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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For a home office, maximizing wall shelving space, primarily for books. In this area, I put up the double-rom ClosetMaid (Rubbermaind looks similar) standards, and a box of the 12" deep brackets... more will be needed!

Anyway, thinking about the shelves themselves. I bought (this is at either Big Orange or its national competitor, I forget which), for test purposes, one of the prefinished white shelves, and cut through it. Under the nice white finish -- particleboard.

So, any ideas how strong will these be in use? I put the standards on every stud, no no span of over 16" without a support. Loaded up with books (as an extreme case, I once bought a 6-volume set of the London Times atlas from 1957, these guys are big and heavy), will they suffice? I was thinking of a test, put that test shelf on two bricks 16" apart, and stand in the middle :surprise:.

Alternatively, I could buy 1x12 stock, clear pine or poplar ($ or $). and then stand & poly, more money and more work when the pre-made shelves would mostly only involve cutting to length.
 

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As long as you are using the twin track uprights, and the 12" brackets, and the uprights are secured into studs deep enough every 16". And every screw hole is utilized.

According to Rubbermaid, the 12" brackets will hold 275 lbs per pair.

Follow this link to get a better idea of what Rubbermaid means.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As long as you are using the twin track uprights, and the 12" brackets, and the uprights are secured into studs deep enough every 16". And every screw hole is utilized.

According to Rubbermaid, the 12" brackets will hold 275 lbs per pair.

Follow this link to get a better idea of what Rubbermaid means.
Thanks for replying. I think I checked all those boxes on the standards. But it's the shelving material I'm worried about; the standards and brackets are tough, but if a particleboard shelf, even a coated one, breaks in between brackets, it might be very messy.
 

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If you want your office to look really nice and have strong brackets, I'd recommend Right On Bracket. They make traditional and modern brackets of all types that hold a ton of weight. I use them all the time for my projects. Here's a link to their website:

https://rightonbracket.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was thinking of a test, put that test shelf on two bricks 16" apart, and stand in the middle :surprise:
Well, I did that. Supported this scrap of Rubbermaid/ClosetMaid shelving with 16" open space in the middle, and stepped on it. It did not break. So, unless I am putting over 190LB on a given shelf, I guess I'm good. :wink2:

If you want your office to look really nice and have strong brackets, I'd recommend Right On Bracket.
Interesting! But I already have the standards up and a big box of brackets, I think I'm "committed", and I'm pretty sure the standards/brackets are not going to be the weak link.
 

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I'm guessing the shelves are 5/8" (ish) thick. If you wanted more confidence you might see if there are thicker ones available.
While the shelves might hold the weight, they may develop a 'sag-set' over time if the weight is close to limits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm guessing the shelves are 5/8" (ish) thick. If you wanted more confidence you might see if there are thicker ones available.
While the shelves might hold the weight, they may develop a 'sag-set' over time if the weight is close to limits.
Good point and worthwhile to check.:thumbsup:
 

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Good point and worthwhile to check.:thumbsup:

This link 'sagilator' (there might be others) includes particle board near the bottom of the scroll but I don't know how to interpret the various grades. I have used it as a guide for building solid wood bookshelves (then overbuild anyway). I doubt the laminate coating adds much strength - it is often just a thermplas skin depending on the construction.


https://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator/
 

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Thanks for replying. I think I checked all those boxes on the standards. But it's the shelving material I'm worried about; the standards and brackets are tough, but if a particleboard shelf, even a coated one, breaks in between brackets, it might be very messy.
The shelves support over 300 lbs. And when they are supported 16" on center, you don't have anything to worry about. Just put the ends/joins over a bracket.

Melamine shelves are surprisingly strong, especially when supported correctly. And you can help with the sag if you periodically flip the shelves.
 

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If you really are worried about sag you can add structural strength to the particle board shelves . Most good hardware/big box stores sell aluminum shapes like round/square/flat and they also sell U channel . Get U channel that snugly fits over the long edges of the boards . You may have to rip an 1/8" or so to fit the U channel front and back so it will fit on the 12 " brackets . A little glue inside the U channel and hammer it on . You would have to drive a car on it to bend it :biggrin2:

It may sound like overkill but the weight of books adds up REAL quick . And over time the weight and gravity do their thing . Do it right the first time and don't look back .
 
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