Shelves for Cubby Hole / Cupboard

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by gribbon, 20 Aug 2015.

  1. gribbon

    gribbon

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    Hi Everyone,

    First time poster and would really appreciate some help on a project I'm looking at doing soon. For info, I'd say I'm novice with woodworking, having built the odd planter/etc.

    Our spare room is relatively untouched since moving in, and I'm currently decorating. There is a cubby hole / storage area in there. Previously it was open into a cupboard between that room and the main room, but I have now installed some simple MDF sheets to cover the gap. It is as below (sorry about the orientation):
    IMG_1186.JPG

    What I want to do is install two full size shelves into it as a storage area.

    Its harder to see the full plan view of the cubby hole from the picture:
    Top Plan.png
    Obviously I can't attach much to the back board as its just thin MDF. The left is an external brick wall and the right seems to be wooden (the old owners had a clothes rail in there which was attached across.

    My idea was to create a simple "frame" which could be slotted in behind the beam area (black square on the plan above) and attached to both sides. The frame would essentially be two side beams to attach to the walls, and 3 cross beams to support the shelf (attached to the side beams). As per the below (arrows showing where it would be attached to wall):
    Frame Plan.png

    I would then cut a piece of wood to the size of the whole area (coming right out to the front, extending past the front of the frame) and lay it ontop of the frame - possibly attaching a trim piece to the front to tidy it up and hide the frame from view.

    Questions are:
    1) Does this seem like the best way to do this? Am I missing a simpler option, or does my solution have a fundamental flaw?
    2) Any recommendations on type of wood (and thicknesses) for the frame, the actual shelf, and the 'trim' at the front. I'm thinking as light as possible for all elements, but as cheap as possible as well :)

    many thanks for any help.
     
  2. foxhole

    foxhole

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    18mm Mdf, quick and cheap, assemble in situ or you will loose some space, you could replace the back with mdf sheet as well.
     
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  4. endecotp

    endecotp

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    Sounds complicated. Why not just fix battens left and right and put shelves on top of those?
     
  5. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    Depends on the loading, but MDF is fairly strong in compression, and fixing into the MDF rear wall would be mainly to stop deflection of the shelf, with downward compression. The main shear load would be on the side walls.

    I'd batten round all 5 edges, so the batten formed the trim. The front of shelves may have to take a heavier load as things are lifted on/off the shelves. A cross-batten either sideways or front-back. Glue and screw into all the walls whatever they may be.

    I have just done a similar job using chipboard loft flooring panels with the tongues sawed off for the shelves - 3 for £8 from B&Q. In my case one side wall is plasterboard which is probably even weaker than MDF.
     
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  7. gribbon

    gribbon

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    Thanks for the replies all.

    Yes the reason for the cross beams in my design was to prevent the board from warping/bending over time; it's about 90cm across and looks like it might need it. Maybe just the one though rather than the three in my initial plan.

    What would you recommend for the batten / supporting beams? Would a 19x38 sawn timber do the job? (Seems to be the cheapest timber option from my local yard)

    Also what do you mean by "you will loose some space" if I don't assemble in situ? I'm one for diving in and seeing how it goes, so would like to make sure I dont make a costly mistake. :)
     
  8. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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