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Thread: Building Three Or Four Bookshelves

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Building Three Or Four Bookshelves

    I was watching this video on building a bookshelf, and I am curious, is it better to use pressed board, or something like oak?

    I want to use wood that will remain sturdy for many years.

    Thanks for the help:

    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    It is better to use wood that you have purchased by the fruit of your own labor than wood stolen from someone else. I hope I've been helpful.

    Edit - Perhaps you might consult Gibson. They have extensive experience as a consultant when one must deal with the federal government regarding wood.
    Last edited by georg jetson; 08-16-2012 at 11:43 PM.

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    Book shelves

    You said you want something to last many years. Hardwood is better than soft wood which is better than pressed or particle board. Unless you're going to paint them, hardwood looks better as well. (I'm a wood guy rather than a paint guy.)

    I put a set of shelves in my new place with supports on each wall stud - sixteen inches apart. One keeps the distances between supports as low as possible; when wood is unsupported over distance, it tends to sag. But again, hardwood sags less than soft wood which doesn't sag as much as particle board. Also part of the equation is the thickness of the shelf.

    Oak is excellent. It is structurally sound and has excellent grain and color. Poplar is a strong wood, not quite as pretty as oak but less expensive. Like many things, there are trade offs involved.
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    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Pressed wood sounds painful.

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    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    I was watching this video on building a bookshelf, and I am curious, is it better to use pressed board, or something like oak?

    I want to use wood that will remain sturdy for many years.

    Thanks for the help:
    Pressed board is just sawdust/wood chips saturated with glue/resin, pressed together and then heated to dry. They then usually put fake wood veneer on the top and outside edges to cover up all the unsightly pressed board. Basically it is just a way to use all the scraps left over from sawmill and what is not fit to be turned into anything else, like limbs.

    Moister isn't good for any type of wood but press board can not stand any. Do not use press board in any place that has a high amount of moister such as bathrooms, basements, or outside.

    Lastly, pressed board is not as structurally sound as a solid board. You cannot as easily design and make a bookshelf out of press board. Any where screws are to be put has to be drilled, an insert has to be glued in the hole and this has to be allowed to dry. Hardwoods are not the same. Usually all you need to do is drill a pilot hole and sink the screw. The lake of integrity also limits what you can do with the bored. Engraving wood is very rewarding. A little bit of dremal and/or router work can turn a slapped together shelf look amazing. This cannot be easily accomplished with pressed wood.

    In short, pressed board is close to junk. I would suggest something along the lines of a cherry as I find it to be a very pretty wood.
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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Every time I've used pressed board of any kind for bookshelves, they've sagged from the weight of the books. Use real wood. Even then, provide for some kind of support to keep the weight from warping the boards.

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    Regular Member Redbaron007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    Pressed wood sounds painful.

    "I can live for two weeks on a good compliment."
    ~Mark Twain

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Did anybody even watch the video?

    Sarah,,,,,,damn funny I got to say, but if my Mary K. Laterno joke got deleted (and it was gun related) than.....I don't see this staying up long.......not that I am going to report it.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    Building Three Or Four Bookshelves

    I typically build shelving using 3/4" Maple veneer plywood. It's good for paint-grade and works well with a variety of stains. I make the face frame and shelf nosing out of 1-1/2"x3/4" solid Maple. My standard shelf mounting is to use 5mm shelf pins line bored top to bottom at 1-1/2" spacing.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Sarah, if you really want to know how or what to make shelves out of PM me. It all depends on size and use of shelving and the amount you want to spend.


    Still laughing no one watched the video....
    Last edited by sudden valley gunner; 08-17-2012 at 09:06 PM.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Last edited by twoskinsonemanns; 08-19-2012 at 08:12 AM.
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    Regular Member Lasjayhawk's Avatar
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    I would guess that OSHA would not approve of his use of the circular saw. You should always use eye protection when working with power tools.

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    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post

    Still laughing no one watched the video....
    It has been established long ago that almost no one reads the thread before they post.
    Last edited by HandyHamlet; 08-17-2012 at 09:57 PM.
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    Regular Member cabledawg's Avatar
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    At least Bob can measure shelves with his. I'd be better suited to measure doll houses; I'm already scaled down..........

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Did anybody even watch the video?

    Sarah,,,,,,damn funny I got to say, but if my Mary K. Laterno joke got deleted (and it was gun related) than.....I don't see this staying up long.......not that I am going to report it.
    LOL, I seriously wanted some advice on building a shelf. I will PM you with some questions. I thought it was funny that I typed Building A Shelf, into Youtube, and this video popped up, and was the first one I watched.

    A few posts above me: Yes, OSHA would have a fit if they watched this video; and I'm sure his wife.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabledawg View Post
    At least Bob can measure shelves with his. I'd be better suited to measure doll houses; I'm already scaled down..........
    Do you mean to say: Build bookshelves for doll-houses? That's freaking awesome!
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hef View Post
    I typically build shelving using 3/4" Maple veneer plywood. It's good for paint-grade and works well with a variety of stains. I make the face frame and shelf nosing out of 1-1/2"x3/4" solid Maple. My standard shelf mounting is to use 5mm shelf pins line bored top to bottom at 1-1/2" spacing.
    That's what I was thinking of using, is maple veneer plywood, and router the edges all fancy.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Building Three Or Four Bookshelves

    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    That's what I was thinking of using, is maple veneer plywood, and router the edges all fancy.
    You can edge band it with preglued tape, edge band it with solid wood (using a router bit), or add a solid nosing (square edge or profiled). For what I think you want to do a solid nosing is best. I suggest you also incorporate a furniture style v-groove at the plywood to nosing joint, which will inhibit cracking in your varnish at the joint later.

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    Regular Member ()pen(arry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    That's what I was thinking of using, is maple veneer plywood, and router the edges all fancy.
    Plywood won't hold a shaped edge. Even if you're okay with the layers of ply showing, when you try to shape the edge, you'll end up with chipping, leaving voids in the layers of ply. The best you can do, if you're intent on molding the plywood, is to apply a uniform finish with wood filler and sand it smooth. It's challenging to achieve a clean look this way on a rounded edge, and nearly impossible on a complex profile. Painting is mandatory.

    Better is to apply some sort of solid wood fascia. It sounds like you want to keep it simple, so I wouldn't groove or spline on the fascia. Just get some pre-fab wood molding strips of the same thickness as your plywood, tack it on with finishing nails (drill pilot holes to avoid delamination and bulging), and then use wood filler to fill the nail holes and cover the seam. Plan on painting, not staining.

    The real challenge is your desire for this to last several years. Without superior joinery, you're going to end up with a carcase that racks, even if you build in gussets and fasten the back to all sides. It may be quite sturdy at first, but after a couple years of minute movement from usage and bumps, it will become flimsy, especially if you ever move it. This is the nature of the all-plywood carcase. You can't dovetail plywood, so you can
    • extend the sides above the top and below the bottom, allowing the top and bottom to be dadoed in;
    • use thick (7/8" or 1") plywood, with rabbet-and-dado corner joints, and at least one fixed shelf glued into dados; or
    • build the carcase from framed panels consisting of solid wood rails and stiles, and plywood panels.

    The last option is by far the best, gives you lots of options for strong corner joints, and eliminates the problem of the appearance of the plywood edges (though, not for the shelves).

    Don't get your advice on woodworking from YouTube. There are a number of excellent books (none of which are sold at Barnes & Noble) on basic woodworking skills that are inexpensive. Find recommendations at dedicated woodworking sites. If you must watch videos, then look nowhere but here.

    Finally, don't expect much from an all-plywood bookcase. If you don't invest in materials and joinery, you'll reinvest in a new bookcase in a few years.

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    Regular Member ()pen(arry's Avatar
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    Building Three Or Four Bookshelves

    Clarification: there's a fair bit of good woodworking advice and videos online for serious woodworkers, from Marc Spagnuolo on the neo-American all-machine end, to Christopher Schwarz on the classical joiner/cabinet-maker end. For what you want to do, however, stick with Norm and the hobbyist woodworking sites.

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    I will look at some books. I can get the equipment, from a friend, for dovetailing. I am thinking hard about this, and will likely use real wood, instead of press-board. I have a rather large record collection, and your run-of-the-mill shelving just isn't cutting it (the weight). Also, we have a massive book collection--1000+--and, as with the records, weight.

    Thanks for the responses. Hope the video didn't leave to much coffee on the screens.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

  22. #22
    Regular Member Jack House's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    It all depends on size and use of shelving and the amount you want
    Right, shelving.

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    Regular Member ()pen(arry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    I will look at some books. I can get the equipment, from a friend, for dovetailing. I am thinking hard about this, and will likely use real wood, instead of press-board.
    Have a look at The Essential Woodworker. It's a treatise on the basic skills of a hand woodworker, but the design and assembly information holds true for machine woodworking, as well. I recommend a dovetailed maple or white oak carcase with fixed shelves, at least for the records as they're all the same size, and a grooved-in hardwood ply (maple or beech) back. If you fit the dovetails with care and affix the shelves with dado housings, you'll have a strong carcase that will last the rest of your life.

  24. #24
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack House View Post
    Right, shelving.
    Haha we think alot alike......lol.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    She got me...

    I viewed the first few seconds of this and then made my first post... Good one B92SF. You got me... LOL!!!

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