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French Cleats

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SMALMALEKI

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Hi there

I have built a new wall cabinet for my planes and some tools. When it came to fixing it to the wall I had no idea how to fix it. After some searching and reading I saw a post here about French Cleats. It is my first time using this method of hanging stuff. Is a 20*50 mm European pine cut in the middle strong enough to hold a tools cabinet?
I am going to screw it to brick wall with 50 mm screws and the back board of cabinet is 20 mm edge joined pine.

Thank you for your advices.
 

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ED65

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Should be fine. 3/4" material seems to be the norm for those in the US to use and 20mm is slightly thicker than that. In terms of the wood used various pines are very common but it's also widely done with plywood, where you'd imagine the potential for delamination might be an issue but in practice it isn't.

The term French cleat isn't ever going to go away but they weren't always called this. In case it's of interest, french-cleat-or-something-else-t109539.html
 

custard

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SMALMALEKI":3oxze40s said:
Is a 20*50 mm European pine cut in the middle strong enough to hold a tools cabinet?
You could hang a locomotive on the wall with that.

Seriously, the only question is how the mating part of the cleat is attached to the cabinet, as long as that bit is solid then you'll be fine, the part that's screwed into a brick wall will still be there at the crack of doom.
 

Inspector

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Excuse me for being a little dense today. When you say cut in the middle are you bevel ripping the 20*50 mm to get two 20*25 mm pieces? Then no. If taking the corner off it and then cutting it in half to get two 20* 50 mm then yes.

Pete
 

SMALMALEKI

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That’s right. I bevel ripped it down to 30*20 mm.
I took the size from Paul Selllers’ clip. Having said that his wall shelf was much smaller and lighter.
 

thetyreman

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by the way I found that 60/30 degrees works better than 45/45 degree cleats, just a tip, the 60/30 is a bit steeper pitch.
 

Inspector

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SMALMALEKI":3plzayze said:
That’s right. I bevel ripped it down to 30*20 mm.
I took the size from Paul Selllers’ clip. Having said that his wall shelf was much smaller and lighter.
I would have made it wider but that's me and I wouldn't want anything to let go if the shelf was loaded more heavily or I slipped and grabbed it to keep from falling. I'm a clumsy one. (homer)

Pete
 

SMALMALEKI

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Thank you for all the advices from members. I will bevel rip cut another piece of wood and use the current ones on a different capacity.
There is no scrap wood they are just cut and not facilitated yet.

Ta
 

OscarG

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I thought the idea of French cleats were so you can quickly re-organise your workshop and move things about if you're not happy with layout etc

That cabinet looks pretty hefty, if you're not planning on moving it in future, could you not just screw it to the wall directly and forget the cleats?
 

SMALMALEKI

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I was worried 2-4 screws in softwood may not be strong enough. I looks around to find any hardware to use but didn’t find the cabinet hangings very attractive.
There was a post from 2014 on the forum which suggested using cleats as a strong fixture.
 

clanger

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OscarG":rehtk48q said:
I thought the idea of French cleats were so you can quickly re-organise your workshop and move things about if you're not happy with layout etc

That cabinet looks pretty hefty, if you're not planning on moving it in future, could you not just screw it to the wall directly and forget the cleats?
I must confess that I use a cleat to hang heavy items such as tool cabinets on the wall. The reason for this is two-fold:
1) It is easier to screw a baton on the wall and secure it perfectly horizontal, then lift the cabinet on to the wall.
2) It hides the mounting screws from view
 

MikeG.

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SMALMALEKI":2xz3m69e said:
I was worried 2-4 screws in softwood may not be strong enough........
Why? You could screw a chair to a stud wall (off the floor) with a single screw, then sit on it with complete confidence, so long as you had 30+mm of the screw embedded into the stud. Two screws is more than enough to hold your tool cabinet.

'twere it me, I'd forget battens. This is a tool cabinet, not a piece of furniture. Position it such that you can fix it fairly evenly into 2 studs, and put 2 screws (top and bottom) into each. As for being easily movable........well it takes seconds to remove 4 screws. It will take longer to empty the unit of planes than it would to remove it from the wall. I see no benefit whatsoever to putting it on battens.
 

SMALMALEKI

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I have to admit my lack of experience but on my day job I don’t trust even 6-8 screws with 30 mm grip to bear the weight of a person. I might be over cautious. Point applied pressure is related to mass and contact surface. As the contact surface is very little in 5 mm screws then the pressure is multiple times the mass of cabinet.
I leave exact calculation to those members who are more knowledgeable in physics.

Ta
 

MikeG.

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You're looking at pull-out forces and sheer resistance........

........but never mind that. Go and screw something to the wall and do an experiment. Load it up with weights.

The logic of your worry falls down, though, when you consider that your battens would be screwed to the wall only at stud locations (I assume it's a stud wall as you talked about screws in softwood), and that you could get the same number of screws, or more, direct into the wall through your cabinet back as you propose for your battens. If, say, 8 screws were going to be enough for your battens, put 8 screws through the back of the shelf unit. The battens are an unnecessary extra bit of work. They do make great hiding places for spiders, though, so maybe you're just a closet arachnophile using pull-out strength as an excuse :lol: .
 

Hornbeam

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Another advantage of the french cleats is that you dont have to hold a heavy cabinet in the air while trying to screw through the back of it at teh same time. Once it is in position you can but a couple of smaller screws in through the bottom of the cabinet which prevents any chance of it lifting/getting knocked off the cleat
Ian
 

SMALMALEKI

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I finally used the Cleat ( French or Split Cleat ) for the first time.
There were lessons to learn.
1- it was very easy to level the cleats on the wall and hang the tool racks
2- it will work better with a smoother wall ( I hung it on brick wall and it was not as straight as I assumed.
3- it would have been better if I planned the clear from the beginning rather than adding it to the backboard of cabinet.
4- cabinet is standing about 2 mm proud of the wall so I added same thickness strap of wood to stop it rocking.

I am very happy overall as I have made my best and quickest dovetail ever, the cabinet is square in all corners and I have learned how to use cleats.


LIFE IS ALL ABOUT LEARNING EVERYDAY
 

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