Another shelf sag question

pearlchowNovember 1, 2007


I've checked past posts re shelf sag, but I don't think I saw any with as long a shelf span as I'm planning.

We are building a pantry, size 53" x 90". Shelves on 3 sides of the room, 53", 90" and 53".

Here's our plan for the shelving:

- 1x2 cleats nailed into studs

- 3/4" thick birch plywood

- 1x2 stiffener on the edges, glued and nailed (we're painting the shelves)

Shelf depths range from 8" to 16", though on the 90" run, the maximum shelf depth is 12".

Do you think the 1x2 cleats offer sufficient support or would you recommend additional support, and if so, what span?

Also, if additional support is needed, can we use those decorative wooden brackets? But would they need to be notched to accomodate the 1x2 cleats? (We already have the cleats installed).

Also, I think I would need to join the shelves where they butt together in the corners. I don't have a biscuit routing tool, so I was just thinking of using wood blocks or flat metal bars screwed in on the bottom side of the shelves.

Any other ideas or suggestions would be gladly received!


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Consider halving the 90" span with a support post.
Make the 1x2 edge from maple or a similarly hard wood.
Use a flat lap/miter for the corner joint in lieu of the biskit.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 10:17PM
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Below is a system to figure sag.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shelf Sagulator calculation.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 6:27PM
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Thanks sombreuil mongrel and handymac for your responses!
I checked out the sag calculator, pretty nifty. Even though our shelf thickness is 3/4", I entered 1" thick shelves into the calculator given the addition of our 1x2 edging. Do you think that's an accurate reflection?
Based on the sagulator, it sounds like we may need support brackets every 30" - 36".
Can we notch the brackets so they fit over the 1x2 cleats?
Any others with their thoughts?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 12:40PM
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36" spans shouldn't be a problem. I build heavily loaded bookshelves at 32" with similar construction, supported by shelf clips at the ends. Rather than brackets, you might consider breaking your runs by using a 1x2 trim piece running floor to ceiling (or top shelf) every 36". You only need it at the front since you have a solid cleat nailed to the wall at the back.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 2:29PM
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