Fixing mdf

29 Apr 2010
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United Kingdom
I'm building a freestanding bookshelf out of mdf (for cheapness).

I need to fix the shelves by putting a screw through the side of the bookshelf (mdf), and then into the edge of the shelf (mdf).

I'm just a little concerned that when the shelves are loaded with books, the self might not hold.

I don't really want to rest the shelf on a timber batten if I can help it.

Ay help appreciated.

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Needs to be 18mm mdf minimum and pre drill all holes to prevent splitting, stay at least 80mm from any edges for the same reason.Glue would help or internal shelves can be held on plastic blocks, no dimension on drawing but anything over 500mm in length is liable to warp with heavy books on it.Fitting a back pinned to each shelf will help prevent this as would a 50mm baton [mdf is ok] fixed under the front edge of each shelf.
you dont mention the unsupported span or thickness
mdf will sag even over a small span
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Thanks for your quick response gents.

Foxhole; when you say 'shelves could sit on plastic blocks' do you know the proper name so I can find them on the Internet?

I could make sure the shelves are 500mm wide maximum, does this mean the shelves could sit on plastic blocks, and therefore no need for support at the back, or a batten under the front of each shelf?

We use biscuits and screws where the shelves intersect with the uprights, for long span shelves we use a steel bar or something similar and hide it behind a small pelmet along the underside of shelf at the front.
Thanks Chirpchippy,

a biscuit?

Where would you get the steel bar from?

It would be good to understand how this is fixed?

Sorry, not steel bar steel tube, b&poo sell all sorts of sizes of steel tube, square, round etc. House it into the side panels by about 12mm and screw into the underside of shelf, obviously the smaller the tube over a long span the more it will flex.

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