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Building a free standing plywood shelf, not sure about the joints

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Forum topic by WhyWoodYouDoThat posted 07-13-2018 05:46 PM 1904 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WhyWoodYouDoThat

7 posts in 371 days


07-13-2018 05:46 PM

I would like to build the following shelf out of plywood

Here’s the exploded view

I have no idea how to attach the inside shelves, or the top. The top could be simply screwed in, but then I’d have to worry about hiding the screws on top. The middles shelves could have a dado cut in them, and then glued in, but I don’t have a table saw yet, and don’t know if I can cut a dado with just a circular saw.

I’d appreciate any help.


17 replies so far

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bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2414 days


#1 posted 07-13-2018 05:56 PM

I would consider dowels to attach the sides to the back. That is not super tools intensive. I assume you have a drill. You could also dowel on the top. Just make sure you take the time and get your holes in the right place.

The shelves could just be glued in to those slots since it is all plywood. Or you could screw them on from the back if the back won’t be visible.

Making the slots or cutting dados is hard with a circular saw. Do you have a router or can you borrow one? Its easy to make straight guides for them and make dados.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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WhyWoodYouDoThat

7 posts in 371 days


#2 posted 07-13-2018 05:59 PM

Would a single dowel at the back of the shelf be enough? Also, would gluing to the edge of plywood cause any issue? I guess I don’t have to worry about strength, and it just needs enough glue to be held in place.

Doweling the top did come to mind, but I have no idea how to ensure that all the dowels will line up.

I don’t have a router, but what I have is $500 in gift cards for Home Depot. I am debating buying a decent table saw for $500, or buy a cheaper contractor saw for $300 and then have enough money left for a router. Still undecided about that.

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Steve

1356 posts in 1001 days


#3 posted 07-13-2018 06:23 PM

what about pocket hole screws for the back?

one idea that might work for the dados and grooves on the side with a circ saw is to drill a 3/4” hole and then cut on each side of the hole with the saw. but i guess you’d also need a chisel to then square up the hole.

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#4 posted 07-13-2018 07:40 PM

I would make it stackable. You essentially have a base with three identical units above it (I realize your sides and back are one piece in your design, but they don’t need to be). Use dowel pins for alignment and let gravity do the rest.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

735 posts in 1521 days


#5 posted 07-13-2018 08:12 PM



I would make it stackable. You essentially have a base with three identical units above it (I realize your sides and back are one piece in your design, but they don t need to be). Use dowel pins for alignment and let gravity do the rest.

- Rich

As I was reading the above comments, i was thinking the same as Rich. However even if you want the whole set of shelves attached as a single unit, I would still build it as three separate units and a base and then fasten them all together with dowels and glue. This would be much easier to do with limited equipment and would still have the same look.

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brtech

1065 posts in 3341 days


#6 posted 07-13-2018 08:16 PM

I think doing this project with a circular saw is going to be very difficult. I would suggest buying a router and doing all the cuts except the outside rectangles with the router. Make a pattern from a piece of hardboard. You can even glue multiple small pieces of hardboard to one larger piece, turn it over, and use that for the pattern as long as it sits flat on the ply. Then use a pattern bit to cut the slots and dados.

I think glue is enough if you dado the back. It’s probably enough even if you don’t. If you don’t dado the back, consider a glue block attached to the back that supports the shelf.

The sides are going to be flimsy until you get it glued up, so be careful with them. Given that, be extra careful with the slots for the shelves; make them exactly the right size. Too small and you might crack the sides as you slide the shelves into place. Too big and it won’t be rigid enough. You want them just right.

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WhyWoodYouDoThat

7 posts in 371 days


#7 posted 07-13-2018 09:07 PM


I would make it stackable.
- Rich

You know, that’s not a bad idea. This would eliminate a lot of pain points, and allow to make a template for the sides. And, I could make this modular.


I would suggest buying a router and doing all the cuts except the outside rectangles with the router.
- brtech

I may have to do that.

View torus's profile

torus

300 posts in 832 days


#8 posted 07-14-2018 12:32 AM

This is plywood, it will be painted, will it not? Then pocket hole screws will work.
+1 for do it modular
+1 for buy a router and use templates

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#9 posted 07-14-2018 12:42 AM

I could build that with a circular saw and a saber saw — actually just a saber saw would do it. Not that I’d want to, but if that’s all I had…

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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woodbutcherbynight

5966 posts in 2828 days


#10 posted 07-14-2018 01:47 AM

Modular design will work well with the limited tools you have. While in Iraq all I had was a cordless drill, circular saw and a file. Made some decent looking stuff with just that.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#11 posted 07-14-2018 04:35 AM


oops, I missed one!
Spam….Teds woodworking plans…don t click

- jbay

ROFL

- woodbutcherbynight

Dunno, Gunny. Maybe jbay is worried we might be able to sift through Ted’s 12,000 plans and find a wine bottle rack. Busted!

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Bill_Steele

524 posts in 2150 days


#12 posted 07-15-2018 01:17 AM

I’m not sure if someone else already suggested this—but you could make the shelves with a dado on each side so that they slipped into the gap and locked in. You could cut the dado with a router.

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woodbutcherbynight

5966 posts in 2828 days


#13 posted 07-15-2018 01:25 AM


Dunno, Gunny. Maybe jbay is worried we might be able to sift through Ted s 12,000 plans and find a wine bottle rack. Busted!

- Rich

ROFLMAO

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#14 posted 07-15-2018 01:33 AM

.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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woodbutcherbynight

5966 posts in 2828 days


#15 posted 07-15-2018 01:43 AM

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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