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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Dados and closet organizer

My first router project is going to be a closet organizer for a friend.
She wants the shelves 18" deep and am trying to determine 1) the best wood type for staining and 2) should I cut dados in the center upright to strengthen the shelves. I was thinking of using 3/4" plywood and cutting 1/8" dados for the shelves-is that enough? I'm afraid if I do 1/4" it would weaken the 3/4" upright. The shelves will be approx 30" on each side and rest on 1x2's on the wall ends. Would appreciate any advice.

Thanks,
Toni
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 02:18 PM
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Hi Toni

You can use plywood but you will need to cover the ends,,,I would used 3/4" MDF,it's clean and true and will take paint well..

Plus put in 1/4" deep dados 3/4" wide on the uprights.
The easy way to add some support in the center put in a dado 1/4" deep and 3/4" wide. the paint will hide the joint and it will look great when your done...

If you want to make it a neat job of it use blind silding dovetail joints(1/4" to 3/8" deep also), it takes a bit more work but they are strong...and very clean looking..the joint will be hidden...plus you don't need to glue them in if you don't want to,,this helps putting them in place or taking them out some day...

If you don't want to use MDF get one of the hardwoods and it will take staining well.
Plywood always looks like plywood it's hard to cover the edges...



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Last edited by bobj3; 10-03-2007 at 02:54 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeylvr
My first router project is going to be a closet organizer for a friend.
She wants the shelves 18" deep and am trying to determine 1) the best wood type for staining and 2) should I cut dados in the center upright to strengthen the shelves. I was thinking of using 3/4" plywood and cutting 1/8" dados for the shelves-is that enough? I'm afraid if I do 1/4" it would weaken the 3/4" upright. The shelves will be approx 30" on each side and rest on 1x2's on the wall ends. Would appreciate any advice.
Thanks,
Toni
It's probably just my tired brain -- but I am having trouble picturing what you are describing. You talk about a center upright and support on the wall ends -
Im picturing something like the sketch below. Am I close?

If so -- then there shouldnt be any lateral stress -- 'weakening' your center upright wouldnt really be an issue. I would go with 1/4" deep dadoes as well.
And yes - sliding dovetails are WONDERFUL for all the reasons given.
If you are going to do plain dados -- go ahead and make them 3/4" wide -- otherwise you are making unnecessary extra work for yourself.
Either way you go -- Blind dados will give a much cleaner look.

As for material -- if you were going to paint it -- I would vote MDF in a heartbeat. It's the greatest thing since sliced bread for projects like this.

But - since you asked about staining -
I would go with oak if you are limited to the big box stores.
If there is a Rockler or Woodcraft or other hardwood retailer in your area -- go by and take a look at their selection.

You can get hardwood veneered plywood -- and there are ways to trim out the edges -- but --- hey -- this is for your lady friend --- SPLURGE a little.

In fact -- if it were me -- I would pay the extra 'nickel' and get wood for the 'outside' supports too --- make full boxes instead of attaching it to the closet walls. You will have a much more 'finished look without having to figure out how to hide those side supports.
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Last edited by Drugstore Cowboy; 10-03-2007 at 05:12 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-03-2007, 06:11 PM
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Just one more way,see below

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Last edited by bobj3; 10-03-2007 at 09:20 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks for all of the great suggestions! Since she does want to stain it, I'll need to go with either plywood or hardwood, but, with my limited knowledge of woods, can I get pieces of hardwood that are 18" deep? That's why I was going with sheets of plywood due to the depth needed. I believe that the walls in the house are plaster so I will talk with her about adding sides instead of attaching to the wall.

Thanks again for everyone's help! I will definitely be trying out all of the ideas.

Toni
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 09:15 AM
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I don't have pictures, but I've done closet organizers a few times. Every time I've done the shelves as all stationary, the people regret that decision. It's an organizer. What's in your closet can change from season to season and/or from year to year.
Make the interiors of your organizer as adaptable as possible. I am STRONGLY suggesting this (from experience). I have settled in on having each compartment using adjustable shelving hardware (I don't like just having holes for the nicer stuff and closets sometimes have heavier stuff on a shelf ... don't wanna blow a shelf support peg through a shelf). I HAVE done the holes when I had good shelf supports available. I was buying some that had slightly large diameter pins (meaning slightly larger holes for them) and much larger pads for the shelves. They showed a little but if you get brass (or colored when possible) instead of chrome then they aren't very visible.

If needed (and if this is a clothes closet, I'd do this) make a shoe shelf at the bottom of the compartment. How much space to dedicate to this depends on how many shoes they have, but 12 to 18" of the very bottom of the compartment is usually enough. This also gives you some stability. If they don't need the shoe storage they can use the plastic clothes storage boxes slid into there OR you can make them a drawer for the space later. (great for sweaters, I'm told).

I've watched one of the people I built one of these for, take all the shelves out of one side and install a clothes hanging rod across the space (built in the rod socket ahead of time and put a medallion over it).

Having 1/4" dadoes (if you decide to go that route OR for the top of your shoe storage space) in 3/4" material uprights is just not a problem. The uprights are under compression AND you've filled the void (dado) with solid material once the shelf is installed.

I've used MDF for the box when I knew they were just going to be painted and you can still face the exposed "ends" with wood. There's also a router bit made specifically for edging. These are actually pretty nice:
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...banding_anchor

Gee.... I haven't made boxes and neat stuff like that yet (although I will be soon I think), but at least THIS kind of project I've done before!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-04-2007, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeylvr
. . . can I get pieces of hardwood that are 18" deep?
Not very easily -- it would involve gluing probably at least 3 smaller boards together. Not a big deal IF you have some VERY true edges on the boards -- or access to an jointer.
Otherwise -- I would vote for hardwood veneered plywood.
Again you can get oak at the big boxes which would be fine for your task.
You would get some solid oak to trim out the edges.

If you go with a face frame as BJ illustrates (the trim slightly wider than 3/4") - the trim becomes a design feature in itself.
I've built several desks and podiums this way -- Looks fine.

A side benefit is -- you can cut straight dados -- they will essentially 'become' blind when the end is covered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeylvr
. . . I believe that the walls in the house are plaster so I will talk with her about adding sides instead of attaching to the wall.
I would really encourage that. Especially since you are going to stain it.
You will have a much more 'finished' looking piece -- like a cabinet.
Otherwise -- no matter how nice the wood you use --
it will scream -- I stuck some shelves up in this closet.
(something I learned from experience)

And while you are considering options --
DITTO what reikimaster said.
You should really at least consider making at least some of the shelves adjustable - and including drawers in others.
Takes a little more time -- but gives you/her a lot more versatility.

reikimaster --
Glad to see someone else into my end of the craft -
Haven't tackled a lot of the small detail work either.
Cabinets, desks, chests, bookcases, tables -- these are my forte'

Last edited by Drugstore Cowboy; 10-04-2007 at 10:51 PM.
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