Bookcase shelf support choice

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  #1  
Old 01-15-04, 12:07 PM
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Bookcase shelf support choice

I am planning a set of built-in bookcases. Trying to find opinions on adjustable shelf supports. Seems like the choices are:

(1) Holes drilled at regular intervals (1") in the bookcase sides, then use standard shelf support hardware (5 mm or 1/4" holes).

(2) Metal shelf standards such as these:
http://www.knapeandvogt.com/kv/Shelv...MODE=Published

Seems to me that the metal shelf standards are a lot less work, even if I recess them in a dado. Are they strong enough for heavy-duty bookshelves (I plan ~30" wide shelves)?
 
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Old 01-15-04, 05:18 PM
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The metal inserts are plenty strong. I think that the one you use is a matter of preference. I like the clean look of the drilled holes.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 01-16-04, 02:51 AM
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If you want your piece to look like you bought it at a furniture store, then use standards. I personally think they are ugly. I equalize my shelves out and drill holes 2" up and 2" down. Looks a lot nicer
 
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Old 01-16-04, 06:26 AM
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Funny, every bookcase I have ever bought in a store has had drilled holes, never standards. I have had problems with a few bookcases where the drilled holes failed - the pin for the shelf just levered out, damaging the hole near the surface. The bookcase sides were 3/4" oak plywood. Maybe the holes were slightly oversized?

I have seen 5mm grommets you can use to strengthen the holes - drill an oversized hole and push the grommet in. The shelf pin then plugs into the grommet . Has anybody tried this system? See the bottom of this page:
http://www.wwhardware.com/catalog.cf...tID=5mm%20Hole
 
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Old 01-16-04, 07:03 AM
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I have used them before, but don't like them. They fall out easier than just drilling holes.

Not every "Furniture Store" will have standards, but standards remind me of cheap furniture.
 
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Old 01-16-04, 07:08 AM
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I make a lot of adjustable shelves in bookcases and cabinets and much prefer the cleaner look of holes v.s. the metal support pieces.

One thing to avoid is using 5mm shelf supports in 1/4" holes. The pins should fit snugly in the holes so the load is carried over the full depth of the hole.

Too small pins will "tip" slightly and cause the hole to wear at the surface of the sides since the weight is concentrated there.
 
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Old 01-16-04, 01:29 PM
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Old 01-16-04, 04:07 PM
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Looks pretty much like the others. You would still see them.

Think I'll stick to my plunge router and jig setup. Works great and it's fast.
 
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Old 01-16-04, 04:36 PM
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Dave, why go through all of that trouble when you can make a templete out of 1/4" ply?

Cut a piece of 1/4"x 4" then mesure the inside height of your cabinet.

Take the inside dimension height, subtract the thickness of all the shelves put together and divide that by the amount of openings there will be.

Transfer that dimension to the piece of 1/4", measure up 2" down 2" and mark your lines. I cut the piece 4" wide so my holes end up 2" from the front of the cabinet and 2" from the back.

It litterly takes me 1 min to lay out my holes on the 1/4"
 
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Old 01-16-04, 05:50 PM
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While we're on the subject, what about glass shelving in a display cabinet (a curio, for instance), i.e. irregular sized items being moved about requiring that the glass shelves be moved appropriately?

Tom
 
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Old 01-17-04, 05:59 AM
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Tom-

For glass shelves, I've used the "L" shaped shelf supports with the usual hole alignment. I put an adhesive backed felt pad on the horizontal part of the "L" to cushion the glass. I've also seen (but haven't used, yet) a clear plastic support. I guess that these are supposed to be less noticeable.


Mike-

My jig is made of 1/4" plywood with 5/16" holes on 2" centers, 2" from the edges. I put a 1/4" straight cutting bit and collar in my plunge router and set the depth to 1/2" - 9/16".

I lay the cabinet side on the bench, mark the first hole and clamp the jig and cabinet side to the bench. From there, I can drill the holes as fast as I can plunge, raise and move the router.

I "borrowed" the idea from an episode of New Yankee Workshop. If you would like to see a picture, send me an e-mail.
 
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Old 01-17-04, 07:03 AM
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I typically use the 3/16" spoon pin with a rubber bumper on it.

Other ways I've done glass shelves are to make a wooden frame, use a rabbiting bit inside of the frame and inset the glass. I've also used the plastic "L' pins.

It litterly takes me about 2 mins to drill the holes for two shelves in an upper kitchen cabinet. Total of 24 holes.

2 Mins depend upon how lazy I am that day
 
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Old 01-17-04, 07:05 AM
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When drilling holes using the 1/4" ply I make a block 3/4 x3/4 and drill a hole with my 3/16" drill bit through the center of it. I put the drill bit into my gun, subtract the amount for the depth of the spoon and the 1/4" ply. That block acts as a stop so I don't drill through finished ends. Wouldn't that piss ya off.
 
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Old 01-17-04, 07:18 AM
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Thanks, Dave.

The "L"-shaped supports were my choice, and method, for the entertainment center but I, frankly, based my design primarily around function first and, then, around aesthetics. The display section evolved after you-know-who expressed the desire for a place to show some items of hers that currently don't have a "home".

(In retrospect, my beer cooler idea probably didn't have as much merit as I originally envisioned, anyway. )

Tom
 
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Old 01-17-04, 07:21 AM
Furniture Bldr
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Would the "You Know Who" happen to be the boss in your household?

Marriage is about compromise my friend and most guys out there have a lot of space that their wife can't tell them how to decorate. Typically, that's in the little shed in the back yard that no one can see LOL
 
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Old 01-17-04, 07:24 AM
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That block acts as a stop so I don't drill through finished ends. Wouldn't that piss ya off.
Not only would, but has!

Thanks for an excellent idea.

Tom
 
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Old 01-17-04, 07:35 AM
Tom_J
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Furniture Bldr,

We found long ago that a single "boss" doesn't play very well. On certain matters, though, the wife "co-boss" seems to have a bit more leverage than the husband "co-boss".

You're absolutely right about the shed! The recliner, TV and fridge are right where I want them!

Tom
 
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Old 01-17-04, 07:53 AM
Furniture Bldr
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You forgot one very important part of making a room complete. You're beautiful wife.

That's where the brown nosing comes in. hehe

I really enjoy the show "Designing for the sexes" because we all know that typically a man's and woman's taste are going to be different, so when designing a home; people need to take into account what both parties would be happy with.

In my experiences with my clientele, it's easily defined who's is what. The main things are, the wife wants the kitchen to be everything she wants and the husband wants the media room to be his. It typically works out that way. Half the battle of marriage is the wife putting up with us. Right ladies?

I find it to be quite interesting how about every 20 years peoples "color scheme" changes. During the 1970's the Mahagony's and Walnut's were very popular. "Dark Colors"

As time went on and entered the mid 90's people really started to lighten up their homes. Now, the most popular woods and finishes are Cherry and Maple with a clear finish on it. People today want that "Airey/open" feel. Give it another 10 years and we will start to go back to dark colors.

The average person changes their design taste about every 5 years.
 
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Old 01-17-04, 11:37 AM
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I'm seeing a trend toward slightly darker shades. Not the walnut/mahogany stuff, but a bit more color than clear finish.

Thank the gods that folks are getting tired of white paint!!

I HATE making a nice piece of cabinetry and having some turkey paint it white.

I take comfort in the knowledge that "I can't see it from my house"
 
  #20  
Old 01-17-04, 12:01 PM
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Dave? Are you a hobbiest, cabinet maker who works for someone or business owner in the field of Cabinet Making?
 
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Old 01-17-04, 01:31 PM
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Furniture Bldr,
You forgot one very important part of making a room complete. You're beautiful wife.
No need for brown nosing, here. My wife, Lee, is beautiful. (Don't know what she ever saw in me!)

In all actuality, she's the creative one of the two of us. She envisions and I try to make it a reality. (Truth be told, she's bought more of the tools that I've wanted than I have. Have I died and gone to heaven? )

If the woman has one fault, it's that she thinks that I can accomplish just about anything. I doubt that but, DAWG, could a man ask for more?

Tom
 
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Old 01-17-04, 01:59 PM
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Let me know if your wife is ever up for auction. LOL Just Kidding

Ya, you got lucky. Your wife has confidence in you, that's why she says you can do anything. Subconsciencely, she may be brainwashing you into doing more projects and comming on DIY to learn how. LOL.

Amy Winn Pastor "Trading Spaces Carpenter" A goddess in my book.
 
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Old 01-17-04, 04:35 PM
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Mike-

I've been doing cabinetry, furniture, etc for 20+ years as a hobby, part time job, full time job, and now as a business.

Until last year, I was an engineer who sometimes did woodworking if a project interested me or if I needed a job between engineering gigs. Now that my second engineering career (Telecom) has wound down, I'm going for it.

It's amazing, actually. Within a month of making that decision, I was booked solid with projects from friends and neighbors. Now, I'm picking up work from their friends.

Tom -

I have one of those wives too. For over 30 yrs, she has pretty much owned the inside of the house (except for my office), but I own the garge. She moans, groans, and complains about my tool purchases, but all is forgiven when I crank out some new thingy for her.
 
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Old 01-18-04, 07:21 AM
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Well, it's a fun business to be in, but a lot of hard work. Have you considered having the wife help ya out? A lot of women this day and age are now starting to get into the trade of woodworking, which I think is a good idea that everyone can enjoy making something
 

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Old 01-19-04, 06:09 AM
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"She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed" serves as my design consultant and occasional helper when I need something held in place. Other than some artsy-craftsy projects on the jig saw, she's never been interested in actually building things.

Hard work has never scared me. Most of my jobs have been in small companies operating in startup mode - great training in the marketing, sales, estimating, planning and sheduling aspects of running a business.
 
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Old 02-06-08, 02:44 PM
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And 4 Years later...

Couldn't resist throwing in my two cents on this old thread, but both holes and store-bought metal standards have their aesthetic drawbacks. I prefer to use custom wood standards. There are various designs, but I've only used round-end standards in mating stiles (for want of a better word). I think I read a good article about shelf supports in Fine Woodworking a couple years ago. I only putter around my own place, so my experience is limited.

To make two sets (4 stiles), I rip 1.5" stock 3" wide and as long as I need it. I use a 1.5" hole saw in my drill press and a simple jig to cut through the center of the stock every 2.5". Then I split the thickness of the stock for two 11/16" or so pieces. I then move to the table saw (with a SHARP, thin blade), tape the two pieces together with dowels lining up the pieces, and cut through the center of the holes. = 4 exact stile copies.

I use 1.5" thick stock & 1" wide as the standards, rounding each end to fit in the stile half-holes. That way I have about 13/16" reveal beyond the stiles to support the shelves (I cut corners on the shelves to accomodate the stiles and still butt the backboard). This appears to be real overkill, but I don't lose sleep at night worrying my books might be too much weight for a 3' shelf. And staining the stiles and standards a little darker than the base wood creates an effect I like.
 
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