Considering making this shelf

Due to the fact I can no longer get this leaning shelf, I am considering making one since it will work perfectly with our needed application of supporting audio equipment for our TV. This shelf was rated 20 lbs per shelf. You can view it here http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_idR80699
How would you go about increasing the strength of the shelves without taking away from the aesthetics?
Thank you
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How about Torsion box and sliding dovetail mount?
P D Q

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How about Torsion box and sliding dovetail mount?
Huh? Perhaps I should enlighten you, and others, I'm not an experienced woodworker, but have only made a few items and still learning. Would you mind elaborating?
Thanks
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You might like to look at these for hints as to how to make the box
http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Fine_Points_of_Torsion_Boxes.html
http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/ww_materials_products/article/0,2049,DIY_14442_2278181,00.html
and if these are not enough, remember google is your friend.
P D Q

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Well. *I* would use a 1" thick piece for the back (vertical ). That is, actual 1" material, not what most people refer to as 1" X ? which is actually 3/4" Cut 5/8" deep dadoes into the back (leaving 3/8") and use 3/4" material for the shelves. If you have doubts about the ability of the shelves to provide adequate support you could rip some triangular strips to glue under the back edge of the shelves. If you still doubt the adequacy, you could use some dowels through the back and into the shelves. But if you use that tactic, I would only make the dadoes 1/4" deep.
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Depending on how much weight you want to support you could always do like Max says and use 1" material for the back support, 3/4" for the shelves. However I would dado for 3/4" shelving and make 2 (each shelf) dado's verticaly down from the bottom of each shelf. This would be a depth equal to the thickness of steel L brackets. Mortise these in the back support and the bottom of the shelves. Then veneer over the supports to hide them. Lou
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net says...

I like the idea of dowels here, but I wonder if using 1 1/2 by 1/4 lag bolts from the back would be even stronger.
S.
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Looking at this shelf system it appears to be supported by only one leg, sort of like the one board wine bottle rack. I doubt that a dado would add any strength to the shelves. I would try a through mortise on the shelves, cut to the right angle and then use the leg as a tennon. This should add a great deal of strength to the shelf. Once the shelf is properly postioned a mechinical fastner could be used to hold it in postion.

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Judging from the footprint the back vertical piece is about 2" thick. I'd make the back piece out of 2 1x2's (or 1x3's) joined with 1/4" ply. 3/8" deep dados on the edges for the shelves to slide into should provide plenty of strength. Art

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wrote:

This is a very interesting problem.
Given what you've stated about your skill level, and assuming that you do not have a great deal of sophisticated machinery at hand, this is how I'd go about it.
I would make the whole thing up as a lamination. I'd start out with 3/4" thick material as a base and I would purchase some heavy duty steel L brackets to hold up the shelves. You will have to bend the L brackets tighter than the 90 degrees that they will come as - to whatever angle this is going to lean against the wall at.
Let's say that it leans against the wall at a 7 degree angle. You will be bevelling the front and rear edges of your shelves at this 7 degrees, so that the edges will be plumb and the faces level when the unit leans against the wall. You will also have to bend the L brackets to 7 degrees but this can easily be done using a vise and a hammer. I would want the L bracket to be about 3/16" thick, 10" long on the part that supports the shelf, and at least 6" long on the part that will be bolted to the leaning upright.
Through bolt the L bracket to the upright, using washers on the back of the leaning piece, so that the load of the bolt head is distributed over a wide enough area of the wood to prevent crushing, and glue and screw it to the bottom of the shelf. I would use an epoxy to bed the bracket to the shelf, rather than trying to rely solely on mechanical fasteners.
Then I would laminate a minimum 3/8" thick piece of material over the base, having channeled out carefully on the back side to create a relief for the L brackets.
Once your sandwiches set up you can trim it out with edgebanding and it should look exactly like the piece shown in the link that you provided.
HTH
Regards,
Tom
Thos.J.Watson - Cabinetmaker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet www.home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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Tom, If the shelves are level when the unit is leaned against the wall, why would the front and rear edges of the shelves need to be beveled? Kerry
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On Fri, 23 May 2008 20:21:49 -0700, "Kerry Montgomery"

Kerry:
When you look at this piece from the side, and the piece that leans against the wall does so at an angle of 7 degrees, the back edge of the shelf that butts to the leaning piece would have to be undercut at 7 degrees less than 90, or the shelf would tilt up from back to front.
Regards,
Tom
Thos.J.Watson - Cabinetmaker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet www.home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1
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