Closet rod and shelf brace supports - what material to use?


We are installing closet rods and shelves in our new closets. My husband wants to use upside down baseboard for the support braces for the rod and shelf. I think this would look very nice but am very concerned if the baseboard would hold the weight of a fully loaded 4' clothing rod and whatever one may put on the shelf above. If he is considering using left over baseboard we have from our renovation, the board is MDF, 3/4" at the bottom and narrows to 1/4" at the top and is about 3" in height (so reverse that for use as a brace - meaning it would be 1/4" at the bottom). I'm assuming he would run the two end braces as well as a strip along the back wall to add extra support to the shelf - possibly even run the back support the full length just so it looks a little nicer.
I suggested we use a more dense wood in at least a 1" thickness and 3" height. Is this overkill, or would the baseboard be fine?
Here is an idea of what I have in mind for braces:
http://www.doingitourselves.com/images/closet_braces.jpg
Any comments on if the baseboard would be enough to hold, and hold well? Or should we be going with something more sturdy?
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MDF is no good for anything structural. You are right, a good grade of 1x4 is best, suitably eased on the ends and exposed edges to present a finished appearance. If you want to use 3/4, use hardwood. Make sure to nail or screw into the studs. On a 4' shelf, you want to use 3/4 plywood and a full-length back support, and preferably glued/nailed square stock for the front finish edge, to prevent sagging. For the rod, thickwall water pipe, not the flimsy tubing. And buy the thickest rod holders you can find, not the flimsy stamped or plastic things.
Anyway, that is how we did it back in the old days. I have seen some of those closets 30+ years later, and they still look fine. When I get around to redoing the crappily done closets in this 1960 cookie cutter, that is how I will do it.
aem sends....
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On Mar 31, 8:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It sounds like your husband is trying to save money. This can often be a good idea all by itself epecially if you have debt and many do. The baseboard may not an ideal solution but it's good enough. A space as small as a closet would be easy to remodel in the future if for some reason it doesn't work out for you or if your money situation improves.
When the budget is there, I like to use a metal bracket in my closets which supports both clothes rod and shelve. Fastened directly to the studs, they are sturdy. Any type of material can be used over this type of bracket. I use 3/4 plywood and wooden rods and that works for me.
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On 31 Mar 2007 18:34:08 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I think more likely than falling down at the end is breaking in the middle. Or bending and pulling out at the end.
Don't you plan to put a hook in the middle of the shelf to hold up the middle of the rod? If the rod sags, or will sag, you should do that. Four feet is long. ...Wait, No it's not. Unless you have ceramic bulletpoof vests, I don't think there is much to worry about 4 feet.
I think my house came with hooks way in 3 closets, but they may be six feet wide. (I Don't think the previous owner owned enough clothes for him to have put the hooks in.)
I have another closet, a linen closet, with a shelf (with no rod underneath) where the shelf eventually sagged a lot, after about 20 years. I just flipped the shelf over so it sagged upwards. Now it's working its way down to flat.
I haven't painted the edge of that shelf yet, but if you finish your shelf, you should finish the back too, and both sides so when you flip it over, it will still be finished.
The hook that holds up the rod can be moved to the other side. They make special hooks for this location.
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On Mar 31, 6:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The MDF in that use _should_ hold the shelf. I assume you are planning to put "U" cutouts in to hold up the rod. That would be dubious in MDF.
I agree that the use of molding like that will result in a very nice application. I may use it myself in the future but I will be using real wood molding. For the amount needed (about 6') the cost is minimal.
Someone else mentioned it but it bears repeating. Use iron water pipe for the rod, forget wood poles.
Also reinforce the front edge of your shelf with a vertical strip of wood glued and nailed. Someone else also mentioned that.
Harry K
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