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Forum topic by OzarkSawdust posted 01-15-2021 02:26 AM 509 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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OzarkSawdust

84 posts in 807 days


01-15-2021 02:26 AM

I’m going to rip down the cheep wire closet shelves and build a wood closet organizer. I’ll keep it simple as possible!

12’W x 12-13” T x 15”D set of 6 shelves (book case style) around the middle of 90” wall. With two 48” rods (pipe) on the right 40” off floor with shelf on top…second 40” above the first with upper shelf full width of closet. On left a shelf and rod somewhere around 60-64” off floor. I figure there will be about 30” of width.
Same setup on other side of closet.

I’m thinking some type of plywood would be the easiest material? I can use strips of 1×4 or 2×4 for cleats to hold all shelves. I’ll want to paint it white.

1. What types of plywood would be best for this project?
2. What’s the best way to cover the edges?
3. Any other ideas you may have for this project. If it goes well I have two other closets, bifold door size, I would like to redo also.

Thanks!


24 replies so far

View Walker's profile

Walker

452 posts in 1480 days


#1 posted 01-15-2021 03:07 AM

I did a project like this just a few months ago. MDF is probably my least favorite material, but it worked well in this case. 1/2” mdf assembled with confirmat screws, which are specifically designed for mdf. Simple butt joints would work, but I also did shallow dadoes just to keep everything aligned right. Drywall joint compound to seal the edges, then painted white with regular interior primer and paint. I measured where the studs were in the closet ahead of time. Then before assembling everything I recessed holes with a forstner bit in the panels for cabinet screws used to anchor everything to the wall. The closet rods/shelves are not attached to the mdf. It was easier to use regular old closet brackets for that.

I used sketch up to lay everything out and visualize, and get approval from the wife. Think about things like storage for shoes, belts, ties, socks, etc and longer items like dresses or suits. (seems like you’re on top of that) You may want to integrate things like a mirror or a spot for a safe.

When designing your shelf units, keep in mind the clearance you’ll need to move them through your house, and note that the inside closet height is likely not the same as the door opening. And once the first unit is in place, there will be less clearance to maneuver the second one. Don’t forget about the exposed light bulb in the closet! I assembled everything in the basement shop. Getting it up and around three flights, narrow hallways, and into the closet was quite a challenge. If I did it again, I would have assembled in position, or made smaller units that could stack easily.

-- ~Walker

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Walker

452 posts in 1480 days


#2 posted 01-15-2021 03:18 AM

Oh, also…your walls are not square or flat, I guarantee it. So if you build square shelf units, plan on having some gaps. Hopefully small enough to be unnoticeable or filled with caulk. I did not anticipate this, and you can see some of the gaps in my pics, but once it’s behind the clothing, I’m not looking at it long enough to bother me.

-- ~Walker

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mdhills

63 posts in 3641 days


#3 posted 01-15-2021 03:36 AM

I’d use regular, 3/4” plywood; pine or birch as its painted.
Cleats can probably be 1x material.
I’d recommend a cleat along the back wall, as well, just to stiffen up the span.

I’ve made closet organizers with both iron-on edge banding and glued solid wood strips.
I prefer the glued solid wood, but both worked out okay.

Make sure your rod supports are going into something solid.
I made the end caps pretty big so that I could get into studs and support the rods where I wanted them.

Useful project!

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OzarkSawdust

84 posts in 807 days


#4 posted 01-15-2021 05:24 PM

Great info so far!
Here is a sketch of what I’m thinking at this time. The cube stack, for folded T-shirts and stuff, are around center to support the top shelf from sagging. With this design there shouldn’t be any squared parts against a non flat wall to show cracks. NOTHING is square and level in this house! I think it was built by the high school wood shop class!

I did think about a safe Walker. Like your colors, we’ve done the same latte walls and white trim in each of our last three houses. We have two other bedrooms besides the master bedroom. We are retired old farts so one is a guest room and I made my office in the other. They each have a closet like you pictured, so I’ll redo them when finished with ours. My office will have more shelves than hanging, if any, and I’ll put a small safe or two in there.

mdhills, I think the Birch plywood would be a great choice. Smooth, without a sharp grain pattern, should paint up very well. I also like the solid wood trim strip idea as I can make it a hair wide and the trim would look nice. Glue and some 23GA pin nails should work. With a 23GA the primer and paint should fill it in smooth. I’ve got to find the studs and may need to adjust measurements to looks.

I should be able to build the cube stack in the shop and have no trouble bringing it in…but I’ll double check !

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6397 posts in 3317 days


#5 posted 01-15-2021 05:27 PM

I’d use a melamine product. No painting necessary. The melamine coating will be tougher than any paint finish you can apply yourself.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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OzarkSawdust

84 posts in 807 days


#6 posted 01-15-2021 06:00 PM



I d use a melamine product. No painting necessary.

- AlaskaGuy

Good idea! I’ll price out the project. If it’s anywhere close that would be much quicker, and no primer and painting…yea!! I don’t mind the painting itself, too much, but the prep and cleanup is a PIA!

View DaveM123's profile

DaveM123

103 posts in 302 days


#7 posted 01-15-2021 06:33 PM

Made this with the help of a friend to put in our master bedroom closet. It’s all melamine.

-- Dave

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6397 posts in 3317 days


#8 posted 01-15-2021 06:44 PM


I d use a melamine product. No painting necessary.

- AlaskaGuy

Good idea! I ll price out the project. If it s anywhere close that would be much quicker, and no primer and painting…yea!! I don t mind the painting itself, too much, but the prep and cleanup is a PIA!

- OzarkSawdust


One thing I didn’t mention. Find a real lumber yard or business that caters to the cabinet trade. Don’t use big box store melamine.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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OzarkSawdust

84 posts in 807 days


#9 posted 01-15-2021 07:40 PM


I d use a melamine product. No painting necessary.

- AlaskaGuy

Good idea! I ll price out the project. If it s anywhere close that would be much quicker, and no primer and painting…yea!! I don t mind the painting itself, too much, but the prep and cleanup is a PIA!

- OzarkSawdust

One thing I didn t mention. Find a real lumber yard or business that caters to the cabinet trade. Don t use big box store melamine.

- AlaskaGuy

Why??

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AlaskaGuy

6397 posts in 3317 days


#10 posted 01-15-2021 07:43 PM


I d use a melamine product. No painting necessary.

- AlaskaGuy

Good idea! I ll price out the project. If it s anywhere close that would be much quicker, and no primer and painting…yea!! I don t mind the painting itself, too much, but the prep and cleanup is a PIA!

- OzarkSawdust

One thing I didn t mention. Find a real lumber yard or business that caters to the cabinet trade. Don t use big box store melamine.

- AlaskaGuy

Why??

- OzarkSawdust


Why what?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View OzarkSawdust's profile

OzarkSawdust

84 posts in 807 days


#11 posted 01-15-2021 08:04 PM


I d use a melamine product. No painting necessary.

- AlaskaGuy

Good idea! I ll price out the project. If it s anywhere close that would be much quicker, and no primer and painting…yea!! I don t mind the painting itself, too much, but the prep and cleanup is a PIA!

- OzarkSawdust

One thing I didn t mention. Find a real lumber yard or business that caters to the cabinet trade. Don t use big box store melamine.

- AlaskaGuy

Why??

- OzarkSawdust

Why what?

- AlaskaGuy

Why not use melamine from big box store?
I was looking at 15 3/4”x3/4”x8’ boards. Just cut to length. And the pre drilled ones for the uprights, then I could have adjustable shelves. Is there a better way? First time I’ve done this type of project.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6397 posts in 3317 days


#12 posted 01-15-2021 08:19 PM


Because of its low quality, both the core and coating. Not all melamine products are equal. There is much written on Google about both the grad of partial board and the melamine coat. You can easily research it.

I d use a melamine product. No painting necessary.

- AlaskaGuy

Good idea! I ll price out the project. If it s anywhere close that would be much quicker, and no primer and painting…yea!! I don t mind the painting itself, too much, but the prep and cleanup is a PIA!

- OzarkSawdust

One thing I didn t mention. Find a real lumber yard or business that caters to the cabinet trade. Don t use big box store melamine.

- AlaskaGuy

Why??

- OzarkSawdust

Why what?

- AlaskaGuy

Why not use melamine from big box store?
I was looking at 15 3/4”x3/4”x8 boards. Just cut to length. And the pre drilled ones for the uprights, then I could have adjustable shelves. Is there a better way? First time I ve done this type of project.

- OzarkSawdust

I d use a melamine product. No painting necessary.

- AlaskaGuy

Good idea! I ll price out the project. If it s anywhere close that would be much quicker, and no primer and painting…yea!! I don t mind the painting itself, too much, but the prep and cleanup is a PIA!

- OzarkSawdust

One thing I didn t mention. Find a real lumber yard or business that caters to the cabinet trade. Don t use big box store melamine.

- AlaskaGuy

Why??

- OzarkSawdust

Why what?

- AlaskaGuy

Why not use melamine from big box store?
I was looking at 15 3/4”x3/4”x8 boards. Just cut to length. And the pre drilled ones for the uprights, then I could have adjustable shelves. Is there a better way? First time I ve done this type of project.

- OzarkSawdust


-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6397 posts in 3317 days


#13 posted 01-15-2021 08:22 PM

Why not use melamine from big box store?

It is a quality issue. Not all melamine is the equal. Both the particle board it’s put on and the melamine it’s self.

I prefer to drill the holes where I want them.

Edit to add

That being said. You can use big box melamine if you choose. It’s my personal preference to use better quality. I have a business close to me (20 mile) that caters to the cabinetmakers so that where I get mine when I need it.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View OzarkSawdust's profile

OzarkSawdust

84 posts in 807 days


#14 posted 01-15-2021 08:28 PM


OK, Thanks! I’ll do some more research. Not much around this little town, it’s 30-45min to a town with much…slim picking.

I d use a melamine product. No painting necessary.

- AlaskaGuy

Good idea! I ll price out the project. If it s anywhere close that would be much quicker, and no primer and painting…yea!! I don t mind the painting itself, too much, but the prep and cleanup is a PIA!

- OzarkSawdust

One thing I didn t mention. Find a real lumber yard or business that caters to the cabinet trade. Don t use big box store melamine.

- AlaskaGuy

Why??

- OzarkSawdust

Why what?

- AlaskaGuy

Why not use melamine from big box store?
I was looking at 15 3/4”x3/4”x8’ boards. Just cut to length. And the pre drilled ones for the uprights, then I could have adjustable shelves. Is there a better way? First time I’ve done this type of project.

Why not use melamine from big box store?

It is a quality issue. Not all melamine is the equal. Both the particle board it s put on and the melamine it s self.

I prefer to drill the holes where I want them.

- AlaskaGuy


View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6397 posts in 3317 days


#15 posted 01-15-2021 08:39 PM

OzarkSawdust

Scroll down to the response from Jeff to get an ideal what I mean when I say not all melamine is the same.

https://www.finewoodworking.com/forum/melamine-3

here are different grades of particle board, to which the melamine resin is applied….big difference between industrial grade board and what you find in home centres, or most of them that I’ve been in.

As far as melamine board itself, it is graded according to the ‘basis weight’ ....how many grams of melamne resin per square metre it is coated with. The common grades ….this is for thermofused melamine, that would be used for cabinet gables etc., not the thinner foils used for backs, panelling etc….....are 80 gram, 100, 120, and 140. 80 g is thin enough that it looks a little grey…you can sort of see the partcileboard showing through. With 100, 120, and 140, the sheet looks progressively whiter, as there is more resin on it. Also holds up better, easier to cut without chipping etc. I can’t buy 140 g around here, so I buy 120, and will sometimes settle for 100 if I’m stuck. I only buy from wholesalers to the trade, even if it’s a few sheets, never from home centres.
Cabinetmaker/college woodworking instructor. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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