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Old 01-15-2008, 11:45 AM   #1
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Bookshelf question


I was thinking about adding some bookshelves in my basement remodel and wanted to ask you people about what wood would work best for the shelves themselves. I can just use cabinet plywood for the sides and veneer from fronts, but it really irritates me when I see a bookshelf that is bowed from the weight of the books. What's the best way to avoid that?

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Eric

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Old 01-15-2008, 01:48 PM   #2
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Bookshelf question


How long will the shelf be?

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Old 01-15-2008, 02:02 PM   #3
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Bookshelf question


I'm still in the design phase, so they can be as short or as long as need be I suppose. Probably somewhere around 2-3' wide?
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:44 PM   #4
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Bookshelf question


Shelves bow due to over loading the shelf and/or making the shelves too wide. A 36" wide, single thickness ply= bow potential. A 24-28 " shelf would be hard pressed to bow.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:43 PM   #5
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Bookshelf question


Would making the shelves out of a hardwood be less likely to bow, or are some manufactured woods "stiffer"?
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:55 AM   #6
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Bookshelf question


If you use plywood for the shelves you can add a 1-1/2 x 3/4" solid edge to the front of the shelf. It will cover the end grain of the plywood and make the shelves stronger. I Thought I had a pic but couldnt find it.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:12 PM   #7
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Bookshelf question


The pretty face can be used as integral support, like in cabinets and furniture. The backer board should serve some support, even if it is 1/8" thick. You could use a ledger strip under the back of the shelf to add strength.

Check out the shelves in the library.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:35 PM   #8
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Bookshelf question


You can add a 1 1/2" strip of real wood to the front of the plywood to cover the edge and help it not bow. Also something that I like is using stair treads, the pine tread come 11 1/4" by up to 16' so you cut any leagth you want and the at a full 1" thick it's a lot stiffer.

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