Fabricating Two-Inch-Thick Hollow Shelves for a Built-In

      Ideas on making thick hollow shelves to contain wiring and puck lighting. January 28, 2009

Question
I'm bidding on a job that will be a wall unit with open shelving made up of 2" thick panels. The panels are hollow to run wiring and house puck lights at the bottom of the fixed shelves. This will be a very straight contemporary design, painted, with both fixed and adjustable shelves.

How are the 2" thick hollow panels typically made up for this type of design? I would prefer to use plywood instead of MDF if possible for weight reasons.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor K:
If you are talking about the shelves... torsion box. If you are talking about the carcass... think of a hollow-core door, but make sure you have solid wood where the shelving standards/pegs are located for strength.



From the original questioner:
Thanks. I'm talking about carcass and shelves. How about 1/4" veneer ply skinned over a hardwood frame/lattice?


From contributor P:
I just finished a home office with 2" thick shelves on all the uppers. Here's how I built my adjustable shelves: 2 pieces of 3/4 ply with a solid 3/4 x 2" edge (maple in my case). Pocket screw one piece of ply to the solid edge. Glue and brad nail 1"W x 1/2" spacers along front and back edge. Glue and clamp second piece of 3/4 ply to spacers and solid edge. Flush trim the solid edging. Kind of like a poor man's torsion box, but way quicker to make, and probably just as strong. Bonus is that when viewed from the side, you can see through it, giving you a 1/2" channel for running wires.

Carcass was a different story. One big face frame, 3 boxes pocket screwed where possible to face frame. Where not possible to pocket, I glued, clamped and attached cabinet sides to adjacent sides using trim head screws hidden in shelf pin holes. No lights in this one, but I've done them on other ones.


Click here for higher quality, full size image


Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: Custom Cabinet Construction


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2018 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article