Bookcases using glue and nails.

I know almost nothing about woodworking.
I recently have decided that I need a few bookcases, I've looked around but everythink that I find new and cheap is particle board and sags. I love how they show pictures on the boxes of a plant and 5 books on a shelf.
I am considering building 2 bookcases,and am wondering if this method of attaching shelves will work:
I am planning on using boards for the sides and epoxying a 1x2 on each board where I will want a shelf. Then the shelf will rest on these. I'm sure there is a term for this.
A poor textart, "V" is the 1x2:
| ==========| V|
Will this work? I'm planning on 24" spans.
Robert.
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On Sat, 1 Mar 2008 11:49:44 -0800 (PST), Robert the Bearded

Probably. Indoors, wood glue would work just as well, and is easier to use than epoxy. Countersunk screws would be better than nails. Countersinking drill bits are cheap, easy to use, and available everywhere.

That's where the rub will come in. Depending on what's going on the shelf, you may need a support beam. Check here:
<http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm
A support can be as simple as 1x2's glued to the bottom of the shelf.
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What type of wood are you planning on using? What you are suggesting will work fo shelf supports, you will need clamps for the glue and regular wood glue will work. I would use scress instead of nails. How are you attaching to shelf to the support? Same method? What tpe finsh are you planning on using? Just make sure everything is Square,
Randy http://nokeswoodworks.com
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On Sat, 1 Mar 2008 11:49:44 -0800 (PST), Robert the Bearded

Hi Robert,
You have received many good tips already, but I will add a few thoughts:
Someone suggested that you make sure things are square, and that is certainly important, but I would add that you will want to be sure that things stay square. To do that, you might want to attach everything to a back board (probably plywood) that you know is rectangular. It is easy for the sort of shelving you want to build to "rack", that is, to become a parallelogram, rather than the rectangle you want.
Also, it was suggested that you will need clamps to do the gluing. That would certainly work, but you might be better off putting glue (one brand to consider is TiteBond) on the surfaces you want to connect, and then drawing the joints together with screws. With that approach you will have very strong joints, and you can avoid the expense of the clamps.
Have fun with your project,
--
Kenneth

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Thanks for all the answers and help.
I want adequate strength in the glue joint, so I like the idea of using screws to hold the joint. I'm using pine; will I have to predrill the wood to do this?
What I am planning is to use pine 1x12's for the sides, glue and screw the 1x2 supports on and then assemble the two sides with two 1x2s nailed and glued at the bottom with the bottom shelf glued onto both the sides and the 1x2s. Textart of the bottom x-section, bottom shelf glued on top of this: |=============| | | |=============|
and then a similar thing at the top.
I was planning on using 1x12s for the shelves too, but based on the sagulator link, might use something thinner with a beam.
When you say that everything should be attached to the backboard, will nailing work?
Thanks, Robert.
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On Sat, 1 Mar 2008 13:47:43 -0800 (PST), Robert the Bearded

The backboard is very important to prevent racking. It can be as thin as 1/4". A nice improvement is putting a rabbet on the back sides to accommodate the ply backboard--this will add strength and hide the ply edges. Nailing is okay--gluing and nailing is better. Important: Make sure the diagonals are equal (check w/ a tape measure) before attaching the back. Crown molding on top and baseboard on the bottom will dress up your bookcase.
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On Sat, 1 Mar 2008 13:47:43 -0800 (PST), Robert the Bearded

Hi again Robert,
Predrilling the pine is a very good idea, and will likely save you some grief...
Also, regarding the "beam" idea for stiffening the shelf:
Consider the possibility of using the 1X12 with a 1X1 glued beneath the front, and a 1X2 beneath the rear edge.
That would very significantly increase the stiffness of the shelf, and if you did the glue job carefully, would provide a nice visual effect on the front edge. The reason I suggest the two different sizes is the decrease the amount of useful shelf height you will lose to the stiffeners.
And one other thing: Someone asked what sort of finish you intended to use. That is a very important issue because it provides an easy opportunity to make your finished product look great. Give it a bit of thought, and certainly continue to post here is you have further questions.
All the best,
--
Kenneth

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On Sat, 1 Mar 2008 11:49:44 -0800 (PST), Robert the Bearded

Should work. The 1x2s are called "cleats." Normally, bookcases are made with adjustable shelves. For extra protection against sag, use 3/4" ply (or solid wood) for the shelves and put a 1.5" lip (1.5x 3/4") on the front and back secured with carpenters glue and finishing nails or biscuits. A 1/4" thick ply back is enough to keep your case from racking. Bookcases higher than 5 feet should be secured to the wall for safety. Heavier books should be set on the bottom.
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Be sure to make the bottom shelves taller, as your taller books also tend to be some of the heaviest.
We've got several bookshelves made of 1x12 pine. The screws are simply driven through the side supports in to the shelves. They look decent, and hold an awful lot of books.
Puckdropper
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Sat, Mar 1, 2008, 11:49am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com doth sayeth: (RoberttheBearded) <snip> I am planning on using boards for the sides and epoxying a 1x2<snip>
You do NOT need epoxy, or Gorilla Glue. Get a regular woodworking glue. My personal prefeence is Titebond II.
JOAT 10 Out Of 10 Terrorists Prefer Hillary For President - Bumper Sticker I do not have a problem with a woman president - except for Hillary.
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Robert,
In addition to all the good advice you've gotten so far, I will add that if you plan to stain your project, you will want to be careful about getting glue all over the place. The glue prevents the stain from penetrating the wood, so anywhere you get stray glue drips or fingerprints will stand out like a sore thumb after you stain the wood (which I recommend for I think wood looks much nicer stained).
After the glue dries, you can "carve" it off with a sharp chisel or sand it off (this gets difficult and time-consuming in corners). Alternately, you can use a wet rag to scrub off the glue while it is still wet, but I have had mixed results with this method -- sometimes it works, sometimes it makes the problem worse. If I use a wet rag, I would really try to scrub every bit of extra glue off quickly and then let everything dry 24 hrs, and just try to get rid of any remaining glue before you finish sanding.
Sanding: You'll probably want to start with 80 grit (60 if it's really rough wood), then use 120 grit (100 grit if your first sanding was with 60), then 150. You could also finish sand with 220 grit right before staining and finishing. It's important not to "skip" grit sizes here, because each approximate grit size is needed to remove scratches produced by the previous grit size.
I would not try to skimp on the finishing details, or you will kick yourself later. A nice finish makes the entire project immensely more satisfying and pleasing to the eye.
Good luck.
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wrote:

Howdy,
Or, the OP could save some glue-stain hassle by staining the pieces before assembly.
All the best,
--
Kenneth

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I believe the them is Torsion Box construction.
If you use a "door skin" sheet of thin plywood cutinf two pieces the dimensions of your shelves and sandwich five (5) .75" x .75: strips of pine between them using titeboond II or Elmer's WW Glue, you cn come up with a light-weight and very strong shelf. You can edge-band the front to match the casing, or replace the front strip of pine (or oak or whatever's handy) with a wider piece cut to fit it under the top piece of doorskin and slotted to "catch the bottom." This will add more strength and a nice wide facade.
I used a similar approach to make a six-foot wide shelf 30" deep and 1.25" thick, mount on those heavy adjustable shelf brackets (HD)
http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImage/7e7fa470-d9b7-4080-aa44-ef7ced77ac4e_400.jpg
and it suppots a TV/VCR, a collection of related "stuff" and serves as a desk on one end. - could have used a 30" door but i wanted the "fun" of building it. Been up for years w/o any issues.
The examples online use a more intricate approach with many more (and thinner) "core" pieces. But you can get by nicely with this simpler approach for a shelf.
"Torsion box From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search A Torsion box consists of two skins applied to a core material, usually a grid or framework of some kind. The torsion box functions as a beam, but is considerably lighter than a solid beam of the same size without losing much strength. Torsion boxes are used in the construction of airframes, especially wings and vertical stabilizers, in making wooden tables and doors, and for skis and snowboards."
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Consider using 1/2" plywood for the sides, and solid wood boards for the shelves. The plywood is tough, straight, free of knots, and won't split like a long board might.
Remember that a 1x12 board is actually 0.75 x 11.5, and it's more important that the front edge be even with the sides than where the back edge ends up.
Plain wood glue is cheaper and easier than epoxy, be careful to scuff-sand the surfaces before applying the glue.
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I would recommend 3/4" birch plywood for the bookcases, but if you don't know much about woodworking, I'm guessing you don't own a tablesaw and maybe not even a circular saw? Ripping plywood to width by hand would be a difficult and inaccurate job, though most home centers could cut the plywood sheets to size for you. Also, with plywood you would need to cover the edges with trim of some type, probably not a good starting project.
So, my next recommendation would be to use 1x10 or 1x12 boards of whatever wood species you find attractive and affordable. Around here, #2 pine boards are about as inexpensive as you can find and are strong and widely available. When you shop for your boards, sight down the face and edge of each board to make sure it is straight and not warped/cupped/etc. You'll probably have to pick through many boards to find a few good ones.
As for the span, 3/4" plywood or solid 1X boards can easily span 30" or more fully loaded with books without sagging.
Measure out the lengths you need, use a square to draw a straight line across the board, and use a handsaw to carefully cut them to length. Though most pro's would recommend cutting dado's to assemble the bookcase, I've assembled many cabinets using regular butt joints. I just apply a bead of wood glue like Tightbond, and use ordinary finish nails. If appearance is less of a concern, 1-1/2" or 2" deck screws would make a very strong joint.
Cut the sides to the full height of your cabinet, then cut the top/bottom and any fixed shelves to fit between the sides. Glue and nail the fixed shelves as you would the top/bottom.
If you want the interior shelves to be adjustable, you can measure/mark/drill 1/4" holes and use "shelf pins" to support the shelf. Just mark your drill bit with tape or something so you don't drill all the way through the board. Drill the holes, install the pins, then measure between them to determine what length the shelf board should be cut to. Subtract 1/16" or so from the measurement so you have room to tilt the board down into place. You can drill a series of holes now to make adjustments easy in the future, or just drill the holes you need now. You can always drill new holes in the future if your needs change. A strip of pegboard makes a decent jig for spacing your holes.
You'll also need a back of some type to keep the bookshelf from racking side to side. A crude, but workable, back would be 1/4" plywood cut to the size of the bookcase, glued and screwed to the back. I've even used inexpensive hardboard in my earliest projects and it worked fairly well. Of course, you'll see the edges of the applied back, but unless the shelves are along an open wall, most people won't see it anyway. Just make sure the case is square before you nail on the back. The easiest way to check this is to measure diagonally from the top corner to the opposite bottom corner. Then repeat with the opposite diagonal measurement. Adjust the case as needed so the two diagonal measurements are equal and your case will be square.
Depending on your needs, you may also be able to build small "boxes" and stack them up as you wish. This gives you lots of flexibility to change things around if you need to. Stack them tall and narrow, or long and wide. You could even set some back to back and put a top on for a crude coffee table.
Have fun!
Anthony
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