Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Corner Shoe Cubbys for Seating

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1368 posts in 1373 days

#1 posted 06-05-2018 04:00 AM


Hopefully my comments are not too late.

1) Is 3/4” strong enough to support the weight? Will the 1/4” dividers do anything to help with that?

Yes, ¾” thick material for the sides should be sufficient. The dividers should help strengthen the entire assembly assuming the cubbies fit well into the box. A ¼” thick sheet good can be used for the back, ideally set into rabbets cut into the sides and the bottom and rear top rail of the base, if a back rail is part of the design. If a ¼” thick back is used and the units are being attached to the wall, a ¾” attaching rail should probably be added at the upper rear of the units.

2) 2- What material could I use for the shelves/dividers?

Since the lower cubbies will be painted, MDF versus plywood may be a better choice. It machines like wood so the edges of the cubbies can be contoured with sanding or routing. MDF accepts paint well, can be glued with woodworker’s yellow PVA glue and the MDF I have purchased is manufactured to Imperial versus Metric thicknesses (i.e. ¾” MDF is ¾” thick). MDF can be shaped with a router.

The problems with MDF if that it is heavy, does not like prolonged excessive moisture, does not hold screws well, and generates a LOT of dust when cut, routed, or sanded. A dust mask is needed for these operations.

¼” plywood has a tendency to cup which makes accurate cuts and assembly a little more difficult.
Edge banding would have to be glued to the raw “show” edges of plywood. The edge banding would have to be made flush with the faces of the plywood. If the edge banding is wide enough, it can be rounded over.

3- How might a professional go about this? Should I give up on the roundover idea?

I am not a pro so I cannot answer this question as pro. As an amateur, some things I would consider are to cut the vertical and horizontal cubby parts to size; horizontal cubby parts would span the width of the carcase and the vertical cubby parts would span the height. Then the horizontal pieces would receive a slot cut just a little more than half the width of the horizontal parts. The thickness of the slot would be the thickness of the vertical cubby parts. The vertical cubby parts would likewise receive a slot whose width equals the thickness of the horizontal parts. The vertical and horizontal cubby parts would then assemble with glue by interlocking the horizontal and vertical parts using the slots.

It may be best to roundover the edges of the cubbies (if the horizontal and vertical faces are flush) after the cubbies are assembled (either dry assembled or glued). Otherwise, gaps at the joints of the vertical and horizontal pieces would result (c.f. rounded over before assembly). Careful setup would be required to prevent the router from tipping on the narrow edges of the cubbies.

On the other hand if the vertical divides are offset from the horizontal pieces by a little more than the radius of the roundover, the parts could be rounded over before assembly. If rounding over both edges of a part to form a bull nose, a radius of the roundover that is less than ½ the thickness of the material is needed if a hand held router is used. Otherwise the bullnose with be non-symmetrical.

The floor edges of the end panels that offer some detail (rounded or applied feet) so that only the front and back of the weight bearing members contact the floor would reduce problems with uneven floors.

Some thought should be given as to how the stained solid wood top will be attached to the base unit. This plan should ensure the solid wood top can expand and contract across its width as the seasons change.

Joining the solid wood top’s two sections with a mitre that is tight fitting will be tricky.

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