Clear Shelves

I’m building a display in to a brick alcove in my Tv room where i will display/store my whiskey. I’d like to use a vintage style bulb at the top to light the display and clear shelves which i thought i would cut a template and then route the 3 shelves from Acrylic. I was planning to make some supports which screw the the brick from a hardwood along with a matching wood front lip.

Does anyone have any information on the load and thickness required for the acrylic? For the amount i need it will be fairly expensive so i don’t want to buy a too thin material and it bow.

If I remember correctly a .236 thick sheet of acrylic has a maximum tensile strength of about 10,000 psi

Depends on the width of your shelves, I’d say no less than 3/8th but it is still going to bow. Acrylic will bow with time no matter how thick. So my suggestion is to buy tempered glass from a glass supplier. Do not use acrylic for a shelf, you will not be happy with it.

That is not relevant, tensile strength is the resistance of a material to breaking under tension. The shelves will not be under tension, nor will that matter in terms of deflection.

I don’t like to discourage anyone from their vision on a project, but this is very sound advice.

The material cost is going to be expensive. You’ll have to scrape and polish your edges. It will bow and scuff with use.

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When plate glass breaks it breaks into large pieces, which can cause serious harm to anyone near it. Tempered glass breaks into a million little pieces. You may end up with very small cuts but you do not have to worry about being seriously injured. Tempered Glass is 4 times stronger than regular glass of the same thickness. 1/4″ Tempered Glass has the same strength as a 1″ thick piece of regular glass. Tempered glass does cost more but in my opinion not worth the cost savings. Don"t use plate glass for shelving.

Thanks for all the replies,

I was think acrylic as i can work with it myself however I’ve started looking in to tempered glass. I’m just waiting to see back about the costs from a few local suppliers. I can make up a template or send them a CAD file which ever.

If its too expensive, i’ll either look at making a solid wood self or a wooden shelf with a cut out to take a standard square / rectangular glass shelf.

The last time I bought a sheet of 1/2" cast acrylic, it was over $500 usd. Might as well spend on something that will last.