2x4 Office Shelving

ralitaco

Jim
Senior User
All
I am looking to build some 2x4 shelving in my bedroom turned office. I need to store some books, totes and tools, etc. Not all will be the same size as I have to go around a storage cabinet. I may stain them or paint them, have not decided yet. My designer, aka my daughter, wants me to go for an industrial look. She suggests I paint the room a medium gray.

Anyway, the big question is how to connect the verticals to the horizontals. I don't know if I should use carriage bolts, pocket holes or just screws that you would see. I am leaning toward the pocket holes but not sure if they will hold much weight.

Please share some photos of what you have done too.

Thanks in advance.
Jim
 

Raymond

Raymond
Corporate Member
More information about the width and depth of the shelves is needed to give you a good advice, Jim.
 

ralitaco

Jim
Senior User
Thank you all for your replies. I want to use the 2x4's for the vertical and horizontal pieces. Then I will use 1/2" plywood for the actual shelves. The entire unit will be about 8' tall, 10' wide and 18" deep. I plan to route out a rabbet for the plywood shelves to sit flush with the top of the 2x4's.

The lower shelves of the storage will be books and totes full of papers. The middle and upper for tools, supplies, etc.

Here are some examples from the WWW.

I like the look of this one, but have yet to check the price of the brackets.
Also, I would prefer not to see the edge of the plywood.
1600703657455.png



This is ok, but looks like they just screwed the 2x4's straight into each other.
That is fine is that will hold the weight of books.
I would rotate the 2x4 in the middle to give them more strength.
It appears she used 2x4's for the shelves and that may be an option.

1600704322984.png



This will be in my office in the house not the garage, so I want it to look a bit nicer.
This is an example of what I do not want to end up with.
1600703727781.png
 
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Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
6/4 soft maple for all framing,notch horz into vert, rabbit for 1/2 pre fin maple ply. poly the frame and it virtually match the ply, 3/8 rnd over all edges
 

Jeff

New User
Jeff
The first pic uses Simpson Strong Ties to connect the vertical and horizontal 2 x 4 pieces. The strong ties are attached with screws. The author liked the industrial look.


Simpson RTC2Z

 
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ralitaco

Jim
Senior User
Hey Jack, thanks for this suggestion...any chance you have a newbie translation? LOL - I am more of a rough construction guy and get my supplies at the big blue box store. I am not sure what 6/4 maple is. Also, what do you mean by the notch part of "notch horz into vert"?

Jeff, thanks for the links to the Simpson brackets.
Unfortunately, they run about $6 each, so at $24 per shelf times at least 4 shelves on 2 units = more than I want to spend.

So here is what I think I am going to do. I believe I am going to go with the Ana White design in the picture I posted previously.
I plan to use 2x4's for the shelving as well as the vert's and horz's.
For the ones that will hold the shelves, I will rotate them on end and double them up.
I will use pocket holes holes in those shelf supports because I read that screwing into end grain is not a good thing to do.
Lastly, I am considering routing out some 1/4" deep notches for the shelf supports to rest on. That way the screws will not be the only thing taking the load.

I hope that makes sense.
Let me know if I am way off anywhere.

Thanks,
Jim
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
ok lol lol transmutification, the face 2x4s instead of just screwing them flat, cut a 3 1/2 x 1 1/2 notch to insert the 2x into the verticals, many many times stronger,the notch actually is the support,screws just hold the 2x in the notch. 6/4 maple is 2x maple. Appearance only reason. also if you have a tablesaw, buy 2x8,10 or 12 and rip them, much much much better quality.
 

ralitaco

Jim
Senior User
ok lol lol transmutification, the face 2x4s instead of just screwing them flat, cut a 3 1/2 x 1 1/2 notch to insert the 2x into the verticals, many many times stronger,the notch actually is the support,screws just hold the 2x in the notch. 6/4 maple is 2x maple. Appearance only reason. also if you have a tablesaw, buy 2x8,10 or 12 and rip them, much much much better quality.
Thank you sir for the "dummies" version.
That is what I was thinking you meant in your original post...that the notch would be the support not the screws.
So how deep of a notch would you suggest?
Would you center the notch in the vertical?

I was thinking about doubling up the horizontal pieces, but I think that would be overkill.
Especially after I looked at what I threw up in my shed 20 years ago.
I just nailed 8' 2x4's on edge on each end and loaded them up with totes of decorations, etc.
They are still doing their job so notches and 2 horizontal support should do well for my project.


As for the maple:
I am guessing 6/4 translates to 1.5" thick since it is a 2x.
I don't know where I would even look to buy it. Anything they have like that at the big blue box is way, way expensive.
This is just a step above a garage/shed storage shelf so it does not need to look super nice.
I think the standard 2x4's from big blue will be fine, especially since they are literally around the corner from where I live.

Also, I don't have a table saw, so no ripping.
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
Would you go 1/4" of 1/2" deep for the notches?
1 1/2 2x3 will be snakes. made from scraps. if you are willing to pay a bit more than select doug fir 2x4, best material, use deck screws with a #17 self drilling point. 2 1/2" minimum, if price difference isnt much than use 3"
 

Rick Mainhart

Rick
Senior User
Hi Jim,

Here's another design that you might consider:

This is one of five bookcases I'm building for our church library.

Inside dimensions are 9-1/2" deep, 31" wide, 74" tall

Outside dimensions are 10-3/4" deep (including 3/4" face trim),32-1/2" wide, 80-1/2" tall (includes toe kick, top trim backer and top wall bracket anchor strip.
IMG_0381.JPG



This is a close up view of the pilaster dados with the pilaster mounting holes already drilled, and the holes to screw the adjacent cabinets or the end trim panels (I like to hide the hardware). BTW, pilasters are those metal, horizontal slotted adjustable shelf mounts.

IMG_0382.JPG


Here is a closeup view of the toe kick and the bottom trim support strip. The top and bottom shelves are set into dados and are glued and screwed to ensure stability.



IMG_0383.JPG



This is the trim detail mockup. Trim will be 3/4" x 1-1/2" poplar with the triple bead per the customer's request. The 1-1/2" square blocks are at each corner and may be engraved (if I have time).

IMG_0384.JPG


Here is an end view of the trim. I purchased the triple bead router bit at Klingspor's Woodworking Shop in Winston Salem to match the existing cabinets in the library.


IMG_0385.JPG


For the cabinet sides, supports, trim supports and shelves, I used 3/4" paint-grade maple plywood from Rugby in Kernersville, and 1/4" paint-grade maple plywood for the back. Cabinet grade plywood is SO much nicer than "whitewood" from the big box stores, and is actually less expensive!

This will be painted flat black per the customer's request and all bookcase interior surfaces will receive a matte water-based poly top coat to keep the books from sticking to the paint. If the cold weather persists, this will be a rolled finish, if it warms up, I'll spray them.

I will install the trim after the bookcases are in place and secured to the wall. Each bookcase will be connected to its neighbor with glue and screws, and then with the 1-1/2" wide trim. Please note, most 3/4" plywood is 0.72" thick (nominally) and so there will be about 0.030" overhang on the trim to the interior and exterior ... which will get a slight easing with sandpaper rather than trying to get it exactly flush. Nice thing is that I am matching existing work, so I can take advantage of prior construction techniques.

The only plywood end grain that would be visible were the left and right end panels at the bottom of the toe kick. I covered these with a thin strip of poplar and sanded flush. Anyone inspecting the bookcases from the floor MAY see the joint, but I doubt it.

I'll post more photos once complete, but thought I'd show you what can be done that looks nice and is strong.

One sheet of 3/4" plywood makes all the parts and two adjustable shelves. You'll need an additional sheet to make the end panels (if you desire), plus you get 5 additional adjustable shelves.

I also am cutting one additional sheet of 3/4" plywood to make an additional 10 adjustable shelves ... your needs may vary.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Rick
 

Skymaster

Jack
Senior User
run unfinishes maple edgebanding pre glued, iron on on all 4 sides of the shelves. 250' roll about 30 dollars. Rugby should carry it. If knot Edgeco.com
 

Rick Mainhart

Rick
Senior User
Thanks for the suggestion Jack.

I forgot to mention that all the adjustable shelves are faced with 1" thick poplar. This is for a church and preschool library and edge banding won't last. The poplar and shelf receive a 1/4" x 3/8" groove and a 1/4" x 1/2" spline (cut from the 1/4" plywood "scrap" from the back) and, of course, glue. No metal fasteners.

Regards,

Rick
 

Berta

Berta
Corporate Member
So, you have a pocket hole jig, I think. Did you see the Whitney’s Handmade Open Pine book shelf on Ana White’s site? It is constructed better, will hold the weight better and she stated that you can use 2 x 4’s and the modification that will be needed seem simple.
 

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