You're making an assumption or three. If the back is attached to each
side it does not affect how each side will bend. Only the height,
side construction and material, and the lateral load from the books
The _shelves_ are another story. It is not possible to have a 6'
shelf made out of 3/4" ply carrying a load of books without
intermediate supports, attaching all of the shelves to the back (and
that's still going to sag like a bad mama jama), or having really
teeny tiny books.
I made some bookshelves about 35 years ago, three 6' high by 3' wide,
doug fir plywood and pine (I think?) edging -- not face frames. I did
fix the centre shelf (dado & glue), but the verticals eventually bowed
out and the shelf still came apart as I jammed books in.
So today I would use a sliding dovetail instead of a simple dado.
This is my experience. Now the face frame might change things. But I
would still fix the centre shelf.
I'd use 3/4" side panels with 3/16" deep dado and then install 3, #12
x 1, FH, coarse thread sheet metal screws bunged with 1/4" bungs to
No cross grain glue joints, screws keep sides from bowing, dado
handles book load in shear.
It's a win/win situation.
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