cabinet shelves options

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I am building kitchen cabinets using 3/4" oak plywood. I'm using dado cuts into the side panels for the shelves. In a magazine i get, it talks about using a biscuit joiner on cabinets. I've used biscuits to attach faceframes to the box, but I've never tried using them to attaches shelves to the side panels. Is this a feasable option? Can biscuits hold the weight of heavy dishes on shelves? Most of the top cabinets would probably get three biscuits on each end of the shelf. If seems that there's not alot of wood to support the weight of the shelf and the dishes.
Anybody try this before?
Rob
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If you're going to dado the shelves into the gables, there would be no real reason to use biscuits there....imho.
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On 10/22/10 6:52 PM, Robatoy wrote:

I agree, overkill. Use some pocket holes, too. :-)
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I was thinking of not dadoing the gables and just using biscuits on a butt jount. Just concerned about the strength of the biscuits.
Rob
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On 10/22/10 6:57 PM, rlz wrote:

I don't think biscuits were ever intended for support. They can certain reinforce something like a corner butt joint on a frame, but never anything like shelves.
Hardwood splines, glued in place would have the strength you're looking for. However, with plywood, keep in mind that if you put splines in the center, only half the plies will be holding the weight. Dadoes would be the simplest and strongest option, imo.
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On 10/22/2010 6:57 PM, rlz wrote:

Frameless, or traditional face frame cabinets?
Contrary to conventional wisdom, and providing you use a sufficient number, say every four evenly spaced biscuits on a 12" deep wall cabinet with butt jointed shelves, properly glued biscuits will prove plenty strong enough to support most kitchen cabinet shelf weights.
The question is why?
You will find that adjustable shelves make much more sense. Dadoing your top and bottom "*floors", and making all intervening shelves adjustable will give you much more flexibility in cabinet utilization and convenience.
(*in kitchen cabinet parlance, the top and bottom of the cabinet, since they are usually the same dimension, are generally grouped in your Cutlist as a "floor')
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Last update: 4/15/2010
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[snipped for brevity]

'nuff said.
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wrote:

While biscuits are bloody strong, I don't think I'd chance it.
-- I am an old man, but in many senses a very young man. And this is what I want you to be, young, young all your life. -- Pablo Casals
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I just built a set of cabinets using 3/4" Oak. I prefer having adjustable shelves so I used these:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 0&filter$398&pn$398
I used pocket holes (and glue) to fasten the face frame to the carcase. I used dadoes for the bottom shelf (base cabinets) and dadoes for the bottom of the wall cabinets. What span for the shelves? I found that 1/2" plywood was adequate for shelves. I added a strip of 3/4 oak across the front of the shelves but it was mainly to cover the edge of the plywood. It, of course, strengthened the shelf as well.
Max
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I have a factory manufactured corner cabinet in all oak (inside and out) and they used these shelf fasteners shown in the link.
One big drawback...How the F&*K do you get the shelves out to adjust them? I believe I will have to cut the tops off with a utility knife! Once snapped down the shelves do not seem to be able to snap-back up again.
I just built a set of cabinets using 3/4" Oak. I prefer having adjustable shelves so I used these:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 0&filter$398&pn$398
I used pocket holes (and glue) to fasten the face frame to the carcase. I used dadoes for the bottom shelf (base cabinets) and dadoes for the bottom of the wall cabinets. What span for the shelves? I found that 1/2" plywood was adequate for shelves. I added a strip of 3/4 oak across the front of the shelves but it was mainly to cover the edge of the plywood. It, of course, strengthened the shelf as well.
Max
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On 10/25/10 8:26 PM, Josepi wrote:

There is room to push the tab to release the shelf. Look at the close-up picture. You can see that the piece is molded so there is room behind the tab to push.
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Right-O!!
Max
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Thanks. I will have to give that another try, someday. Trouble is trying to get five hands into the back of the cabinet through a 12" opening at the same time...LOL
Maybe one at a time and wedges or screwdrivers. The shelves look pretty tight in these clips. So far the wife is happy to display what she can get into it...glass door display unit only, basically.
There is room to push the tab to release the shelf. Look at the close-up picture. You can see that the piece is molded so there is room behind the tab to push.
On 10/25/10 8:26 PM, Josepi wrote: I have a factory manufactured corner cabinet in all oak (inside and out) and they used these shelf fasteners shown in the link.
One big drawback...How the F&*K do you get the shelves out to adjust them? I believe I will have to cut the tops off with a utility knife! Once snapped down the shelves do not seem to be able to snap-back up again.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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I would never build a cabinet with permanent shelves. Put in rows of holes to install shelf supports. Seems like when shelves are permanent the stuff you are going to put in is just a little too tall or you need to stack smaller items. Don't ask how I know this. (grin) WW
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I'd say, don't do it. The dado, especially if un-housed, shows only a horizontal crevice, and crumbs wedged in won't spring the sides or loosen the shelf. Use the biscuits to make deep shelves of solid wood (better strength against sagging), instead.
Dado cuts are at least as easy as accurate biscuit placement in a side panel.
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My current kitchen, that I built 20 years ago, I used biscuits to butt joint shelves inside the cabinets. Still holding up fine. But if you are going to dado the sides for the shelves to fit into there would be absolutely no reason to also use biscuits.
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Thanks everyone for the wonderful advice. I'll look into adjustable shelves instead.
Rob
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Fixing the shelves in position may prove a regrettable decision sometime down the road.
Instead, drill the inside cabinet walls to accept shelf pegs every X- inches (look in one of your publications for recommended spacing) and rest assured that, for all but the widest of cabinets, even MDF shelves will hold the weight of the dishes and such they are called to support.
A better use of effort and $$$ might be a design incorporating "pull out" shelves (especially in "tall" pantry cabinets and base cabinets.
One other suggestion - Pan Drawer base cabinets. My wife loves them. Large, wide drawers she finds ideal for pots and pans.
One other thought - since only one side of each "end" wall cabinet is "exposed," why not save a few bucks on the "interior wall cabinets and ditch the oak in between?
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"Hoosierpopi" wrote:

Instead, drill the inside cabinet walls to accept shelf pegs every X- inches (look in one of your publications for recommended spacing) and rest assured that, for all but the widest of cabinets, even MDF shelves will hold the weight of the dishes and such they are called to support. ----------------------------- Check out this Rockler page.
http://tinyurl.com/296cq8q
Neat jigs.
Lew
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I'd much rather have one of these.... just the basic system is all you'd need. http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=42200&cat=1,180,42311
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