Shelving, Plain and Simple
Strong, versatile and easy to make, these shelf units use inexpensive materials
Synopsis: M. Felix Marti explains how to make inexpensive, lightweight, sturdy shelves that use simple joinery. He uses plastic laminate glued to both sides of medium-density fiberboard or particleboard, and cuts tight-fitting dado joints with the uprights at right angles. He laminates the shelf stock first, then cuts it to size. He dadoes the material for the corner uprights and then assembles the shelves. He talks about different materials to try and knockdown construction methods, too.
As unassuming as these shelves are, they have many of the features that I like most in furniture. They’re lightweight, sturdy and use simple, effective joinery. The design I use evolved partly from childhood memories of shelves in our house and partly from the built-in storage-shelf system that I now install in houses. Plastic laminate glued to both sides of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or particleboard makes the shelving stiff. Tight-fitting dado joints and front…