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Shelving unit for my boat - looking for a bit of advice

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welly

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Hi all,

I built this shelving unit for my boat (which I live on) over the weekend as I’ve desperately been needing some more storage space.

I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out although this in addition to another small project I was working on has proven to me that there’s nothing straight on a boat! Or my boat, at least. Except for me. You seemingly can’t use anything to reference anything else against.

So, my first question is if you’re in a similar position, is there anything you can do to try and make stuff square?

I’ve not done too badly, and I suspect some of it is a case of rubbish measuring on my part (need to either learn to use a tape measure properly or find a better way of measuring stuff!). The shelves aren’t a million miles out but the gaps could be closed if I can find a way of making the main vertical board more securely fitted.

It looks as follows:

4277BEEA-07ED-43BA-9D40-B2A4AD7A264F.jpeg


Annoyingly there is a gap at the top of the board but I’m past the point of no return so it’ll have to remain. I’m wondering how I can better secure this board down. I’m using these small angle braces (https://www.toolstation.com/angle-brace/p34919) to fix the board to the back wall, but that’s basically it. I’m thinking of getting a two sections of quadrant moulding to fit to either side of the board at the top so it’ll look a little smarter plus keep the board in place.

I was also toying with the idea of screwing the shelves onto the battens but not sure if that is a good idea or otherwise.

So basically, looking for tips on how I can secure the board in place better so I don’t end up with the shelves dropping down between their battens!

Cheers all and hope I’ve been clear enough!
 

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AndyT

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A skinny screw from above the shelf down into the batten is a good idea, I think. I've often done it on similar builds. You probably need to drill a pilot hole first.

Put two in each end of each shelf. Drill at an angle so there's enough room to get an electric screwdriver in.

Another thing which would make it all stronger and look neater would be to put strips of wood across the front edges of the shelves. If you cut the battens back a little these will hide the ends of the battens as well as stiffening the shelves a bit.
 

welly

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AndyT":mhde6dke said:
A skinny screw from above the shelf down into the batten is a good idea, I think. I've often done it on similar builds. You probably need to drill a pilot hole first.

Put two in each end of each shelf. Drill at an angle so there's enough room to get an electric screwdriver in.

Another thing which would make it all stronger and look neater would be to put strips of wood across the front edges of the shelves. If you cut the battens back a little these will hide the ends of the battens as well as stiffening the shelves a bit.
That’s definitely an idea, cheers! I’ll give that a go. Thank you!
 

Trainee neophyte

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scribing-a-frame-t43069.html

Joggle or tick sticks! It's a boat building thing, precisely because nothing fits and nothing is ever square.

I also struggle with measuring, especially as one Chinese measuring tape may not be the same as another. I have found much better success transfering measurements - I use a combination square a lot, sliding the ruler to the length required without ever looking at the numbers. I also have some very cheap Vernier calipers; you can't read the scale, but I just use them to transfer the measurement. If you got a quality set, it would be even more useful.
 

worn thumbs

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Presumably the boat is afloat and you can't use a spirit level because just moving around tilts things.Unless the initial fit out was done by a cowboy,the chances are that the bulkheads and doorways will be plumb and the floor and built in furniture will be level.Your best bet is to make any new features parallel or square to those things that may reasonably be expected to be correct.

There are lots of ways to get shelves to fit,even if curves and bevels are involved.One fairly simple solution is to use strips of thin ply or hardboard and make an outline using hot melt glue to hold it all together.You could use a single piece and if you do its best to start with the biggest shelf and cut it down as you go.There are other techniques described here https://www.sandypointboatworks.com/boa ... pplication and here https://www.diy-wood-boat.com/spiling.html .

A batten across the front of the shelf should be fixed to the top of the shelf and is correctly described as a fiddle.The battens that support the shelf look less clumsy if the exposed end has the lower corner bevelled off at maybe 45 degrees.
 
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