Reply by ChefHDAN

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Posted on Shoe Rack Design

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1496 posts in 3450 days

#1 posted 11-15-2019 01:38 PM

So, you’re building a 36×36 bookcase/shoe rack, at first I thought it was way over engineered for a shoe rack until I blew up the pic to see the scale.

1> If you go with your design and put a 1/2 ply panel rabbeted onto the back of the case you’ll have plenty of strength in the case work to support the structure. (I say 1/2 because you’re already buying it for the sides)
2> For the shelves, given the length, of the shelf I would use more of your RO stock and go with a 3/4×1 stick of solid wood for the front for strength & durability
3> You don’t mention a top, but I would make the top shelf into an actual top with maybe a 3/4 overhang on the front & sides, (this + the bottom + the sides + the back panel + beaucoup strong)
4> As for how the shelves go into the case, I would not use fixed shelves but rather use shelf pins and drill holes into the inside case work using a hole pin jig, (easy to make with a piece of acrylic or hardboard), so that your customer can adjust the space to fit various sized shoes. This way you can leave your initial shelves a bit long and wide and then trim them to fit once your casework is completed.
5> As for profiles, it really comes down to the tools at hand, most times simple is best & for the use of this piece that will likely be going into a closet, I’d be inclined to go with a simple round over or cove.
6> Pricing is really more of what your customer is expecting at this point as you’ve accepted the commission, I generally tell people that ask me to find the piece they’re thinking of in a store and then be prepared to pay 2x to 3x as much for a custom solid wood hand crafted bespoke piece. If they don’t fall over we do business. An often used practice is X# times cost of materials, IE $250 in materials $1,000 for the piece

Congrats on your first commission, you will learn lots as you grow with it. The best thing that I learned doing this sort of work on the side was to spend the time to learn to use sketch-up, which lets me build stuff first and make the mistakes digitally before I’ve cut all the stiles too short. If you go to this link, you can download the 2016 Sketchup version which is much more user friendly than the new web version.

Good luck, remember that there are many great woodworkers here that can help if you run into problems, many times I’ve screwed something up, go ask a question of the LJ’s and usually in less than an hour someone here will come to the rescue.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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