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Pocket holes for shelf fixing? Crazy idea?

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Rorschach

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I am making a set of floating shelves out of solid oak (offcuts bought from a member here actually).

They are only 4" deep, designed for holding picture frames only.

My plan had been to buy the floating shelf pins/brackets to fix them to the wall however drilling these perfectly could be tricky and also they are quite expensive considering I need 2 per shelf and I am making 3 shelves that are only 14" long.

I wondered if pocket holes would be a strong enough fixing to hold them to the wall? I could use 3 pocket holes per shelf, and longer screws that engage into red wall plugs.
Is this a workable idea or crazy? I am thinking it would be plenty strong enough for the weight they are holding. I have seen similar shelves from Ikea made of MFC that are just face screwed into the wall, can't be much difference if any between that a pocket hole in Oak.
 

SkinnyB

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With anything like this I would try on some scrap wood first. Screw it into any wall just to test. Even a shed wall etc Add weight to see how much weight it takes to fail. I would imagine you will be fine as long as there is enough 'meat' behind the screw heads.
 

shed9

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In theory, if the screws are angled down into the wall and have sufficient grab they would have enough shear resistance however you need to factor in two things; The wall plugs will need to be long enough and at the right angle for the protruding screw from the wood. You will need to start the hole further back than you normally would to ensure enough meat on the shelf side.

I've used pocket holes myself to support ply shelving along the rear but they were always supported either side. I'm not sure I would rely on them solely myself but as mentioned do a test (and report back).
 

AndyT

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I've seen shallow shelves fixed exactly as you describe, in a very well fitted out boat. Deep enough for a glass of wine or a paperback, not for a whole dinner service. They would have been screwed into veneered plywood, with softwood battens behind.
 

Distinterior

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Rorschach,

The floating shelf/pins you were thinking of using initially, ....was this what you had in mind..??

https://www.amazon.co.uk/CONCEALED-FLOA ... 1CVV9BCK5K

If so, I have loads of them spare so could send you 6 for the cost of the postage if you want to try them.
The ones I have are pretty much identical to the ones in the link and they come with their own big fixing screws & rawlplugs to match......If the 100mm long pin is too long for the depth of your shelves, they can just be cut down. Once fitted to the wall, the brackets do have slight adjustment as well to aid in alignment.

I use them on floating shelves up to 200mm in depth and they are a far better option than pocket hole fixings. Drilling the hole for the pin is pretty straight forward but the biggest challenge would be cutting a rebate in the back of your shelves to accommodate the fixings & plate. I usually make a jig for my router and clamp it to the back of the shelf and rout the rebate to the correct depth.

Tim.
 

sammy.se

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I've thought about this before, (but not made them since I had actual floating shelf brackets like in the link above), but my ideas was to put threaded rod into the wall, using anchors or resin if solid, or another suitable fixing, and then epoxy the protruded rod into holes you drill into the shelf. It would be concealed, strong, and cheap - but permanent!
 

petermillard

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Make the floating shelves so that they fit snugly around a batten on the back edge. Screw the batten to the wall in the usual way, then glue the shelf onto the batten, scribing the edges to the wall beforehand if needs be.

I’ve done many, many shelves like this simply in MDF and for relatively lightweight items they work fine.



Actually, now I think about it my workshop stock of screws is on a shelf made in the same way...
 

Rorschach

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All good ideas, but these shelves are super small.
14" long, 4" deep and only 22mm thick.
The brackets look good, and I thank you for the offer but it seems a lot of work drilling the holes and rebating, also leaving very little material top and bottom around the bracket.

Same goes for Peter's idea, great for a large shelf but these are small as noted above and made of solid oak.
 

ED65

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Rorschach":2ivyj49s said:
I am thinking it would be plenty strong enough for the weight they are holding.
I can't imagine how these wouldn't work.

I built two wall-mounted plant stands with cantilevered narrow shelves to take one propagated spider plant apiece and each shelf is held by just one chipboard screw. Years down the line, the plants far larger than they started, in ceramic pots now and not just in the cheap plastic they were first potted into and still going strong.
 

AndyT

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Don't worry, Rorschach, your shelf will be fine. I should add that the shelves I saw had the pocket screws on the underside and were in oak, about 22mm thick. :)

Your only challenge will be getting the holes in the wall to line up and lie at the correct angle. Perhaps a two step process would work, where you drill through the shelf into a batten, then hold the batten against the wall and drill through the holes in it.

Then discard the batten.
 

Rorschach

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AndyT":3hag2vf4 said:
Don't worry, Rorschach, your shelf will be fine. I should add that the shelves I saw had the pocket screws on the underside and were in oak, about 22mm thick. :)

Your only challenge will be getting the holes in the wall to line up and lie at the correct angle. Perhaps a two step process would work, where you drill through the shelf into a batten, then hold the batten against the wall and drill through the holes in it.

Then discard the batten.
Thanks, that is very reassuring.

Regarding drilling the holes. I had planned to make a simple little jig. Use the pocket hole jig to start a hole at the right angle in a block of wood and then continue it through with a 6mm bit for the red plugs. Hold said block against the wall to set the angle for the plugs.
 

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