Shelving strength

Got a "non-typical" shelving question, I think.
Want to build pantry shelves with some maple I got from a local manufacturer. The maple pieces are roughly 4 - 5 feet long and about 3 - 4 inches in width, they are 1" in thickness. I was thinking of making individual shelves with this. The choices are to lay the pieces like slates, anchored into something and about 4 feet long. The slates - would have to be about 7" wide, as that's all I have to make them. So the would across the face of the wood, that would mean 2 or 3 boards across, depending on final milling. Underneath I'd strengthen the planks with some cross pieces.
The other alternative, would be set them on edge and group them via a dowel every so foot. There probably would be 5 to 6 to a shelf. They would be slightly apart, held by dowels or other rods.
Given this is a pantry, I was wondering which would be stronger? Mostly dry goods (packages of rice, flour, the assorted canned olives, salsa, salad dressing. Nothing super heavy or a lot of canned items.
Any thoughts of which would be stronger?
MJ Wallace
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Sun, Dec 16, 2007, 10:25pm (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com doth quary: <snip> Given this is a pantry, <snip>Any thoughts <snip>
My thoughts are, save the maple for something nice, or send it to me as a sacrifice for the Woodworking Gods, and use pine or plywood for the pantry shelves, bracing about every 12-18", depending on how heavy the shelves will be loaded.
I've got some floor to ceiling book shelves in the back room. Used 1/2X1" pine or poplar. Used peces as uprights every 16", which spaced the norizontal slats 1". Been supporting books and such since about 1982 or so, no prob.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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If I understand you correctly, you want to make a 7 inch deep by 5 foot long shelf out of 1" thick maple boards. Your question is "how to join the boards for greatest strength? The answer is: it doesn't matter. If you edge glue, dowel with spaces, or screw a cleat to the underside with spaces, all will be perfectly adequate
The potential for problem in your design will be shelf sag. To be safe you should probably support a shelf of that length in three places. The alternative would be adding a 1" lip to the front of the shelf effectively making it 2" thick.
-Steve
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http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm

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Ron Hock
HOCK TOOLS www.hocktools.com
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

1x4 on edge, under backmost part of shelf, against wall. 1x2 on edge, front, routed to fit onto shelf, makes a lip to keep stuff from rolling off. Slats between the two.
No pantry shelf will EVER see nothing but light loads over time<g>
Want to trade that maple for some common pine? I'd love to trade<G>
Pop`
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On Sun, 16 Dec 2007 22:25:52 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

There are other materials you can use for shelving. You could use ply and put a 1.5" lip on the front and back for strength. Use a bracket support for anything longer than 30".
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Thanks to JT, Phiserman and Twayne for the response.
The maple, I got at $.50 a bf from this guy who gets a train car load every so often. He makes the holders for rubber stamps. These are mill ends from Canadian wood mills. They are milled to 3/4" and are cut from 3 - 4 in in width and 4 - 6ft in length. There's always more coming. I got a load for $40 (is that a gloat?). So not sure I just want to use up what I got and get more later or get the pine that JT recommended. I see someone on Craigslist is selling a bunch for cheap as well.
Still debating this.
Thanks much all.
MJ Wallace
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Mon, Dec 17, 2007, 2:44pm (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com sorh query: <snip> I got a load for $40 (is that a gloat?).<snip> Dunno if it's a gloat or not, but definitely a major warm fuzzy at inimum.
About the time you use the maple for it you'll come up with some use for it and wish you hadn't done it. I usually restrict myself to using wood that's either free or grows in NC (personal preference). Not sure if maple grows here, but at prices like that I could probably be talked into buying some anyway. If it doesn't grow here you'll have to send me a free batch. LOL
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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