Sunday, September 20, 2009

Adjustable Shelf Supports

For years now I've wanted to build some Eastlake Victorian built-in bookcases to create a library in one of our rooms. My friends always tease me, because I never seem to get around to it! I've worked with wood before, but have never created any fine cabinetry. I like to look at authentic Victorian pieces to see how they were constructed, because I'd like to be as authentic as possible when I do my construction.

I've been pondering over which kind of adjustable shelf support systems to use inside my bookcases. It seems there are two predominant types of adjustable systems used in original Victorian construction. One consists of sets of evenly drilled holes, into which are inserted special shelf support pins. This is how my Victorian side-by-side bookcase is constructed.

My side-by-side

The other system involves drilling semi-circles or sawing toothed slots along the four upright pieces, and slipping corresponding horizontal piece of wood as the actual shelf supports. This is how my kitchen cabinet is constructed.

My kitchen cabinet

I see benefits of both types of supports. With the shelf pin system, the shelves themselves can be straight cut, but you'd need to buy the pins. With the cross-bar system, each support would need to be cut to fit the notched vertical pieces.

These are some of the details that I love about Victorian cabinet construction. One of these days ( I promise!) I will get my final plans finished and get those shelves built.

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Blogger The Victorian Parlor said...

Great information! Thanks for sharing! BTW, I can't wait to see your library when it's finished:).



September 21, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

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