inexpensive, has no knots and also finishes well. Birch plywood in my neck of the woods costs around $70 a sheet. Poplar is cheap.
SIZING MATERIAL My lumberyard has a panel saw, so I had them rip the two sheets of plywood into four 24-in. wide pieces. Not only did this allow for easier carrying and transport, but it eliminated the step of my having to cut it down to a narrower width. That saved me time.
SHELF CLEAT DESIGN For the shelves to be secure, we usually install 1-1/2-in. wide cleats on the wall to support them using two finish nails per stud. The problem for this project was that the cleats were not long enough to hit enough wall studs for proper fastening. Instead of using wall anchors, we decided to use vertical poplar cleats on both sides of the shelves. This design essentially creates a plywood box, and the poplar gave use solid nailing throughout the entire length of the cleat. This also allowed us to use narrower cleats, which meant that we could hide them behind our 1-1/2-in. shelf nosing. LAYING OUT HE SHELVES We knew the size of the stack- able laundry machine units, so we added 8 inches to determine the top shelf height. We wanted to allow plenty of air space for ventilation, at the top and sides. Working from the top shelf loca- tion downward, we started to lay out our shelves. Knowing that the client wanted a laundry basket on the floor, we allowed for 17 inches between the bottom of the first shelf to the finished floor. (Note that the flooring was not finished at this point, so the the thickness of the flooring to be installed had to be calculated). We the cut our two vertical plywood sides to the height of the top shelf (minus the 3/4-in. top shelf), and then laid out the five equal shelf locations. We
Fasten the cleats with finish nails while the glue sets. Dry-fit the components to double- check the shelf size and design before final installation to the wall. When spacing the shelves, keep in mind the distance between the shelf nosing that will be installed (1-1/2” in this case).