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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Alright guys here it is. The project i have been talking about on other posts.
http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-to-build-built-ins.html





Thank you to everyone who posted on my other posts to help me get the counter top in line. While that is waiting to be surfaced (Craigslist ad posted) i need to look at the shelving now. My wife asked if i could build them out of 3/4 or 5/8 MDF to save money. I feel like MDF is like a bad word but it does have its place. The thing is she already purchased the boards... The project will be painted antique white and should look similar to the photos on the site. Also would MDF hold a dato? instead of the way this lady did it? Some of you know my skill level is 1 so if need be i will copy her to the T.

Thanks

Steve
 

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I think I would build them out of ply if you could not use solid lumber. The reason I say this is MDF will likely sag over time, evern with the cleats on the wall. At least that has been my experience. Even when I use solid wood or ply, I will glue a board across the front of the shelf, about `1 inch thick, which will strengthen the shelf all the way across. This is what I did in my pantry, and those shelves hold a bunch of full quart mason jars my wife has canned with no sagging. That might help with mdf too. Looking good so far.
 

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Dont copy that with MDF. First it is too long of a spread for a MDF shelf. You may get away with an MDF shelf if you put a solid wood strip front and back but not just like it is in the pictures.
 

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prinler said:
The shelves will have real wood molding all around if that helps
It does. A face frame with your rails and styles will help, especially since your wife already bought the MDF. You don't have a choice but to use the MDF especially if you don't want to start building a dog house for yourself. Painting the MDF will help hide what shelves are made of.

Sent from my iPhone using Wood Forum
 

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The shelves will have real wood molding all around if that helps

So long as the span is not more than 30 to 40 or so inches and so long as she does NOT load the shelves up with serious weight you will be OK...

If you really want to be cautious - You can run the molding 'centered' on the shelves so that IF they start to sag in the future you can just flip them over...

You dont want or need the trim on the sides... Forget the dado junk... Takes more work and offers the wife FEWER choices as to where she will put her shelves.



Spend a couple of bucks for a 5mm bit and drill a PILE of adjustable shelf holes in your ends. The wife will be MORE happy because she can move her shelves around and you will not have to yink around with the dados...

MDF will work fine with adjustable shelf pins so long as you use the proper bit and do not wallow out the hole causing the pin to be loose. Even then - You can get a little sloppy with the paint to tighten that back up if needed...

The wife WILL love to have 'adjustable' shelves... Shelves she can 'fine tune' to her liking... :thumbsup:

Best way to get really GREAT dinners is when the wife asks you to DO something - Do it BETTER than what she asked for... :yes:



IF you are willing to buy the correct bit for drilling the holes (and post a picture of it after you get it), I will help you with some tips on how to mark your hole locations quickly and easily AND I would be willing to send you as many of the shelf pins as you need at NO charge whatsoever. I will even gladly eat the shipping here so long as you post pics of your project when you are done...

(shipping these to you is not going to cost crap anyway and since we buy our pins by the thousands - They are not costing me squat either... Would be GLAD to help you with this project) :thumbsup:

The bit you NEED is here:

http://www.toolstoday.com/p-5362-br...trk=gdfV22404_a_7c1444_a_7c6025_a_7c606_d_117

Mine is cooler and I am NOT loaning it out... LOL! :laughing:


Here is a pic of the type of pins I am willing to send you:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We are sitting at IHOP. I asked her if she would like them adjustable and she looked and me and said NO way! :( phone dead gotta go
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So long as the span is not more than 30 to 40 or so inches and so long as she does NOT load the shelves up with serious weight you will be OK...

If you really want to be cautious - You can run the molding 'centered' on the shelves so that IF they start to sag in the future you can just flip them over...

You dont want or need the trim on the sides... Forget the dado junk... Takes more work and offers the wife FEWER choices as to where she will put her shelves.



Spend a couple of bucks for a 5mm bit and drill a PILE of adjustable shelf holes in your ends. The wife will be MORE happy because she can move her shelves around and you will not have to yink around with the dados...

MDF will work fine with adjustable shelf pins so long as you use the proper bit and do not wallow out the hole causing the pin to be loose. Even then - You can get a little sloppy with the paint to tighten that back up if needed...

The wife WILL love to have 'adjustable' shelves... Shelves she can 'fine tune' to her liking... :thumbsup:

Best way to get really GREAT dinners is when the wife asks you to DO something - Do it BETTER than what she asked for... :yes:



IF you are willing to buy the correct bit for drilling the holes (and post a picture of it after you get it), I will help you with some tips on how to mark your hole locations quickly and easily AND I would be willing to send you as many of the shelf pins as you need at NO charge whatsoever. I will even gladly eat the shipping here so long as you post pics of your project when you are done...

(shipping these to you is not going to cost crap anyway and since we buy our pins by the thousands - They are not costing me squat either... Would be GLAD to help you with this project) :thumbsup:

The bit you NEED is here:

http://www.toolstoday.com/p-5362-br...trk=gdfV22404_a_7c1444_a_7c6025_a_7c606_d_117

Mine is cooler and I am NOT loaning it out... LOL! :laughing:


Here is a pic of the type of pins I am willing to send you:

Ok, the cabs are 30 inches and i plan to keep the shelves the same.
No Dado - check
If wife doesnt want them to adjust should i still do the sides and back with trim for support? Books can be heavy and over time with humidity? Also the front trim will be nailed to the board so it will hold up the front. Sounds really sturdy.

I also need help figuring out how to mount the door knob locations. Is there a jig i can make or something? I recall someone made a jig and it fit over the corner and it left a hole to guide the drill bit. Lemme know :)

Steve
 

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quick 2 copper as a thought:

hand sand the edges of the mdf just a little, rounded edges help prevent paint from chipping off. While we're on the subject of paint, I'd think some oil based white would be a good investment to keep any moisture / humidity issues at bay. If I'm wrong somebody speak up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I attempted to use my hand plane and you guys called it. I have mismatched grain and I was getting good results on 1 plank then the next was tearing out. Thankfully the tear out was on a high point and will sand out. I'm using my trusty black n decker orbital with some 80 grit and progress is sweet! There is nothing better then putting some elbow grease into something like wood and getting something so sexy as a smooth wood finish. My boards are mm's both high in some spots so to see the unevenness smooth out and become one board is always neat. Usually with a planer or drum sander it's so quick and you get instant gratification but nothing compares to doing it with hand held tools. Electric or not.
 

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If you're going to paint them white, I'd recommend using Zinsser (sp?) shellac based white primer to seal the MDF. Latex kilz is crap & will yellow. Oil based primer stinks and takes forever to dry. The Zinsser will dry in about 20 minutes. Brush it on thin just to cover & seal. Any edges may need 2 coats. Sand lightly by hand before finish painting. Oil based topcoat IMO.

As far as assembly, adjustable shelving will look tacky in this application. Get the wife's ok on the spacing BEFOREHAND haha and build them fixed in place. Personally I'd use dados, although that may be challenging with limited tooling. Do you have a table saw?

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I also have the clamp on saw and router guide. I also have the router but to do dados style cuts.

Wife likes the idea of the trim support pieces because I believe she wants all of the shelves to be the same hight all the way across. "Like the photo".

I think dados are cooler but that means nothing in real life lol.
 

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That'll do the trick. You could either drop a couple bucks on a dado stack - Home Depot has em - or use a regular blade and make about 6 passes for each 3/4" dado. Just be sure your workpiece is supported well and use the miter gauge to be sure your dados are square.

If you've got shelves in the same spot on either side of a divider, cut the dados 3/16" deep, leaving you with 3/8" of meat in the middle.

If the shelves aren't in line across the divider, I'd make the dado 3/8" deep.

If you can afford to drop a couple bucks - like 40ish I'm pretty sure - the dado set is a great investment and would make short work of your project. And you can begin developing another new skill!

The advantage to dados in this case is you cut them sequentially. In other words, set the fence once, make all cuts at that height. Set fence to next measurement, make all cuts, and so on. It ensures that all your shelves line up dead on.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wood Table Furniture Roof Wood stain


There has got to be a better tool for this. Pack of 80 grit and its still hasn't made a dent. Stupid oak lol why are you so hard
 

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View attachment 71458

There has got to be a better tool for this. Pack of 80 grit and its still hasn't made a dent. Stupid oak lol why are you so hard
60 grit... :yes:

Since you got a router and a bit already you dont 'need' to spend money on more table saw stuff to do dados...

Lay all your ends out on the floor with the sides touching and use a straight edge to line them all up at the bottom. Screw a piece of scrap across them (top and bottom) to keep them from shifting or moving and then screw another straight edge piece of scrap down to use as an edge guide for your router when you cut the dados... You can cut the dados in all of the ends quickly this way and they WILL all line up.

Since this project is painted - Screw holes won't matter at all. They can be filled after and painted over.

Cutting the dados with a router like I suggest will be a LOT faster than messing with the table saw to do it and you will not have to spend more money on tools since you already have the stuff you need...

:smile:
 

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Screwing scrap wood into a finished piece is a bush-league piece of advice. Have you ever seen what happens to MDF when you run a screw into the face of it? Good luck with that one.

If you'd like to use a router, you'll need a straight edge that is absolutely straight with no flex to ride the router against. Wavy dados are bad news. If you're going to rout them, I'd rout the dados first across a full sheet, then rip it into your dividers. Much simpler, no screwing things together and making a mess to fix later ;-)

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
They are already cut. I do like the jig idea tho. I do know what happens to MDF and perhaps i can use a pilot hole first and use a washer on the screw(worst case). I will see if i can make a perfectly straight 2x4 for the top and bottom and then make a sort of jig to get it perfect! Not sure my straight edge will work across all the boards at once.

Do you guys know how to best drill and mount cabinet handles?
 

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If it were me, and the pcs were already cut, I'd be using the TS. Trying to line up 4 or 5 pieces is problematic even with a shop full of nice long clamps. If they're not perfectly aligned your shelves will be crooked.

As far as the handles, put a piece of masking tape on the door where the handle will be located. Measure the centers and mark them out very carefully. Clamp a block to the back of the door to prevent blowout and drill through.

Brian
 
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