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I'm planning on building a bookcase out of oak. The overall deminisions will be 71" tall and 54" wide. The shelves will be made out of 3/4" plywood and be approximatly 52" long. They will be loaded with nursing books. I'm planning on using a small piece of oak wood rabbitted and glued for the shelf to set on probably an inch and a quarter on the front and back of the shelves for strength. My question is can I span this far without the shelves sagging and if so will the inch and a quarter be enough?
I'm afraid that span is going to be too great. 36" is the most i would try going. Can you divide your unit into two? This way you would have a middle support and your shelves would be 26" long.
chad stanton- forum moderator
I built some plywood shelves about a year ago, not as long as yours, but needed to add strengtheners similar to your plan. I ripped some 3/4 plywood into 1 inch strips, which I glued to the bottom edges all the way around. I used dowels too, which helped make them stiff. Tried screws, but they split the plywood. Finally, I finished the front of the shelf with a nice piece of molding just wide enough to cover the plywood strengthener. My span was less than 36 inches, but I was using 1/2 inch plywood for the shelf itself. They are strong enough to hold over 100 lbs.