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I want to put up a shelf for a microwave, which I guess weighs around 10 kg.

In the UK plywood is marketed as either "structural" or "unstructural". Is "unstructural" a good choice for this application, or should I use structural plywood?

The microwave is I'd say typical microwave size in the UK: about 48 cm side by 36 cm deep. The shelf will be the size of the microwave. I'm guessing I'd use 18 mm thick ply, but I imagine that might depend on the type of ply.

The shelf will be supported by two metal brackets (which have bracing struts that form a triangle). The brackets will be positioned at or within a cm or two from the location of the feet on which the microwave stands, so as to minimize the bending moment on the shelf.

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    There is not enough information here to answer. Width length thickness of shelf fir starters – Kris Oct 26 '18 at 17:44
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    And it depends entirely on the shelf support type and span. – isherwood Oct 26 '18 at 17:52
  • @Kris Don't you think the principles are more interesting than the particulars here? – Croad Langshan Oct 28 '18 at 12:56
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From my reading, unstructural is not ok in damp/wet or areas with temperature changes. Microwaves put out a decent amount of heat and moisture, so I would not use it in this application.

Personally, I like to use solid wood for shelving as it is pretty cheap (pine) and you can normally get it in a size/length very close to what you need.

  • I found it hard to source solid pine/spruce sheeting locally (east London). I guess I don't know where / what words to use to look for the places that sell that type of thing... or maybe it's more usual to join smaller pieces of solid wood for these dimensions? – Croad Langshan Oct 28 '18 at 12:58
  • @CroadLangshan while that is on the bigger side; I have no problems with that in the USA. I would typically see multiple boards glue together to make a wider board. If that isn’t an option, I would definitely recommend the structural plywood – UnhandledExcepSean Oct 28 '18 at 13:06

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