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Thread: Can 5/4 Ash span 60” without sag?

  1. #1

    Can 5/4 Ash span 60” without sag?

    I’m building an entertainment center. Just below the top, I’ll have a large area where the sound bar will fit. It will be 60” long and 20” deep. Then below that are the shelves and drawers. I’m planning on building the top piece from 5/4 ash. The rest of the piece is ash and ash plywood as well. The top will only be supported on the edges. I’m trying to avoid any type of center support.

    According to the sagulator, this should work. There won’t be any heavy items on the top. Maybe just small decorative items. Does anyone have experience with a build similar to this?

  2. #2
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    I wouldn’t make that span without support.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  3. #3
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    "Workmanship of risk" It should work given carefull selection of material. Heat and long term loading may be your enemy.
    Jim

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    I wouldn’t make that span without support.
    Agree. At least embed some steel in it on the underside if you don't want any visible support, but personally, I'd use angle at least at the back.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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    How high is the space where the sound bar fits? I assume the 60" dimension is width and the 20" depth seems clear enough.

    Most sound bars I've seen are relatively shallow - - 6" to 8" deep and 3"-5" high. If this is true in your case, then is it possible to install a 3"-5" vertical 'stretcher' (running parallel to the 60" dimension) between the top and the first shelf/drawer blade? Recess it 6"-8" back to allow for the sound bar. You can drill holes in the stretcher to allow for wiring and it sounds like the space behind the sound bar may be wasted anyway. Coupled with a rigid back panel this would give you a bit of a torsion box structure and spread the bending forces.
    Molann an obair an saor.

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    Probably going to be fine until you put some weight on it.

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    I think it will fine . 5 ft is very long for inch and quarter ash. Look for the natural crown up hopefully it’s the best looking side.
    Ive come to have a appreciation for ash ever since my grandson won the homerun derby swinging a 30$ ash bat.
    Good luck
    Aj

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    How high is the space where the sound bar fits? I assume the 60" dimension is width and the 20" depth seems clear enough.

    Most sound bars I've seen are relatively shallow - - 6" to 8" deep and 3"-5" high. If this is true in your case, then is it possible to install a 3"-5" vertical 'stretcher' (running parallel to the 60" dimension) between the top and the first shelf/drawer blade? Recess it 6"-8" back to allow for the sound bar. You can drill holes in the stretcher to allow for wiring and it sounds like the space behind the sound bar may be wasted anyway. Coupled with a rigid back panel this would give you a bit of a torsion box structure and spread the bending forces.

    You’re right, the space behind the sound bar will be empty wasted space. Stretcher may not be a bad idea. It will be invisible behind the sound bar

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    I think it will fine . 5 ft is very long for inch and quarter ash. Look for the natural crown up hopefully it’s the best looking side.
    Ive come to have a appreciation for ash ever since my grandson won the homerun derby swinging a 30$ ash bat.
    Good luck
    I agree. This will be plenty stiff for a non load bearing application. Ie: holding a soumdbar, framed pictures, small art works, etc.

  10. #10
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    If you sit on it it will sag just a little. With a light load it will be fine.

    For comparison, my best digging shovel has an Ash handle and I can not make it bend even a little. You are using enough wood to hold up a house.

  11. #11
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    You might consider putting two queen posts and maybe one king post under it with stainless cables. Or paint the cables and posts flat black. Makes an interesting visual statement. Looking like a old time wooden train flatcar.
    Bill D.

  12. #12
    I think you'll be fine. But if this still concerns you, what is going on behind the sound bar? You could do the option of free standing support now or later.

  13. #13
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    I'd just run a screw through the back into the center of the shelf. IF, you have a back.

  14. #14
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    Sound bars don't weight much and the weight will be spread out. If the ash gives at all the weight will end up 6" from each end of the 5 foot board. I would not worry a bit about a sound bar. Now do you KNOW thats all that the shelf would be used for?

  15. #15
    You'll get more movement from the change in the seasons than from sag with 5/4 ash.

    More importantly, how wide is the ash, and how does it connect with the plywood sides? If it is more than a few inches wide, you will need to deal with seasonal movement issues. If it is the full 20 inches, you have a lot of movement to deal with.

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