the process with a piece of scrap to show you how it works.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-27-2011, 06:36 AM
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If I am correctly envisioning what you want it can be put together with 90 degree metal brackets using 3/8" (or possible 1/2") screws.

It will not be very strong but you did not say your strength requirements. It will also be ugly.

You also said sitting in the ground. I assume that you mean that you want this to sit on the floor. If you really mean the outside ground then your plywood is going to rot quickly.

George
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