Reply by Bill_Steele

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Posted on looking for pointers on my bookshelf design

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730 posts in 2610 days

#1 posted 01-18-2018 10:55 PM

I’m a novice woodworker—so consider the source of my “free” tips…....

A 4 ft span seems like alot for a 3/4” thick shelf—even with the hardwood edging I would think it might bow if filled with books. I would consider doubling the thickness of the shelf OR using a robust edging approach like one of these:

I would ditch the X braces—I don’t think they will add much if anything to the structural rigidity. If these are for style/design—I would experiment with a half-lap joinery approach for these. You could also experiment with a panel OR long vertical strips where the x-braces are currently—perhaps a solid strip horizontally where the 2nd shelf is located and then vertical strips above and below.

I think thicker legs would look nice too. Optionally you could join 2 pieces at 90° and form a leg at each corner.

I think the plywood backing will help create rigidity in the structure, but the shelves themselves as stressed members of the design may be sufficient (perhaps with edging all the way around).

Pocket hole screws and glue is certainly strong enough—but might be unsightly if you can see the pocket hole.

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