MRiddickW

Looking for Stackable Shelf/Crate Ideas

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Hi all,

I've been thinking about organization and storage for my CDs that would work better than cardboard boxes. I had the idea of interlocking "crates", something that would allow me to store the CDs spine out or spine up depending on the orientation of the crate, essentially converting between storage and shelving, depending on the need.

Here's my first draft idea. I've been assuming I'd just make them out of plywood since I'll probably need about 10 of these; the maple and cherry is just to provide contrast for the 3D model. Looking at the drawing, I'm starting to think my endcap design is a little convoluted, and not particularly robust. Plus I still need to add some slots to use as handles when they're in storage (spine up) mode.

So I guess what I'm wondering is: Any good ideas to simplify, while also maybe adding robustness?

I'm also not above having a friend with a CNC router just batch these out since my priority in this case is the destination, not the journey. In which case simplicity of milling via dados and rabbits is less of a priority.

Shelves.JPG

Wall.JPG

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CDs

What's that?

 

 

 

I like the stacking aspect of it. Looks like it would work well. Is it meant to stack front front to back as well?  

I'd think will some glue and clamps, it would bring it all together and have plenty of strength.

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The only thing missing for me is any alignment or retention mechanism. My caution probably comes from being born and raised where the earth moves but, a stack of say, five of those, could get bumped from the side and topple easily.  They certainly wouldn't be child proof if required.  Dowel pins, a reversing-mating profile on the end caps or at least 'something' would make me more comfortable.  There is also a narrow footprint once you get to a certain height.  Maybe a broader sort of base that the bottom unit would rest in?

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I think you could improve the stability in shelving mode if you run a piece of stock under the front edge and rear edge of the bottom shelf - essentially making the "feet" run the entire width of the unit.  This would increase the surface area of contact between two units when they're stacked, giving some additional resistance against them shifting.

You could take this a bit further, and add another piece of stock under each end of the bottom shelf, inset just enough from the end to capture the top "tab" of the unit below.

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Depending on how wide these units will be, you may want a center partition to support the upper shelf and tie it to the lower one.  I made some free standing racks using 3/4" dowels that were about 2 feet wide, and the dowels sagged in the middle after about a year or so.  CD's are heavy when you stack 50 or so on a shelf.

From the design, it looks like, when you stack units, the upper shelf of the lower unit will be against the lower shelf of the upper unit.  This will give extra strength to all the shelves except the very bottom one.  You might consider a runner on the lowest unit along the front and/or back that will contact the surface it sits on, to provide more sag resistance.

Also, you could drill matching holes in two stacked units and insert a dowel or pin of some type to lock the units together and make them more stable.  If you plan on stacking more than about 3 units high I'd find a way to fix it to a vertical surface, like a wall, to prevent tipping.

Derek

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I guess I'm missing a little detail - are these meant to simple nestle together, or lock together so they act as a  single unit?

Lock together to some extent.

On 10/22/2019 at 2:00 AM, lewisc said:

Is it meant to stack front front to back as well?  

In a sense. Imagine rotating it 90 degrees CCW, so the opening is facing up. You'd still be able to lock them together, but if they had handhold slots (which I plan to add), they could conveniently stack together in a closet or cabinet.

On 10/22/2019 at 3:27 AM, gee-dub said:

The only thing missing for me is any alignment or retention mechanism. My caution probably comes from being born and raised where the earth moves but, a stack of say, five of those, could get bumped from the side and topple easily.  They certainly wouldn't be child proof if required.  Dowel pins, a reversing-mating profile on the end caps or at least 'something' would make me more comfortable.  There is also a narrow footprint once you get to a certain height.  Maybe a broader sort of base that the bottom unit would rest in?

Yeah, coming back to this I realize I completely forgot about my original goal of making these lock in side-to-side. In the attached picture I did a quick-and-dirty fix. I think that would work but I'd have to play with it later to make sure. The other nice thing about this is that the shelves would be in contact with each other, lending a bit more strength.

Good thought about the base, I'll have to think about that.

14 hours ago, DerekMPBS said:

Depending on how wide these units will be, you may want a center partition to support the upper shelf and tie it to the lower one.  I made some free standing racks using 3/4" dowels that were about 2 feet wide, and the dowels sagged in the middle after about a year or so.  CD's are heavy when you stack 50 or so on a shelf.

Thus far I'm planning on 30" wide. I plugged the weights into the sagulator and got a good result, but I'll take another look.

14 hours ago, DerekMPBS said:

From the design, it looks like, when you stack units, the upper shelf of the lower unit will be against the lower shelf of the upper unit.  This will give extra strength to all the shelves except the very bottom one.  You might consider a runner on the lowest unit along the front and/or back that will contact the surface it sits on, to provide more sag resistance.

That's the idea. I realized I wasn't doing that in the original design, but my revised version is.

 

14 hours ago, DerekMPBS said:

If you plan on stacking more than about 3 units high I'd find a way to fix it to a vertical surface, like a wall, to prevent tipping.

This might be a good thing to pair with a base like gee-dub suggested. Once I'm in a more permanent space, make basically just a big thing that looks like an "L" in profile to get a wider base and vertical surface to secure them to. Might be good to make it 60" wide so I could make it 2 shelves wide. I'll probably cross that bridge when I come to it, as long as I plan from the beginning about how to secure them to said vertical surface.

Shelf 2.JPG

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