Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Installing bottom shelf of cabinet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    135

    Installing bottom shelf of cabinet

    I am trying to figure out the best way to install the bottom shelf on a frame and panel cabinet and what to use.

    The top photo shows the bottom rail that will support it in front. Didn't really give much thought to the bottom shelf until after I got to this point.

    I am thinking of using 3/4 maple plywood rather than solid wood except for edge banding in front if needed.

    I saw an article with plans for a nightstand (much narrower than this cabinet) that had the bottom sitting on a rabbet at the back of the front rail. The shelf stood a little proud of the rail to provide a stop for the cabinet doors once installed, and it was glued to the rail and glued into grooves on the lower side and back rails.

    Wondering if 3/4 ply is overkill or if 1/2 will be sufficient without a support rail in the middle. Also, whether gluing all the way around is going to add strength versus creating problems with wood movement.

    Any suggestions?

    Top view with bottom rail on top.jpg

    Inside.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    20,521
    Blog Entries
    1
    Would cleats mounted on the sides be possible?

    My suggestion would be to go with the 3/4" shelf. Today you may think of only putting a couple of light weight items on the shelf. In a few years someone may want to fill it with heavy books.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    135
    Good thoughts. I will probably need to rabbet the bottom of the shelf for the cleats, but would then be easy to install after gluing up the case.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    951
    With the long grain panels you have plywood will not be a problem. If you are rebating the front rail for the plywood and the plywood for the cleats then the plywood cleat joint becomes the weakest spot. Consider using 1/2 plywood if that lets you avoid rebating the plywood. Glue two strips of maple on the bottom of the shelf to strengthen it, you will never see them. This also has the benefit of keeping the front rail stronger.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,057
    Many options

    Use the 3/4" ply because it will give the cabinet some weight down low. Glue it in because it will stiffen the cabinet. A cabinet with inset doors is vulnerable to twist if placed on an unflat floor. It twists the front opening out of square making the doors stick.

    Before assembly, glue the plywood to the front rail, making it flush on top. Then add a piece of quarter round underneath for strength though not really needed. And if there is no room for quarter round underneath, around the sides and back, consider adding it inside the cabinet. If made to match and small, it can hide and look fine. Also it can hide any imperfections in the fit of the shelf.

    If you decide to have a stop on the bottom of the doors, raise the shelf 1/2" but don't expose the edge of the plywood, it'll look bad. Edge it with 1/2" x 1 1/2" stock which will connect it to the front rail. Or use 1" x 1/2" stock and cut in a 1/2" x 3/4" rebate to support the shelf. I think I like this best.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •