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Thread: Shelving for top of desk sss

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Shelving for top of desk sss

    Well finally i get to do some woodworking ....even if it is only working with ply.

    So Cherry being so expensive i decided these shelves aint worth any fancy stuff and i am going to wing it with the toner when i spray the units so they will look cherryish when i am done or tough whatever color turns out.

    So project is to build two units to go on top of desks, to offer some better use of space, storage of files and books and get to hide clutter. One unit is for my son at University and the other for me. Both going to be identical just to be economical on time and production and of course hey duplicate any errors in multiples.

    Purchased Birch ply at our depot that looks "good enough" to be the victim for this project. Then had it cut with their Streiberg, heck why should i do it when they got the fancy panel saw.

    Units will be 47" wide finished dimension outside and 48" high either side leg. Backer board is going to be hardboard.

    Sides will be 16 wide at the base, narrow to 12.5" at a height of 17" up from desk at angle of whatever strikes the fancy. Winging it.

    Going to put some real Cherry (oh i got loads of these kinds of pieces after buying a tree ) strips on the face to support the shelves hoping this adds strength and appearance and support over 46" span.

    Plan is stopped dado for shelves after re reading the debate over depth they going in 1/4" done.

    Shelves are 12" wide so the half inch extra is to be the thickness of the front face Cherry strip.

    All shelves will be fixed and glued via dados.

    Plan on putting some very shallow small draws in at 17" height mark by just putting two shelves close together and some dividers. No fancy rails etc these draws will just slide in and out on the shelf.


    Questions requiring family assistance.......do i put hardwood strips on edge of shelves before or after fitting to sides.

    How do i secure strips to shelves? My plan was after and to use glue and brad nails but thought i would check first with the people that know.

    Then do i brad nail the shelves in as well as dado glue? I want to move this along smartly its not a commission although youngest son thinks he is commissioning me with a free job simply because he is supplying some of the labor.

    I plan on putting a 3" strip across top and bottom at rear connecting to sides together just for the if in doubt build em stout part.

    How much finish as in spray on water poly (Enduro) do you guys think i would need for two units with 4 shelves. Just a guestimate. I have one full quart but i am thinking this aint enough. Not looking for it to be 5 layer lets remember this is strickly functional shelving not fine furniture but i do need enough layers to get the tone to change. Plan on mixing some general cherry stain i have with the enduro like i have done once before.

    Looking to make this a max two day job its all i can spare right now.

    Pics will follow as we progress ....drawing is in head and on paper with pencil so sorry no sketchup pics.

    Oh and any other advice would be a bonus if it arrives in time,,,,,,wish i had posted a few days ago but time is my enemy right now. Thanks
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
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    6,098
    What about a sliding dovetail joint and a quick screwed on diagonal brace in the back so it is quickly and easily broken down for transportation to and from school? The home unit a more permanent solution unless you aren't done moving. ? . ?
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Nothing to add, but I'm looking forward to pics, as I have a similar project planned after we finish moving.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Questions requiring family assistance.......do i put hardwood strips on edge of shelves before or after fitting to sides.

    How do i secure strips to shelves? My plan was after and to use glue and brad nails but thought i would check first with the people that know.

    Then do i brad nail the shelves in as well as dado glue? I want to move this along smartly its not a commission although youngest son thinks he is commissioning me with a free job simply because he is supplying some of the labor.

    I plan on putting a 3" strip across top and bottom at rear connecting to sides together just for the if in doubt build em stout part.

    How much finish as in spray on water poly (Enduro) do you guys think i would need for two units with 4 shelves. Just a guestimate. I have one full quart but i am thinking this aint enough. Not looking for it to be 5 layer lets remember this is strickly functional shelving not fine furniture but i do need enough layers to get the tone to change. Plan on mixing some general cherry stain i have with the enduro like i have done once before.

    Looking to make this a max two day job its all i can spare right now.

    Pics will follow as we progress ....drawing is in head and on paper with pencil so sorry no sketchup pics.

    Oh and any other advice would be a bonus if it arrives in time,,,,,,wish i had posted a few days ago but time is my enemy right now. Thanks
    For the shelf hardwood strips, I usually make the shelves a 3/4" narrower than needed, then attach them to the front after assembly using glue and brads. If it's narrow shelf I may only add a 3/4" x 1/4" strip on the front for decoration.

    As for securing shelves I'll typically do the middle shelf (or approximate) stationary, using glue and brads, then make the rest adjustable. If they are narrow shelves, then a stationary piece in the center and if 30" or narrower, I'll just make all the shelves adjustable otherwise there may be a stationary shelf added.

    No advice on the finish...well other than, you may not need to tone the birch, it looks decent with cherry, almost like the cherry's sapwood when it's fresh...but YMMV.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,251

    Heeeeeeelllllllllllpppppppp

    Well i am going to fess up to wood butching today simply because confession i hope will set me free.


    Man its hot and humid here these past few days and i come to the conclusion I do not like woodworking with an 19 year old thats behaving like an 8 year old on a long journey asking " Are we done yet?"

    So we got one unit dry fitted yesterday just before rain stopped play ( have to work on the driveway nowadays. ) Then after rain decided to give us a break and in between dozen other rush things to be done before we go away, we glued up one set of shelves. No movable shelves here only fixed.

    Anyhow today i take the clamps off and was pleasantly surprised at the result.

    Then came the ahaaa moment. double

    I wanted to put a backer board of 1/4 hardboard down the complete back and got it all cut yesterday ready for that purpose.

    So i had to rabbet the edges, so no big deal right. Yeah until i had to deal with the shelves. They should have been cut 1/4 narrower.

    I was so hot and bothered by now that i tried my luck with the router and rabbet bit and oh what a butcher job i did. Man i am embarrassed but I just got mad at myself and being pushed to complete something when one needs to stand back and think not act.

    Now all the care and attention to detail i took in getting the ply cut and glued with no glue squeeze out etc is spoilt by the hack and smack job on the shelves back.

    Taking a break to cool down and reflect a little before going at it again. Will try clamping a piece of wood at the correct depth and try router the edge back a 1/4 on the shelves to accomodate the backer board.

    At least by doing one at a time although i got the wood cut for two, i can still solve the problem on the second set. Those will be mine Given the other student character aint too concerned.

    I tend to understand now why we have so few 19 year olds doing woodworking on our forum by comparison to there numbers.

    I should have made him make do with IKEA stuff what was i thinking.

    So there you have it progress of the kind that takes one 1 step forward and 3 back. I am more angry with myself for allowing myself to butcher wood than anything else. I will go back out when i have cooled down a bit.

    Hope ya all are having a better day.
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Rob, you were right to step away and regroup. Happens to me all the time. More than once I just kept going and made things even worse

    Remember...deep breaths!
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    So i had to rabbet the edges, so no big deal right. Yeah until i had to deal with the shelves. They should have been cut 1/4 narrower.

    Taking a break to cool down and reflect a little before going at it again. Will try clamping a piece of wood at the correct depth and try router the edge back a 1/4 on the shelves to accomodate the backer board.
    Hmm, I'm thinking clamp a board on either side of the shelf with a decent gap over the shelf itself then lower a straight bit down enough so it will cut the 1/4" you need off. That way the router is supported on both sides and you won't get wibbly wobbly cuts from only supporting on one side (don't ask me how i know ).

    Sort of like a make-in-place sled without the sled part

  8. #8
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    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    rob, why are you knocking yourself out. if you didn't cut the shelves 1/4 inch narrower to allow for a back, just cut the back, and glue and staple it on, or just staple it on, its going against a wall, and its not fine furniture.(and I know Im alone on this, but this is dorm room furniture, and isn't worth stressing over a back of a shelf unit) Trying to reroute, that's crazy.(you could reroute a rabbet in between each shelf and put in several backs, but that's crazy also)
    btw, 46 inch span with all the heavy stuff that's going to be put on there will cause the shelves to sag.
    I was just in my daughters classroom yesterday, helping her set up her shelving and cubbies for next week, and the first thing I noticed was shelving unit made to fit a space, around 55 inches long, sagging like crazy under the load of books.
    Ofcourse I offered to correct it, but stepping on custodians toes is not something I care to do.
    (Im going to make her a new cubby hole mail slot with 15 cubbies, no one will care about that)


    a side note: when my daughter attended college, after she left the dorm and moved into a rented house with a lot of roomates, she needed those storage shelves over a desk.
    She didn't tell me until I was visiting her, and that was up near buffalo NY.
    I had home depot cut 12 inch pine boards to same lengths for shelfs, and 2 sides same length.
    I bought some firring strips, cut them to 12 inches with a hand saw(borrowed from her landlord), nailed them to sides, nailed the shelves in place, and she had a shelf unit for school in 45 minutes, and Im willing to bet its still being used today in that apt. practical, not fancy.
    (and pine shelving looks fine, no one wanted to stain them)(If walmart had a unit that fit her desk, I would have purchased it, as pine was quite expensive to build some shelves)
    Last edited by allen levine; 08-29-2013 at 06:30 PM.
    Human Test Dummy

  9. #9
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    I'm with Allen; tack it on.
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  10. #10
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    I'll third the "tack it on" suggestion. Chalk it up to a lesson learned, but it sure isn't worth A) Beating yourself up over, and B) Going to heroic efforts (and the risk of screwing up even more expensive wood) for a piece of dorm room furniture. If it was my son, he'd be getting pine boards and a couple stacks of bricks anyway.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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