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I want to build some shelving (actually, on wheels, for use as a rolling cart) and I'd like to use 3/4" hardwood plywood for the whole thing, because it's cheaper than wood boards and I'm going to paint it, so things like grain and appearance are not so critical. This will be for kitchen stuff, not books, so there will be some weight, but lighter duty than bookshelves. The horizontal span will be 3', the height 6', and the shelf depth 6".

My question is: can I use plywood for the vertical sides of the shelving as well as the shelves? Is 3/4" plywood strong enough for load perpendicular to the plies for this kind of use?

  • I think if you do a search for plywood shelving or plywood storage you'll find out what you need to know here (spoiler alert: yes 3/4" hardwood ply is more than good enough for the casework on something like this). You can even look up shop storage and rolling carts and you'll find multiple projects. – Graphus Sep 20 at 18:21
  • For the shelving, you might want to put in hardwood edging just to add a little or a lot to the stiffness there, might not be necessary but can't hurt. – Graphus Sep 20 at 18:21
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    3/4" plywood is more than strong enough for this if used correctly. Make sure you do something (like a solid back or corner braces) to prevent racking, and that the joinery you use for your shelves is strong enough. Over a 6' vertical span you'll also want to include at least one fixed shelf to prevent the sides from bowing outwards. – SaSSafraS1232 Sep 22 at 15:53
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    I'd also be very worried about putting something 6' tall and 6" deep on wheels. That's going to be very easy to tip if it hits a bump. Is this supposed to be something like a pull-out pantry? Those are more typically done with slides, not wheels. – SaSSafraS1232 Sep 22 at 15:57
  • @SaSSafraS1232: Thanks for the tip about the corner bracing. And yes, this is tall and narrow because it's going to be sliding between the wall and the fridge, so it can't topple. I should probably put in a stopper of some kind so you cannot pull it out past the fridge, so it can't fall. I could mount it to the wall and have it slide, but I think that would require some serious sliding hardware. Do you have any suggestions on that? – Joshua Frank Sep 24 at 0:45

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