wire shelf supports - strength

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Forum topic by RalphCompton posted 01-13-2018 05:34 PM 724 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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91 posts in 3497 days

01-13-2018 05:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wire shelf supports bookcase

I’m designing a pair of bookshelves for my professor son, who has a huge collection of books, as an addition to his office.

I would like to use wire shelf supports for the 12 moveable shelves, as opposed to 5mm or 1/4” pins. The hidden wire shelf supports make an attractive joint and since I’ve never used the wire supports before, I can call this a learning experience.

Wondering, though, what the shelf strength will be since the shelf gets a slot cut into the end to slide onto the support. My shelves will be 3/4” plywood, 34” long, and 12” deep.

I have a commercially built set of book shelves which use these wire supports. Nice look indeed. The commercially built unit has 11-1/2” x 34” shelves that have about a 5/8” core with what appears to be a hardboard-based oak veneer, about 3/16” thick on each face, making a 1” thick shelf. These shelves seem to support a load of books without any bending.

But I’d rather stick with 3/4” ply for my 12 moveable shelves as the case would also be 3/4”. I’d rather not go to a 1” veneered particle board.

So, have you used these wire shelf supports before, with 3/4” plywood, and what were your results?


2 replies so far

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10578 posts in 4496 days

#1 posted 01-13-2018 05:48 PM

View jdh122's profile


1173 posts in 3666 days

#2 posted 01-13-2018 05:56 PM

Richelieu hardware claims that they support 35 kg (about 80 lbs).
That would have to include the weight of the shelf.

Loren’s linked site says that: “A fully loaded bookshelf weighs 20-40 pounds (9-18 kg) per running foot, or 60-120 pounds (27-54 kg) for a 3′ wide shelf. A value of 35 pounds per running foot is used by some for library shelving. Fine Woodworking magazines can weigh up to 40 pounds per foot.”
This suggests to me that the wire supports may not be up to the job.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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