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joining mdf for shelving

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mickthetree

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Afternoon all

I need to make this for a friend of mine:



I had initially thought 9mm mdf painted, but now I'm leaning to 12mm for the sides, top, bottom and shelves then 9mm for the dividers.

Or just 12mm for the lot :D :D

Anyway, last time I made something from 9mm mdf I tried biscuits and the blade just would not go low enough to sit in the centre of the edge of the material.

Do biscuits work ok on 12mm mdf? and do they really provide the strength required to hold something like this together? It is not expected to take much weight, mainly shoes, but inevitably someone might put something heavy on it.

Or would grooves / housings be better? whichever way is going to take some careful layout and setup.

I was thinking about halving joints on the shelves. Could cut them on mass by stacking the shelves together...

Any suggestions?
 

MMUK

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Personally I'd use 18mm for the outer frame & shelves and 9mm for the dividers. I'd certainly half lap the crucifix joints. Biscuits should be fine in the 18mm and you could always dowel the vertical 9mm sections with 4mm or 6mm dowels.
 

Grahamshed

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I have not tried biscuits in 12mm mdc but I suspect the swelling of the biscuit would push the fibres apart enough to show through ?
 

mseries

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I'd use 18mm for the sides and join the shelves using a stopped housing joint. Half laps for the crucifix as MMUK says. I'd probably not need anything other than glue then
 

No skills

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Hmm, how about a little modification in design. 18mm sides and top/bottom - 12mm for the lowest shelf and the 3 'uprights' . All the fiddly small shelves sit on shelf pins drilled into the uprights.

FWIW
 

mickthetree

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Hi chaps

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Nice idea no skills, unfortunately each pigeon hole will be stuffed with shoes, trainers, boots etc which will no doubt push any shelf above off its studs.

I have an idea for a jig that I can use with a guide bush to create housings in the sides, then I could house each of the dividers into each shelf as well. Bit of glue and a few screws countersunk down the sides should keep it all tight. 6mm MDF back as well to stop it racking.

Right, got the cogs whirring now, I need to work out how many sheets of MDF are required and get ordering!!

I'll make a WIP as I go.
 

mseries

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mickthetree":v3dhn9e1 said:
Hi chaps



I have an idea for a jig that I can use with a guide bush to create housings in the sides, then I could house each of the dividers into each shelf as well.
Somewhere else on this site there is a video for making a housing joint jig/template. I have made one, it doesn't need a guide bush, can use any size straight cutter which is narrower than your shelf, and is mega easy to set up.
 

RobinBHM

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Is that a short man or a very tall cabinet!

Ive tried grooving out a pigeonhole cabinet before, it's difficult to keep all the grooves aligned and assembly is a nightmare.

One solution is to make the verticals quite thin, say 9mm, cut the shelves to size and then fix the shelves in place by gluing 6mm mdf spacers which are cut exactly to the vertical spacing between the shelving. Start at the bottom and wofk your way up.
 
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