Author Topic: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?  (Read 12552 times)

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Offline LaserGecko

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Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« on: April 22, 2007, 01:15 AM »
Howdy all,

I might be making some shelves tomorrow. At what width should I support the front edge of the shelves...and with what? I've only made reptile cages of any significant width before and they all have a 4" piece of dadoed melamine on them. http://jason.creager.com/uros/uro_cage_lg.jpg for example.

How about back side support?

Since I don't have a Domino nor biscuit joiner, can I screw and glue some wood to the shelves? They're going in the laundry room, so looks aren't all fired important.

Thanks,
Jason
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

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Offline Daviddubya

  • Posts: 704
  • Arizona, USA
Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2007, 01:40 AM »
The point at which the width of the shelf needs edge support is dependent on the weight the shelf will carry.  I assume you are using 3/4" melamine.  As a general rule, I add edge support on any melamine shelf 36" or wider.  The easiest way to add edge trim, IMHO, is to use a hardwood edge of 1X2 (or bigger), preferably on both the front and back edges.  Gluing hardwood to the melamine core on the edges does not require a special glue - just use Titebond.  If you want to glue to the melamine surface you need Roo Glue or Gorilla Glue to get a bond to the melamine.  Hardwood edging is quick and good looking as well.
David W. Falkenstein
in Cave Creek, AZ, USA

Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2007, 03:27 AM »
Thanks, David! They will primarily be holding small appliances and canned goods, so I'll plan on doing it.

When you're using 1x2, do you glue the long or short edge to the shelf? Possibly silly question, but...

I picked up a bottle of Roo SuperBond the other day at the toy store. I haven't used it on anything other than some Miller Dowels, but it acts like a bit stickier version of good ol' wood glue. The main difference is water resistance.
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Daviddubya

  • Posts: 704
  • Arizona, USA
Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2007, 11:15 AM »
Thanks, David! They will primarily be holding small appliances and canned goods, so I'll plan on doing it.

When you're using 1x2, do you glue the long or short edge to the shelf? Possibly silly question, but...

I picked up a bottle of Roo SuperBond the other day at the toy store. I haven't used it on anything other than some Miller Dowels, but it acts like a bit stickier version of good ol' wood glue. The main difference is water resistance.

Glue the 1X2 to the edges of the shelf with the large dimension vertical - it forms an "L" shaped edge with the hardwood showing rather than the exposed melamine core showing.

I'm not experienced with Roo Glue, but I do know that Gorilla Glue expands as it cures, so you must be very careful to wipe up the excess/expansion glue before it fully cures.  Gorilla Glue also has a longer open time than Titebond.
David W. Falkenstein
in Cave Creek, AZ, USA

Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2007, 11:47 PM »
Well, it's not much considering what other people on the forum are doing, but it's significant for me because it's the first project I've ever done with 100% of my own tools.

The floor still needs to be painted and the walls finished, but it fit perfectly. I was more than a little nervous when we first got it in there, since there's a 3" lip on the back wall that COMPLETELY slipped my mind when I measured the depth of the wall to the shelf's left. SWMBO was a little taken back at the cost of the wood ($120ish, $60 melamine, 450" of 1x2 poplar, and FastCap banding that I already had), but she absolutely loves them now.

I was very impressed at how easy it was to cut the dadoes; no measuring at all other than distributing the space on the first piece. Cutting them was a breeze with the MFT! Just line up the router on the centerline mark on the first piece, set the stop for the bottom of the panel, then cut and replace with the other side! It would've been even easier if I'd had another MFT so that I could do both panels at the same time, but this was really, really easy, too. This was my first time cutting them with a router, so it was much easier than moving those big panels across a table saw.

I did the three of the four edge routs with the edge guide to save hassle of having a "booster" piece for the outrigger. That's a heckuva piece of hardware, too.

Thanks for the help, David!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 11:58 PM by LaserGecko »
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Les Spencer

  • Posts: 487
Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2007, 11:57 PM »
Each journey starts with the first steps. You're on your way.  8)
Les (near Indy) XL

Offline Dave Rudy

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  • Coloroda Front Range, in the lee of Pikes Peak
Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 07:12 PM »
Good looking shelves.  Quite a difference in the before and after!  How did you decide to attach the edge banding to the melamine?


Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2007, 08:34 PM »
Thanks for the kind words, Dave! I had to move the small deep freeze to get the shelves into the space and we liked it so much that I moved the 'fridge into the garage and the deepfreeze into the corner where the 'fridge was previously. It really (gads, I guess there's no other way to say it) "opened up the space", so we can actually use it. I'm going to put a clothes hanger rod on the underside of the built in shelf so it is out of the way and usable. It's much less claustrophobic in there now.
 
I used the FastCap peel-n-stick edgebanding, secured it with their rolling tool and trimmed it with their trimming tool. It's great stuff. Much tougher and thicker than the iron-on variety and much easier to apply. If the sides were going to be exposed, I would've covered the screws with their stick on dots, too.
 
Awhile back, I picked up what was supposed to be a full roll of it from eBay from an honest seller. A quick call to FastCap proved that I was not misreading the scale on the side of the box and they practically insisted that I allow them to send me the additional 200' that was supposed to be on my roll. That box hasn't even been opened, but I suspect that there's a full roll in there.
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Ted Miller

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Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2007, 12:16 PM »
Laser, A bit off topic but seeing your comment on reptile cages. This is how I got into woodworking when I was younger. I used to raise Burmese Pythons and also had quite the collection with Reticulated, Ball Pythons as well as Boa Constrictors central and south plus a few red tailes and also a few sets of Sand Boas. I also raised a few Tokay Geckos and of course everyone grew up with Anoles. My pops being a contractor taught me to build my cages like cabinets. Growing up in Michigan all the cages had to have lights for heat and I built a very large cage for my one Burmese that hit 14' and needed a electric heater to keep his cage at 80 degrees all year long. I learned all my cuts on a RAS and CS.

Back to original post, I make a lot of shelving units for garages with and without doors, frame less and framed. As Dave said it depends what the client is going to be supporting. I do not take 3/4" longer than 30" without a face. 1/2" will not span more then 20"...
Miller's Wood Works

Offline LaserGecko

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Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2007, 02:58 AM »
That's cool Ted! I haven't been able to get into snakes due to females in the house. Somehow, my wife doesn't believe that I have an equal fear of Dooney & Bourke and Coach purses. Oh, well... My cages are a combination of Dad's teaching and a little sideline building speaker boxes in college. I wish I could find the pictures of the multi-unit cages I built years ago.

On a lark, I posted an ad to craigslist about making custom reptile enclosures. Within six hours, I had two serious inquiries. This could turn out to be a very good idea. It will be interesting to see how quickly I can build those cages again with CutList Pro and the Festool system. Heck, I might be getting that MFT1080 Basic a little sooner than I expected.

<dreaming of Incra fence and Precision Router Lift>
Jason Creager
Las Vegas, NV

Offline Willy S

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Re: Supporting Melamine Shelves-What width needs it?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2007, 10:40 AM »
Laser, I feel your pain as I have the same phobia regarding Dooney & Bourke and Coach purses. My remedy to this horror has been to offset the effects with a new Festool purchase, works wonders for me.  :) :) :)