Advice with shelves

28 Jun 2009
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United Kingdom
Hi we're putting up some shelves in a brick built cupboard and I'm after some advice on materials.

The shelves will fit the width of the cupboard at 1090mm and will be 300mm deep. I was going to use timber around the three edges to baton it.

The shelves need to take a fair bit of weight as it will be large hardback books on them. Which material would be best for the shelves and what size timber should I use for the batons. We would also possibly be painting them white with water based satin.

Pic of cupboard below.

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2x 6x1" planed timber [21x143mm]
or scaffold boards old or new at 225mm with a plank cut into 3 bits off 73mm to fill the gap at the back

no baton required along the back wall just 2x1" par each side[21x44mm]
Many options, one would be a free standing shelf assembly made with 18mm mdf, will paint easily .
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how solid is the base ??
i assume its an over stairs cupboard ??
fully laden unit will be heavy possibly 80-100kg loaded [35-40kg 18mm mdf 60-75% off a sheet ]
take off the side and extend it up to the ceiling,install a couple of stainless steel poles to make it into a wardrobe,then either make some doors to go over the front or just install some curtains over it.
then buy a couple of storage units to place somewhere else in the room.

just done something very similar to mine :rolleyes:
Thanks for the idea's I like the sound of using scaffolding planks and will look into that.

18mm MDF might also be an option, would that also only need batons down the side?

I think a free standing shelf unit might be quite difficult for me to make relative to putting in some shelves. We had looked for off the shelf ones but they were either too small or too big. It is an over stairs cupboard so maybe it wouldn't like too much weight.
This is a good resource ...

... helps you check if your chosen shelving option will sag or not.

The biggest differences come with making the shelves fixed rather than floating ... ie. if the short edges can't come up, it's hard for the long ones to go down!
You may like to consider Wickes Timberboard.......solid pine, glued and sanded flat. 300x1150x18mm, £15.89.
Tougher than MDF by a mile.
John :)
Looking on the sag calculator MDF seems more likely to sag, would thick plywood be stronger couldn't see it on the list?
Personally I think MDF is the worst material in all'll sag ok, just takes a while.
Ply would be better but of course you are left with a raw edge - which is often covered with a timber 'lip' to hide it.
John :)

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