What Wood to Use For Built-in Shelving - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-04-2014, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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What Wood to Use For Built-in Shelving

I'm going to build adjustable storage shelves in a small walk-in closet. I've used the Sagulator and have it narrowed down to 3 choices. Red Oak, Hard Maple, or Poplar. I have table saw, router, miter saw. No jointer or planner. Shelves will be painted. Wood cost is not a deciding factor. The shelves will be 54" long and 12" wide and 1 1/2" thick (glued up 1 x) and will only be supported on the ends by 7 mm shelf pins. The end support pieces will be 1 X of the same material.
I've worked quite a bit with Red Oak and Poplar but not Maple.
Poplar will be the easiest to work but I'm wondering about how the shelf pins will work in the end supports.
Hard Maple is supposed to be tough on cutting tools....how does it compare to Red Oak?
Red Oak will require additional finishing for painting.
Advice and suggestions?
Thank You
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-04-2014, 12:58 PM
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Personally, I would rethink those shelf pins. It wouldn't take much to bring the whole thing crashing down. Just my thinking. Maybe I am just goofy.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-04-2014, 07:59 PM
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At 54" you are way too long for adjustable shelves, even 1 1/2" thick. The only way do 54" shelves is to make fixed shelves with a strip of wood under the shelf attached to the wall to prevent it from sagging. For adjustable shelves you would need a center divider.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-04-2014, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Wood for Built-in Shelves

Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
Personally, I would rethink those shelf pins. It wouldn't take much to bring the whole thing crashing down. Just my thinking. Maybe I am just goofy.
I'm assuming you're concerned about the pins themselves and not the wood. I spoke to a tech at KV and their shelf pins, 5 mm or 1/4" are rated for 60 lbs in Red Oak. I'm planning on 2 or 3 per shelf end which would have a 240 lb or 360 lb failure weight. Also, I'm going to use 7 mm pins.

Last edited by JIMMIEM; 11-04-2014 at 08:02 PM. Reason: edit
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-04-2014, 08:13 PM
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Well Jim the shelf would support more if it wasn't solid wood and if you just faced the front with 1 1/2" material. Best solution for the thickness would be a torsion box. Hollow. That way you save the weight for the items placed on it.

I'm with Mike and Neul too.

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post #6 of 9 Old 11-04-2014, 08:31 PM
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a pin in the center back would also provide alot of assistance.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-04-2014, 09:33 PM
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I ran the sagulator for 1 1/2" pin oak

here's the result for 54" span of 1 1/2" pin oak, virtually no sag:
http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm

So the real issue is how are the end supported?
If the 7 mm pins are drilled into the red oak sides, how deep are they drilled, how long are the pins, and how much will extend out? In my opinion, just adjusting an empty shelf that long and heavy will be a pain. It may be better to recess metal rails into the sides and use shelf clips, I donno?




Or these:
http://www.hardwarestore.com/shelf-s...ed-658511.aspx

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)
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-04-2014, 09:51 PM
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While not a popular idea. I just finished 5 closets using 45 sheets. The owner didn't like the holes and pins so we figured out the shelf spacing for the whole house. If you set your mind to it you can, at the very least, work it out to where you only had 3 shelf settings for each shelf. I doubt you will have a difference of more than 3 inches with any two shelves.

Most times larger openings are on the bottom shelves and the progressively get smaller as they go up. Two middle shelves could be set in dados for strength. Or maybe just the center shelf. In a worst case you could drill a few holes after you try to make the existing holes work if need be.

Best reasons for this approach go without saying.

Al


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post #9 of 9 Old 11-05-2014, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
I'm assuming you're concerned about the pins themselves and not the wood. I spoke to a tech at KV and their shelf pins, 5 mm or 1/4" are rated for 60 lbs in Red Oak. I'm planning on 2 or 3 per shelf end which would have a 240 lb or 360 lb failure weight. Also, I'm going to use 7 mm pins.
60 pounds really isny much, doubly so when manufactures always lie on capacity ratings, triply so when the shelves themselves would weigh ~25 pounds. Not to mention, sag calculator or no, 6 feet of wood supported only at the ends is going to sag over time. Those sag calculators only show sag that would happen if you set it up, put some weight on and measured immediately, not a month down the line.

Going with a torsion box assembly for the shelves, as Al suggested, is a good idea, if rather labor intensive. Id also second the vote on rethinking the shelf pins. Even if we assume that they actually are rated at #60 weight, and even if we assume that the load would scale linearly across the 6 pins, youre still supporting a lot of weight on not a lot of surface area.

Although, i suppose a good question to ask would be why you need the shelves to be adjustable? Makes sense on mass produced pre-fab furniture, because theres no way for the manufacturer knows what height every consumer wants the shelves to be, but on custom made furniture the same doesnt hold true. So why not just dado it?

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