Hi, I am planning to build a shelving unit for beneath my tv. I would like to use fingerjointed timber panels which will need to be cut for upright sections of the shelving. I have the following questions:
If I use the hard wax oiled acacia panel, will it take stain? will it glue together?
If I use the oak panels, will they survive the cutting up process? I saw in a review that they fell apart when cut into strips.
If I use the beech panels, will they work ok? I assume that they will stain and hope they will survive being cut up and won't warp or crack?
If I use the hevea panels, would they work and end up looking ok.
My project would involve 3 panels being used as shelves without being cut up, and then a panel being cut into six for uprights between the shelves.
I hope someone can give me some advice.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Rharr. It's fantastic to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about timber panels.
The 2200 x 600 x 26mm Acacia Solid Oiled Hardwood Project Panel has its surface treated with a hardwax oil. For the best results, you'll need to sand the coating before applying a stain or glue. As with most simple butt joins, you'll need to glue and screw them.
A 1200 x 405 x 18mm Finger Jointed Oak Panel or any other finger jointed board is not really designed to be cut into thin strips. Their structural integrity comes from the fact that they are boards. It sounds like you plan to cut a board across its width and have those as your shelf supports. That will work as you're putting compression force on the ends of the timber, and there's no stress on the glued joints in that application.
The 2200 x 600 x 26mm Beech Laminated Panel has no coating, so it can take stains and glue well. They can be cut up and need to be acclimatised to ensure they won't warp. There's instructions on them about how to do this. Generally, that involves leaving the whole board in the area where it will be used for 24hours before cutting. My advice would be to cut the panel and assemble your unit as soon as possible by glueing and screwing the joints.
SpecRite 1800 x 405 x 18mm Hevea Finger Jointed Panels are also uncoated and ready to accept stain. They have a similar appearance to the Beech panels and will work just as well. I believe either the Beech or Hevea panels will be best for your project if you wish to stain them.
Check out this project I put together: How to build a kids craft table with storage. I did a fair bit of cutting and didn't have any issues. However, I will stress, don't leave the boards outside overnight or in a humid environment after you've cut them.
I'll be looking forward to following along with your project. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks heaps for all that advice Mitchell. Nice craft table and good to see the panels being used for something other than a bench or table top. My Bunnings stores are out of stock of the beech panels so will go ahead with the Hevea. I will keep you posted. Cheers, Rachael
I have finally completed my project. While I am pleased with the result (see pic. - very stylish I think haha) I must say I did have issues with the bowing of a couple of the finger jointed panels I used (mitigated with some strategically positioned screws), and also they weren't exactly the same size.
I decided to stain and varnish and accidentally picked up an oil based product which I found very difficult to apply evenly - I'm not really pleased with the finish but it's bearable.
Thanks again for all your advice Mitchell.
Thank you so much for posting an update on your shelving unit. It looks wonderful and I don't see a hint of bowing. The design you've chosen really makes it look very modern. I was thinking of a traditional box type construction, but the offset dividers and open sides just give it a very custom look.
Now that you've assembled and painted the shelving unit. What advice would you give to those members who are thinking of building their own?
Again, thank you for sharing your amazing project, we look forward to seeing your next creation.
Thanks Eric, we have a fantastic 'Men's Shed' where I live. Women are welcome. So I have joined and have the advice and step by step guidance of a chap who has been working with timber and traditional methods for years. I would advise newcomers to check out their local Men's Shed.
My next creation will be a picnic outdoor table and benches for my son and daughter-in-law.
Looks great, @Rharr! What panel did you choose in the end?
Thank you DIYgals, I ended up using the Hevea panels - they were out of beech in our 3 local Bunnings stores and I was keen to get cracking!