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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - relatively new to woodworking and don't have a huge amount of tools or experience etc.

I have the idea to make a shoe rack from the cheapest thing I could find locally (9mm plywood). I would have liked thicker, but price was putting me off.

I am planning to just slot the plywood together. But haven't had any experience of doing that and cant find much at all on the forum or internet - maybe becasue it's so simple , no one bothers to write it up?

Do I literally cut the slots at 9mm? I don't have a router or table saw , so would I just see what my circular saw blade removes and work around that?
I plan on 3 'legs' / cross section pieces and 3 shelves, so would it stand and support itself or do I need to do something else ?

Any tips appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Morning!
Thanks for those pics @ogre, that is pretty much the idea I was planning. That is very helpful
It will only be holding a a few pairs of shoes by the back door, and I would love to have used thicker plywood , but it put the price of the overall project up by almost 1/3 to move up to 12mm.

I think my use of language was a little imprecise in my first post. So I see why you gave me that info @woodnthings - my lack correct grip on words for things in woodworking terms.

So , here below is the drawing I was going to post to try to explain what my words were failing to do. And as you can see, I am no technical drawer either haha 😂
There will be 3 'legs' or verticals and 3 horizontals

Thanks for help all!

Handwriting Azure Rectangle Schematic Slope
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
9 mm is 3/8” … so it would work for a shoe rack if each cubby is only big enough for one pair of shoes. And as someone else pointed out, it needs at least a partial back for stability.
I had planned for it to be enough on the right side to fit 2 pairs of shoes in each cubby.(6 pairs in total) The left was going to be a place for misc things (of no great weight).
@Half Fast Eddie Do you think 9mm would bow with 2 pairs per cubby ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
4D , no apologies necessary - in fact, that kind of detail is much welcome and very much needed. I am about at the level of college kids when it comes to this. I don't know all the terms, names or techniques and I lack experience.

I like the idea of the centre vertical board being the one with the hand slot. I was mulling the idea of the 2 outside vertical boards having hand holds, but have a decision to make now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
been thinking about cutting the slots. if you have a router, cut a master upright and shelf and use a template bit to cut the others. if you go this route, keep the bearing lubricated



i wouldn't go more than 30cm or 12" between uprights. ogres have big feet, that would be one pair of shoes, unless you stack the shoes 😂
I don't have one, but have been looking at a hand held one from Ryobi as i already have the batteries, and it's relatively cheap.
I have planned for 15cm /6" between the uprights, which might be a touch small, but having measured my bigger shoes, it should just about work.
In the event of me getting a router in the near future, what do you lubricate the bearing with so as not to stain the wood?
Thanks for help
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you have a circular saw, you could use a speed square to guide the initial cuts and then finish with a hand saw and chisel to square the ends of the slots. I lubricate router bit bearings with a drop of 3in1 oil that contains PTFE additive. No issues.
Cheers Jim.
If I can find that router on a Black Friday deal at the moment then I'll grab it , if not I will be using circular saw later this week, of the weather is ok, as I have no workshop.
Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Unfortunately , I only have a few hand held power tools, such as a circular saw etc. And I dont have a workshop, so I have to wait till the weather is fine enough to set up my work bench outside - but thanks for the tip. One day when I can get a good set up, I'll do that
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Original poster here , just wanted to update , that I eventually got this together and finished the shoe rack.

I put a back on it for stability and it's really firm now. It took me a while to figure out how to get the cuts to be spot on. I guess that there were easier/better ways than the one I went with - I used a 9mm straight cut router bit.

I then rubbed Danish oil over it which brought the colours out in it - But even after 2 days use, I realise it needs to have a 'hard' finish like a lacquer or something. (picture is from before I oiled it)

Thanks for all the help everyone. It doesn't look too impressive , but it's opened my mind up to what I might do next.


Glasses Shoe Shelf Sunglasses Shelving
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Update on this. My son asked me if I could make a DVD rack for him in the same plywood 'slot' system.

I used 12mm plywood and made a jig (see first pic) to cut half of the 170mm shelf width - it made life a whole lot easier.

I put a 12mm cutting bit in the router and off we went.


Automotive tire Wood Road surface Grey Asphalt
Wood Shelving Hardwood Rectangle Flooring
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
Looks great! Definitely nice when you can find a bit that matches the thickness of the material.
I'll add that for such a tall bookshelf you might want to add a bracket between top shelf and wall to prevent any chance of the shelf tipping forward.
4D
Thanks for 4d
That wasn't the final place for it, he put it inside a walk in cupboard, and he used a small bracket to attach to the back in there - thanks for tip though
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Simple jigs like that can make a huge difference.

Make it a little longer than necessary so you have some overhang and it will prevent the entry dings.
View attachment 446352
Ah, that makes sense , yes. Great tip, thank you, I hadn't thought of that. And then I could mark the correct distance/depth on the jig with a marker pen to line it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
On a related note, at the college I taught at we had a large CNC which students often used to cut out plywood parts. I came up with a CNC version of halving joints that would slide together easily but tighten up when finally closed. An example here: Tapered Halving Joint. This eliminated any frustration students had putting their crisscrossing parts together.
4D
That is a very interesting 'twist' on the slot joint. Thanks for that 4D , I find the whole thing very interesting.

I was getting a bit fatigued after the 20th cut on that shelving job , what with the clamping, squaring up, and adjusting the router bit length etc. I have been aware of CNC machines for a while, and my mind turned to how easy it would be if I had one, although I doubt I could be patient enough to do all the computer stuff to set it up. I gave up on SketchUp as it was too much for me. And that is before we get to the price and the space needed , of which I have neither in abundance.

Thanks for help everyone! It won't be the last plywood thing I make with this 'system' of jointing, as I am looking at everything now and wondering if I could make it better/lighter/cheaper/more bespoke/more practical.

@4DThinker Do you think there is any way, by hand, to mimic that method you explain on the CNC on your blog?
And you mention in the comments section on the CNC forum via your blog "Most classic woodworking joints are not intended/design to be knock-down. I've been using the tapering of tenons, embedded square nuts, tapered dovetail slots, etc"
Do you have a link or know of a book that outlines these methods, as they appeal to me in terms of moving these items about and being mobile with them
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
A link or a book I've often searched for. The creative environment of a design college and teaching furniture design to creative students is what inspired my pursuit for original joinery solutions. I have my own shop full of tools including a couple small CNCs to experiment with. I often was challenged to solve the impossible and would come home to sleep on the challenge. Usually early the next morning I'd have an idea to test out before meeting my classes that day. I'd bring my sample solution(s) in to show the students. I retired at the end of the Spring semester last year and my blog has become my repository for the repeatable useful ideas. There might be a book in there among the posts. The solutions that were unique to a specific project left the building when the student graduated. My "Process" evolved from a natural engineering/architecture aptitude, mechanical drafting courses taken in high school, a couple of design degrees and 4 decades of that creative interaction with students and other faculty. Our Workshop 2 furniture class project was to design something that could be compressed down to 1/3 of its assembled volume for storage or shipping. The knock-down ideas came from teaching those classes. Using a CNC it easy to create a pocket to embed a square nut in. Machine screws/bolts are the best repeatable strategy for assembling furniture that you want to disassemble later. The better looking furniture connection bolts out there make this potentially an attractive detail.
4D
I admire the leaning shelves on your blog and love the PHdesk! I was trying to comment on the blog post but it wouldn't allow it (said 403 forbidden) - that desk is a little beauty and proven itself out in the real world, so what more could be asked of it? Superb work.

I might give it a go,(or something very much like it) any tips before I start?

I think you have a book's worth within that blog, without doubt, I'd buy it.

I'm part way through the audiobook 'Shop Class as SoulCraft' by Matthew B Crawford, and part of the appeal is his reference to his teaching design in college.
 
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