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Strengthen Tips

When you need structure, but not necessarily a full panel of plywood, you can use 1x3 or 1x4 boards to strengthen your project.  We call these boards "bay supports" and they are usually the same length as your shelf widths.

  • Bay supports are not required, but without, you'll need to add a back for face frame (or both) to keep the project from racking side to side.
  • We recommend at least two bay supports per bay, one at the top back, and one at the bottom front.  
  • Bay supports can be part of the finished look, for example, a footer at the base of a bookshelf, or header at the top front of a bookshelf.
  • You can use bay supports as nailers for attaching projects to walls.
  • Pine furring strips can be used for an inexpensive material, in a 1x3 or 1x4 width
  • Bay supports can fill out and support around drawers, since you don't need a full shelf under or between drawers.  This lightens the project weight and decreases cost.