Which material for shelving?

I have to erect some shelves: 22 inches wide, supported at the ends by heavy-duty bookcase-type uprights and brackets. This is to hold fairly weighty audio-video equipment.
Given an equal thickness (18mm? 20mm? More?) and a choice between MDF, plywood, veneered chipboard, solid timber or something else, would any particular material be preferable? 22 inches isn't much of a span, is it? And appearance isn't really a factor.
Many thanks.
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Bert Coules wrote:

    I try to use solid wood as I find it stiffer under heavy loads. Some softwoods are not much better than ply. MMDF I find sags with time as do some chipboards.
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On 25/04/17 12:07, Capitol wrote:

4th grade redwood (1 up from the cheap shite whitewood) is pretty good. 7x1" (which I used for floorboards) is very solid.
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But wont in that situation where most of the weight will be on the ends thru the feet of the audio equipment.
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On Tuesday, 25 April 2017 11:51:31 UTC+1, Bert Coules wrote:

All of those & more would work. They all have their pros & cons.
NT
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Thanks for the speedy replies. I'd like to use solid wood, though the size might be a problem: I don't at the moment have the facilities to glue and clamp narrower pieces together to get the necessary depth, not to mention the difficulty of finding good enough straight and true timber to begin with.
Most of the gear is the standard 19" wide so at least the weight will be concentrated close to the supported ends of the shelves rather than nearer the middle.
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On Tuesday, 25 April 2017 12:28:50 UTC+1, Bert Coules wrote:

You could use pineboard or not glue the pieces together. You can also glue without clamping if the wood is straight, you pressit together a little with household objects and aren't looking for consistently good glue strength.

NT
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On Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:28:46 +0100, "Bert Coules"

I have used solid wood for shelves intended to carry significant weight, but as you say, you have to glue narrower pieces together as you can't easily get the depth on single planks these days (well, I couldn't, locally). Can't remember how I clamped them but it might have simply been flat on the top of the Workmate, although how I did the ends, I don't recall (they were typically 6ft long pieces), but 22" should be easy.
30mm kitchen laminate offcuts are something else I use, cut to size as required, for garage shelving.
--

Chris

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Pretty sure you can buy ready made shelving made out of real wood strips glued together. Find the most economical length that can be cut to what you need.
The other way would be (as you said) real engineered wood flooring, glued back to back and clamped until dry. An end of range product could be very good value.
--
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Dave,

An interesting thought, thanks.
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On 25/04/2017 13:57, Bert Coules wrote:

You'd be amazed how strong a shelf can be made out of a piece of cheapo sapele flush panel door. The type that could be bought for about a tenner, or free from most skips where a refurb is being done.
Cut to length and width and then use a planer to get a bit of nominally 2X2 down to the thickness of the egg box core.
Carefully push back the eggy box material, breaking the glue, sand down the exposed glue ridges and glue in the new bits of planed edge timber.
Then you only need to pin or glue some bits of sepele strip to the exposed edges to match the top and bottom surfaces.
Or use bits of kitchen work top for a really strong shelf.
Or a piece of scaffolding board.
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Andrew wrote:

Coincidentally my garden is currently home to a good number of scaffolding boards, and indeed scaffolding, awaiting removal. The idea did occur to me, but I suspect that the scaffolding company have a pretty accurate record of just what they're expecting to collect.
That's interesting about the doors though; thanks.
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Scaffold board is going to look rather heavy for such a short span. To look decent, needs to be an inch or so thick maximum.
--
*DON'T SWEAT THE PETTY THINGS AND DON'T PET THE SWEATY THINGS.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman wrote:

True enough, though appearance is a secondary consideration in this particular instance. But I think it's going to be 18mm ply. Or possibly MDF with the edges sealed.
Bert
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I'm sitting in front of office shelving made from 18mm Alder veneered blockboard. No noticeable sagging over a span of 1m and fully loaded with books and files etc.
The front edge is trimmed with machined hardwood run through the workshop spindle moulder but I think you can buy similar stuff from the sheds.
Blockboard will always be more rigid than an equivalent thickness of ply.
--
Tim Lamb

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Tim Lamb wrote:

Thanks for that. I have to confess never to having used blockboard. To be honest, I'm not completely sure of exactly what it's made from.
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On Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:05:02 +0100, "Bert Coules"

LOL! You and me both. There are so many composite boards around (blockboard, chipboard, MDF, OSB, donkeyboard, fibreboard, laminate etc, plus all the manufacturers specific product names) I get confused. Plywood and hardboard, I know, but that's about my limit; beyond that, I have to look it up...
--

Chris

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Chris Hogg wrote:

I've got the top from an old 60's desk that is what I'd call blockboard, it's about 2x1" strips of solid wood, glued up lengthways, with a single ply of plywood on top and bottom, and in my case, a laminate sheet on top of that ... it makes an excellent portable workbench on top of a couple of trestle legs.
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Ha! I have been using a similar set up for cutting insulation and plasterboard. Fine until you pull a heavy sheet lengthways and the *spreaders* close up and become vertical struts:-(
Mine now have temporary braces nailed on!
--
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I guess you need to look beyond the sheds for a supplier: builders merchant etc.
The plethora of cheaper alternatives has pushed it off the shelves.
Assembled from lengths of softwood glued together and with a veneered finish it must require more labour than particle or stirling board to manufacture.

--
Tim Lamb

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