Suggestions re Shelf Thickness Please - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Default Suggestions re Shelf Thickness Please

A friend has asked for her kitchen to be reworked using drawers rather than shelves - there are medical reasons behind the refit, but also it was time for repairs in some areas. The kitchen cupboards are already fitted and it is not feasible to pull them out unless we want to start again from scratch. This means that I can't drive in any screws/nails from the outside for one thing.

The pantry is my biggest area of concern. It is 1200mm wide and the current 16mm whiteboard shelves are sagging. The owners complaint is she doesn't have enough storage space, and if anything is at the back of a shelf she has to pull everything out to get to it. She also wants flexibility to rearrange the shoves in the future.

With all this in mind - and I realise that this is a 2 sentence summary of a 2 hour conversation so lot of details are left out - I have come up with the attached drawing which she loves. The key features are drawers below waist height, and rollout shelves above waist height. The rollout shelves are half the width of the pantry just to make the easier to use, however this implies a dividing wall in the middle, and a shelf above the drawers to support that wall and all the weight put on it by the rollout shelves. I have some 25mm whiteboard already which would be perfect for that slot, however I am wondering if 25mm is thick enough and I should go to 32mm. 32mm is a lot more work as I will have to glue 2 16mm boards together and I don't have any suitable edge tape for that width.

The rollout shelves are relocatable. the shelf itself fits inside a U frame, and the frame sits on top of two side cleats and underneath a back cleat, with pins to hold it in position. There are 15 sets of cleats on each side, and the shelves can be put into any of the cleat positions that suit. She loves this idea. The only real issue I have is the one mentioned in the previous paragraph, how thick the supporting shelf needs to be, and how to fix that shelf adequately when I can't get to the outside of the cabinet to drive in screws. At the moment, I am using 15-20 L shaped brackets that screw to the walls and the shelf.

Any comments?

Darryl
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 09:50 PM
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It depends on the width of the shelves. The thickest shelving (I'm assuming whiteboard is what we call melamine here) that they sell locally is one inch (25mm) so I'm assuming it would be ok, but a lot depends on the width.

I'm also wondering if wood edging would help reinforce it so that would be stiffer and less likely to sag.

Cool plan. I like the graduated drawers.

Could you use pocket holes for the fixed shelf?

Last edited by Goblu; 04-05-2015 at 09:53 PM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 10:34 PM
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That looks like a heck of an undertaking.

Are the shelves going to be attached to full extension ball bearing drawer slides or what? I couldn't figure that part out.

How deep are the pantry shelves?

I think maybe you should do a sample mock up and see what it looks like. I would be concerned about sagging and/or jamming or racking making the shelf hard to pull out.

I checked out our small pantry. The shelves are 31 inches wide x 12 inches deep, with several 16 inches deep. All are 3/4 inch thick. I don't see any real sagging.

Other thoughts...

Some shelves are minimum 12 inches in between so cereal containers will fit...others 10 or 11 inches. Other items to consider is bottled water and soft drinks.

I think fewer shelves made more like pull out trays with sides would be a good option. I really think shelves with short sides would be conducive to stuff falling off the back.

A 1/2 inch bottom captured on all sides of the pull out should be good for what ever weight she puts in it.

Here are pics of the tray I made for our buffet.

Good luck with your project. Post some pics when you can.
Mike
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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Mike,

thanks for your comments. Answers:

Drawers are on 45 kg ball bearing full extension slides. The rollout shelves are on standard 30kg slides.

Depth = 550mm or 21.6"
Drawer Width = 1163mm or 45.8"
Rollout shelf width = 526mm or 20.7"

I am not concerned about the drawers. We did similar when I was working at the factory. They are entirely of 16mm melamine. (16mm = 5/8")

The rollout shelves are also 16mm melamine with Tasmanian Oak wrapped around the edges.

The drawers that you made are similar to what I am building in many respects and help confirm my expectations along with other similar drawers at the factory.

Today I have decided to support the middle 25mm shelf with aluminium angle 25m x 25mm x 3mm. Running that around both sides and the back should be enough to support all the rollout shelves.

thanks,
Darryl

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Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
That looks like a heck of an undertaking.

Are the shelves going to be attached to full extension ball bearing drawer slides or what? I couldn't figure that part out.

How deep are the pantry shelves?

I think maybe you should do a sample mock up and see what it looks like. I would be concerned about sagging and/or jamming or racking making the shelf hard to pull out.

I checked out our small pantry. The shelves are 31 inches wide x 12 inches deep, with several 16 inches deep. All are 3/4 inch thick. I don't see any real sagging.

Other thoughts...

Some shelves are minimum 12 inches in between so cereal containers will fit...others 10 or 11 inches. Other items to consider is bottled water and soft drinks.

I think fewer shelves made more like pull out trays with sides would be a good option. I really think shelves with short sides would be conducive to stuff falling off the back.

A 1/2 inch bottom captured on all sides of the pull out should be good for what ever weight she puts in it.

Here are pics of the tray I made for our buffet.

Good luck with your project. Post some pics when you can.
Mike
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 06:00 AM
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What type of wood did you use? Very nice work!!!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 08:51 AM
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What type of wood did you use? Very nice work!!!
Hard maple, glued up and planed to 5/8 inch. Looks really nice in person.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 11:43 AM
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Darryl I have a bit of a compromise between a drawer and a shelf on my my bottoms. I put about 2.5 inch by .75 inch birch boards around my bottom shelves and rabbeted them to fit the .625 inch melamine. This made them quite strong and they have been loaded with a full load of canned products with no issues. You could do something similar on the shelves above. Even if you only used a tall member on the rear side it would make a big difference in strength. It will also prevent anything being pushed off the shelf when extended. Sides being put on the shelf will also not interfere with the function while adding strength. A short lip on the front would help some more but might interfere some, especially if the person is short.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
Darryl I have a bit of a compromise between a drawer and a shelf on my my bottoms. I put about 2.5 inch by .75 inch birch boards around my bottom shelves and rabbeted them to fit the .625 inch melamine. This made them quite strong and they have been loaded with a full load of canned products with no issues. You could do something similar on the shelves above. Even if you only used a tall member on the rear side it would make a big difference in strength. It will also prevent anything being pushed off the shelf when extended. Sides being put on the shelf will also not interfere with the function while adding strength. A short lip on the front would help some more but might interfere some, especially if the person is short.
Charles,

the shelves in the top section are designed to be adjustable and to fit into any set of cleats. Currently they have a 9mm lip around them. The Tas Oak edge is 25mm less the melamine at 16mm. I could probably go a bit higher as long as it doesn't interfere with the cleats above. I have put full size backs on the drawers to stop things sliding down the back, but not necessarily full size sides. This design as it is uses a full 4 sheets of whiteboard with very little scrap left over as it is. There is a bit more leeway on the Tas. Oak, but I can't remember how much.

Thanks for your comments,
Darryl

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goblu View Post
It depends on the width of the shelves. The thickest shelving (I'm assuming whiteboard is what we call melamine here) that they sell locally is one inch (25mm) so I'm assuming it would be ok, but a lot depends on the width.

I'm also wondering if wood edging would help reinforce it so that would be stiffer and less likely to sag.

Cool plan. I like the graduated drawers.

Could you use pocket holes for the fixed shelf?
Katie,

I have been talking with a few mates here, and we think the 25mm will be strong enough particularly if we support it with aluminium angle on 3 sides. I already have a 25mm shelf in one of my own cupboards which is 900mm long holding sound gear - amps, cables, etc. which is a fair amount of weight and it hasn't sagged at all. The key is to support it on the back as well as the sides.

Darryl

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 05:48 PM
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Hi Darryl

What sort of weight are you carrying on each shelf and what is acceptable as sag? If you know those you can key the data into the Sagulator and it will answer your questions

Regards

Phil
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