Floor to ceiling, wall to wall bookcase materials

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by The Henchman, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. The Henchman

    The Henchman Guest

    Tight budget, and I'm a novice diy'er.

    My wife wants my to build a wall to wall bookcase that is floor to ceiling.
    There will actually be 3 sections because we want the end sections to have
    workstation or desks. These units will be fastened to the wall. My wife
    and her
    family suggested I make everything out of MDF which is cheep, easy to treat
    and easy to buy decorative faces and mouldings for.

    However I'd like to seek opinions on how long 5/8" or 3/4" MDF will last if
    two adults and two kids use this type of configuration for 20 or 25 years or
    hopefully 40 years?. What's the life span of MDF for this type of
    application? We are in Ontario Canada so air conditioning 3 months a year
    and forced air heating for 7 months a year from a humidity standpoint. Is
    there plywood that is affordable and nice to prime and paint and that we can
    nail some mdf moulds to? Melamine is prolly out of the question cause of
    looks and it's really tough to paint ( it's a home office library, not a
    kitchen)

    This room will be used a lot we think.
     
    The Henchman, Nov 22, 2010
    #1
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  2. The Henchman

    Robert Green Guest

    "The Henchman" <> wrote in message
    news:iccj8t$re0$-september.org...
    > Tight budget, and I'm a novice diy'er.
    >
    > My wife wants my to build a wall to wall bookcase that is floor to

    ceiling.
    > There will actually be 3 sections because we want the end sections to have
    > workstation or desks. These units will be fastened to the wall. My wife
    > and her
    > family suggested I make everything out of MDF which is cheep, easy to

    treat
    > and easy to buy decorative faces and mouldings for.


    Nyet!!!! It will be a sagging mess before long. MDF doesn't have the
    strength of even simple pine shelving and you will hate yourself for using
    it.

    --
    Bobby G.
     
    Robert Green, Nov 22, 2010
    #2
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  3. On 11/21/2010 11:41 PM Robert Green spake thus:

    > "The Henchman" <> wrote in message
    > news:iccj8t$re0$-september.org...
    >
    >> Tight budget, and I'm a novice diy'er.
    >>
    >> My wife wants my to build a wall to wall bookcase that is floor to
    >> ceiling. There will actually be 3 sections because we want the end
    >> sections to have workstation or desks. These units will be fastened
    >> to the wall. My wife and her family suggested I make everything out
    >> of MDF which is cheep, easy to treat and easy to buy decorative
    >> faces and mouldings for.

    >
    > Nyet!!!! It will be a sagging mess before long. MDF doesn't have the
    > strength of even simple pine shelving and you will hate yourself for using
    > it.


    Ackshooly, it *might* work--if you reinforce the shelves, say with
    aluminum or steel angle stock underneath. I've done this, and it works.
    Don't know, however, if this would still fit within the "tight budget"
    parameter, or whether it would make things worse esthetically. The
    bottoms of shelves aren't visible until they're above eye level.

    Solid wood would definitely be preferable, but would be more expensive.
    Didn't someone else suggest plywood? With solid-wood facing, it would be
    strong enough and look good.


    --
    The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
    with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.

    - Comment from an article on Antiwar.com (http://antiwar.com)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Nov 22, 2010
    #3
  4. The Henchman

    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    "The Henchman" <> wrote:

    >Tight budget, and I'm a novice diy'er.
    >
    >My wife wants my to build a wall to wall bookcase that is floor to ceiling.
    >There will actually be 3 sections because we want the end sections to have
    >workstation or desks. These units will be fastened to the wall. My wife
    >and her
    >family suggested I make everything out of MDF which is cheep, easy to treat
    >and easy to buy decorative faces and mouldings for.
    >
    >However I'd like to seek opinions on how long 5/8" or 3/4" MDF will last if
    >two adults and two kids use this type of configuration for 20 or 25 years or
    >hopefully 40 years?. What's the life span of MDF for this type of
    >application? We are in Ontario Canada so air conditioning 3 months a year
    >and forced air heating for 7 months a year from a humidity standpoint. Is
    >there plywood that is affordable and nice to prime and paint and that we can
    >nail some mdf moulds to? Melamine is prolly out of the question cause of
    >looks and it's really tough to paint ( it's a home office library, not a
    >kitchen)


    About 20 years ago my wife was in a rush to get a bookcase in the spot
    where I kept promising a 12' built in. 'Lets just buy a pre-made
    4footer- and when you have the time you can build a nice one.' I
    had looked at lumber & was considering cherry. I knew about what
    the lumber would cost- and figured I"d be tinkering with it for about
    3 months.

    We went to a warehouse store & looked at knock-down 'furniture'. I
    couldn't believe how good it looked, or how cheap it was. I could
    fill that space completely for less than a single 4' section would
    cost me in lumber. So we did. Those shelves have been full of
    books and stuff for 20+ years and look as good as they did when I put
    them in. [in 1/2 day] The Mrs. has long since forgotten that I was
    going to build real wood shelves there.

    These are MDF but each shelf has a stiffener in front and back.

    I don't think I'd try to make MDF shelves myself- but we've bought
    some more of the knock-down ones since. I'm looking at my latest
    piece & maybe it is just that my eyes aren't what they once were- but
    I couldn't tell that it isn't real cherry without scratching the
    surface off.

    Jim
     
    Jim Elbrecht, Nov 22, 2010
    #4
  5. The Henchman

    Han Guest

    Jim Elbrecht <> wrote in
    news::

    > "The Henchman" <> wrote:
    >
    >>Tight budget, and I'm a novice diy'er.
    >>
    >>My wife wants my to build a wall to wall bookcase that is floor to
    >>ceiling. There will actually be 3 sections because we want the end
    >>sections to have workstation or desks. These units will be fastened
    >>to the wall. My wife and her
    >>family suggested I make everything out of MDF which is cheep, easy to
    >>treat and easy to buy decorative faces and mouldings for.
    >>
    >>However I'd like to seek opinions on how long 5/8" or 3/4" MDF will
    >>last if two adults and two kids use this type of configuration for 20
    >>or 25 years or hopefully 40 years?. What's the life span of MDF for
    >>this type of application? We are in Ontario Canada so air
    >>conditioning 3 months a year and forced air heating for 7 months a
    >>year from a humidity standpoint. Is there plywood that is affordable
    >>and nice to prime and paint and that we can nail some mdf moulds to?
    >>Melamine is prolly out of the question cause of looks and it's really
    >>tough to paint ( it's a home office library, not a kitchen)

    >
    > About 20 years ago my wife was in a rush to get a bookcase in the spot
    > where I kept promising a 12' built in. 'Lets just buy a pre-made
    > 4footer- and when you have the time you can build a nice one.' I
    > had looked at lumber & was considering cherry. I knew about what
    > the lumber would cost- and figured I"d be tinkering with it for about
    > 3 months.
    >
    > We went to a warehouse store & looked at knock-down 'furniture'. I
    > couldn't believe how good it looked, or how cheap it was. I could
    > fill that space completely for less than a single 4' section would
    > cost me in lumber. So we did. Those shelves have been full of
    > books and stuff for 20+ years and look as good as they did when I put
    > them in. [in 1/2 day] The Mrs. has long since forgotten that I was
    > going to build real wood shelves there.
    >
    > These are MDF but each shelf has a stiffener in front and back.
    >
    > I don't think I'd try to make MDF shelves myself- but we've bought
    > some more of the knock-down ones since. I'm looking at my latest
    > piece & maybe it is just that my eyes aren't what they once were- but
    > I couldn't tell that it isn't real cherry without scratching the
    > surface off.
    >
    > Jim


    Yes, indeed. We have almost a dozen IKEA Billy bookcases, oak, some with
    the glass doors on them, and they are really great. Some shelves do sag
    just a little because spouse has put very heavy books in them, but most
    are just great. No sign of anything bad where the coffee cups go back in
    after dishwashing, when they usually aren't quite dry <grin>.


    --
    Best regards
    Han
    email address is invalid
     
    Han, Nov 22, 2010
    #5
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