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I am building my first piece of furniture which will include what is basically a book case with a middle partition to create cubbies. The middle partition is 3/4 plywood. I am planning to dado the shelves into the sides of the frame (I don't want adjustable shelves). The trick is how to attach the shelves to the partition board in the middle b/c there will be shelves attached on both sides. If I dado 1/4 on 2 sides of the 3/4 plywood, am I asking for trouble, or will it be strong enough with the remaining < 1/4 wood that is left - the vertical board is not load bearing but will it bow or something? Another though I had was to dado one side and then drill holes through the dado to put dowels into the shelf on the other sides. Are there any expert opinions out there? Thanks!
 

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Hi J, welcome. I think that the partion might be flimsey with only 1/4 left in the middle. I just finished a shelving built-in in a pantry with a similar set-up, so a solution might consist of the following: Dado the rear wall of the unit horizontally to recieve the shelves and you should already have good support, even without much help from the centre partition, especially if you face the shelves with a sturdy edge moulding. You could then slot the shelves to half depth, with a corresponding slot in the vertical partition and slide the partition into a dado at top and bottom. Unless your spans are enormous, you should have plenty of support. I can climb up the ones I built with a span of almost 5 feet. I happen to like 3/4 ply as well, although it is overkill for most such applications. Usually looks best if you treat the exposed edges with edge tape or a moulding as mentioned, depending on the look you require for your piece. Hope this helps,

R
 

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I just cut the dado to 1/8 inch depth. Unless there is going to be significant weight on the shelf this should be strong enough.
 

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Jason
There are a few different ways that I have tried to this. They all worked pretty well.
The 1/4 dadoe worked well I think the glue makes up for the strength you may loose although I don't think this would be a good choice for you if you plan on using the cubbies anything heavy.
You could use pocket screws and glue on the underside if the shelves if they are hidden from view. These work well (over the last few years I've become a big fan of pocket screws.)
You could use biscuts and glue. This works well and the joinery is hidden.
You could use shelf pins.
You could use cleats attached with bolts. Not too pretty, but effective.
Just a few suggestions I'm sure you will get more.
Good luck
Wayne
 
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