I'm planning on building a circular cabinet where each shelf would have a different radius. All the shelves would be centered using a central pole running through their center. The cabinet will be surrounded by a frame to place the outer layer on it but it's not going to be that strong.

I'm wondering about how to support all of the shelves, what I thought of doing was placing spaced narrow boards (5cm width) in a semi circle layout or about ~210° (so as to not block the cabinet doors) between each pair of shelves. Each shelf (made of pine) would have to support about 15kg of weight. How many boards do you think would be enough? For example, if a 25cm radius shelf would have 13 boards (5cm width) spaced 8cm apart supporting it, would that be too many or too few?

The shelf would like this from above - the rectangles are the support boards and the bottom part is where the cabinet doors would go:

shelf layout

The basic layout of the cabinet is this (sorry for the crudeness of the sketch): enter image description here


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    It might be just my limitations, but I'm having a hard time visualizing your objective. Can you add a sketch with a bit of 3D aspect to it? – fred_dot_u Jan 31 at 2:59
  • I added the basic cabinet layout @fred_dot_u – bark-dog Jan 31 at 4:03
  • Hi, welcome to StackExchange. Each shelf won't require many boards to support it from below (fewer than you're thinking) and even less if there is some support provided in the centre, like a collar of some sort on the central dowel. But put this aside for the moment, what's the surface or skin of this intended to be made from?? As drawn it appears it needs to conform to a compound curve, which isn't easy even in metal and impossible with many wood-based materials. Is there a particular reason you can't just make this a cylinder? – Graphus Jan 31 at 13:03
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    Why not use closet rod end flange supports secured to the central rod at the appropriate heights. The shelf radii appear to be small enough that the central support from the brackets should be enough. I would suggest that you also post another question to get reviews of your construction for the outside cabinet when you have worked out that design. – Ashlar Feb 1 at 1:49
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    It is legal for you to answer our own question and as a newbie on the site, you could use the credits for privileges more than Graphus or I :) – Ashlar Feb 3 at 1:49

Based on the comments by Graphus and Ashlar, it seems that I indeed overestimated the amount of support boards I would need. Since the weight is transferred mostly vertically, only 4 support boards would really be needed and any more will add support but will serve a mostly aesthetic reason. So for the example case I provided of a 25cm radius shelf, 8 would be a good number of support boards I think.

Also, I didn't find in my initial research curved shelf brackets that could be attached to the central dowel / pole but I hadn't thought of using metal closet rod end flanges for this purpose. They would be attached like in this example https://www.simplifiedbuilding.com/projects/diy-floating-shelves (in this case the pole is metal but the principal is the same). In this way, the shelf would be supported by the pole but I believe the support boards are still needed.

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