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Thread: Basic shop open shelving cabinet

  1. #1

    Basic shop open shelving cabinet

    I’m looking to build a rather large shelving unit for the shop to hold Akron bins and some plastic hardware organizer boxes. It will be built into the framing of the shop so they won’t be freestanding.

    So here is my question….frame will be 3/4 birch ply and I’ll use 1/2” shelves….is screws from side into shelves good enough? This thing will be huge with probably 100 individual shelves so I’d rather not dado all of those shelves into the sides. Shelving standards just won’t look good in the shop and I’ll never need to adjust these. Am I overthinking this and shear strength of the screws will be plenty for this?

    Heaviest shelf will be 20 pounds on 20” wide by 6” deep…

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    South West Ontario
    Posts
    1,364
    A drawing would help. You have vertical supports every 20 inches? Yes the shear strength of screws is very high, way more than 20 lbs. A biscuit joiner for the joints may be the way to go. Inexpensive, stronger and never needs tightening. A small #10 buiscuit in a 1/2” Baltic birch right angle joint is amazingly strong.
    Sagging of the shelves would be the most likely concern if the span is long enough. Staggering of the vertical supports between layers could increase stability and strength.
    If you connect to the back wall directly you have no access to install screws but biscuits from the front are perfect.
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  3. #3
    Thanks! I think it’s was overthinking the screws - they should be plenty strong. This is more about the sag…and I need to refer to sagalator for that…

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,222
    Uprights every 20" and several of them with shelves between. If the first shelf is say 4" off the floor, put the first shelf in the next bay at 5" so you will be able to install screws.

  5. #5
    3/4" shelves won't sag and will take screws better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
    Posts
    14,172
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    3/4" shelves won't sag and will take screws better.
    I agree, Screws large enough to hold the anticipated weight are likely to split 1/2" plywood. I would use 1-1/2" Spax screws.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

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