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Old 01-10-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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Wood for Shelving


Hello everyone. I'm new to the forums. Name is Bryan and I'm living in Baltimore currently.

I built my first with some plywood that I got from Home Depot, but really don't like the plywood. I'm planning on building quite a few more things like a few shelves, entertainment center, and probably some furniture like end tables and a coffee table. I'm probably going to get mostly 1x12's for the shelves, but don't really know what type of wood I want, and where to buy. I'm not real fond of Pine. So I guess my questions are:

1. What type of wood would you recommend, and remember that I want the cheapest price with the nicest quality. I'm just not sure on prices of things and what I should look for. What do you think will be the nicest looking wood at a good price.

2. Where should I buy? I'm not buying much really. If I get 1x12x8's I'll probably be getting somewhere in the range of 20 or so boards. So would a Lumber Yard be best to get the best wood, or for 20 or so boards should I just get it from Home Depot and at least I can pick through and get the best ones?

3. What's prices on certain woods? I love oak, maple, and birch, but the solid boards are expensive. Is Poplar a good one?

Also, I was somewhat coerced into getting the "cabinet grade" plywood, which ran about $25 a sheet. There was decent Birch Plywood that was about $45 a sheet, but do you think that would look good enough? Basically what I did with the plywood, I used for the sides and shelves, then bought some oak boards for the front casing, and some of the ornate trim to cover the plywood edges. Came out ok, but really think I'd prefer the real wood look. Any suggestions would be awesome, and thanks in advance.

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Old 01-10-2012, 11:58 PM   #2
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Wood for Shelving


For shelves plywood with a solid wood front edge glued on works better.
Birch is usually the cheapest of the nice options.

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Old 01-11-2012, 12:10 AM   #3
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For shelves plywood with a solid wood front edge glued on works better.
Birch is usually the cheapest of the nice options.
That's pretty much what I did. Just used plywood with real oak 1x2's on the front. I used the cabinet plywood, which I do kinda regret, but. It turned out ok, just really like real wood, instead of the plywood.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:15 AM   #4
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Wood for Shelving


There is a woodworking part of the forum you may want to post in. I worked in a cabinet shop many years ago.

When using solid lumber better to use thinner (say 2") strips and glue them up alternating the growth ring direction. Helps to keep it from warping
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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There is a woodworking part of the forum you may want to post in. I worked in a cabinet shop many years ago.

When using solid lumber better to use thinner (say 2") strips and glue them up alternating the growth ring direction. Helps to keep it from warping
That's interesting. Haven't really thought about that. If I used 2" planks, how do you go about gluing them together though? Seems like a lot of work though to glue and make sure they are exactly lined up though.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:51 AM   #6
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Wood for Shelving


It is a lot of work. Do a google search. http://www.google.ca/search?sourceid...+up+wood+panel
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:27 AM   #7
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So, I've been doing a lot of reading, and I think I'm going to go with Oak plywood for my next one and try that out. I've been reading reviews and all the recent reviews for the birch and oak plywood from HD and Lowe's are terrible. Where can I buy this and actually get good quality? Also, what should the price be for something like that. The plywood at HD and Lowes was about $45 for a 3/4 x4'x8' piece. Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:35 AM   #8
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Wood for Shelving


All 1x12s are cupped.
Home Depot sells wide boards made of thinner boards glued together for a good price.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:27 AM   #9
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Find a hardwood supplier---That is one store you will find helpful---Prices are usually better,too.

Every good sized city has at least one--
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:43 AM   #10
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Here's a link to a shelf span calculator for solid wood shelves.
http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm

Baltic birch plywood has more plys and is stronger than regular plywood. For example 3/4" thick baltic has 11 plys while 'standard' 3/4" has either 5 or 7 plys. There are also fewer voids.

Added: Look into using stair treads they are 1-1/32" thick and are already bullnosed.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:02 AM   #11
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Here's a link to a shelf span calculator for solid wood shelves.
http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm

Baltic birch plywood has more plys and is stronger than regular plywood. For example 3/4" thick baltic has 11 plys while 'standard' 3/4" has either 5 or 7 plys. There are also fewer voids.

Added: Look into using stair treads they are 1-1/32" thick and are already bullnosed.
Ok, so I did the sagulator. Not sure what it means though. lol. it says "0,57 Total and .149" per foot". They are just basic shelves at this point. About 4ft by 4ft. Nothing special. Just something we needed around the house. I actually have a picture too. Not much compared to most of what people do on here. Some of the inlay work is incredible. Really it was the first time I built a piece of furniture. Besides a couple Adirondak Chairs a few years ago.

Added: BTW, I used nails and glued everything. I figured it may sag a little bit and I'd add boards if needed and they start to sag. Just for a little extra support. I figured one centered on the bottom shelf, two in the second shelf, and another one centered on the 3rd shelf from the bottom.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:21 AM   #12
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Ok, so I did the sagulator. Not sure what it means though. lol. it says "0,57 Total and .149" per foot".
The shelf you are building will sag .57" (9/16") when loaded. I am curious, what were your inputs?
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:37 AM   #13
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The shelf you are building will sag .57" (9/16") when loaded. I am curious, what were your inputs?
I probably did it wrong. lol. I used MDF for the wood, and it's about 45"wide, 12"deep, and 48" tall. There's a really good chance I did it wrong though. That's the first time I'd seen that thing.

Added: I also over compensated for weight because it will mostly be books on the bottom 2 shelves, then lighter stuff on the next 2. I put in 50lbs per ft for the load. I don't really know what that would be once it's loaded though.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:17 AM   #14
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Just by changing the mdf to 3/4" plywood you will cut the sag ~ 1/2 (3/8").
Books are heavy. I just weighed a 6" high 9"x 11" stack of books at 22½ pounds, so your 50 #/ft. isn't too far off.
I would cut the span down in half of the bottom two shelves for the heavy books and build it.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #15
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Thanks. Its built, just have to cut those 2 extra boards, stain/poly, then slide them in and glue/nail. The shelf is done. Will the wood glue adhere ok to the polyurethane?

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