I am getting ready to build some built-ins for my closets. My question
is basically how to "hang" the shelves to the walls. Is it the shelv
supports that I attatch to the walls that hold up everything? My last
house had built-ins and I have researched into other houses built-ins
but of course I can only see the finished product that shows no
nails/screws and is pretty much painted to the walls. Can anyone give
me some pointers?
Nail or screw cleats (that will hold the shelves up) to the wall
stopping them where you need a bulkhead. Nail or screw your bulkhead
to the cleats and continue with more cleats on the other side of your
bulkhead. Add end cleats to the wall and bulkheads. Hang your rods
from the end cleats. You need a minimum of 3 1/2" wide end cleats so
that you can get the hanger on the rod and not hit the shelf above it.
Some guys use wider end cleats and some use narrower back cleats but
we use 3 1/2" all the way around. You also need bulkheads and/or end
cleats to be a minimum of 12" deep so you can mount the rod far enough
away from the back wall.
We come down 12" (on an 8' ceiling) to the top rod if it's a double
hanger (that's two rods above each other) and then 42" between rods.
We hang a single rod (for longer clothes) 30" down on an 8' ceiling.
Thank you all for your suggestions. I think I'm going to bite the
bullet and build from scratch. I can't see paying someone to cut boards
for me. Do you have suggestions on wood? I was thinking plywood but
I'll need to finish the ends somehow.
For painted finish buy birch...
For stain buy birch or oak...
You can finish the edges with your own strips cut from
solid stock or even easier is use iron on tape made for
You want the pre-glued wood veneer version...
I recently installed a dresser/built-in for my closet with a set of
cubby holes on top. The projects sound similar enough so here's what I
I did the project in two pieces; a dresser of 6 drawers and a set of
cubby holes on top.
Both pieces are simple carcasses identical in size with matching face
frames. The bottom piece is the carcass with nothing but drawers. That
sits on the floor against the wall. I screwed the back into a wall
The second piece is a carcass with one drawer and several cubby holes
above. It sits on top of the first piece. I screwed that into a wall
stud at two different locations. Think about how kitchen cabinets are
Because the two pieces are identical in size, together with the
matching face frames they look like one like one big piece of furniture
about 3 feet wide and 7 feet high.
The system is very practical, effective, and turned out very nice.
It is very secure.
Ledger strips around three sides of your shelf, screwed to studs, the shelf
goes on top of that.
Make the two side ledger strips taller (and fancier/with scallops, etc) and
add an additional piece with a half circle cut, facing up, to hold your
It depends a lot on how long the shelves are but if in the normal 30-40"
range, here are some ideas...
1. Insert shelf ends indo dados in the carcase sides. That assumes you are
making a box that *has* sides. It also assumes you will never want to move
the shelves up or down.
2. If you are using the walls of the closet itself, fasten strips of wood
about 3/4 - 1inch wide and 1/2 - 3/4 thick to the walls...two on each side
and the ones on each side spaced so that the space between them is around 2"
less than the width of the shelves. You can fasten them to the walls with
molly or toggle bolts. Before fastening, they need to have a series of
holes drilled that are 3/8" deep by 1/4" in diameter; a drilling interval of
1 1/4" works well and the holes need to line up one piece to another. Once
hung, you can use KV (Knap Voght) clips to support the shelves. The clips
have a round end which is inserted into the holes and a small bracket at
right angles to support whatever. When you make your shelves, cut out a bit
at each corner so the shelf will fit around the wood strips; that locks
them into place and prevents them being pulled out.
The advantage of this is that the shelves can be moved up and down to
accommodate your needs.
You can also make rods to hang in the same way. You need to make them about
1/2" thicker than the strips attached to the walls so you can cut a notch in
each end of the rods to slip over the wall strips. They too are supported
by KV clips. Since you can easily position any shelf or rod anywhere on the
wall mounted strips, you can have two rods - one above another - to double
hanging space in a given area for shorter items of clothing such as
It is harder to describe than to actually do.
Go here for closet ideas and spacing...
That link will give you the "design" ideas and spacing.
Your job is to translate those ideas into a home made
version that looks decent and services your needs.
You can do wire...from the Home Center (fairly expensive)
You can do MDF ...from the Home Center(cheap but must be painted)
You can do melamine..from the Home Center.(Cheap ...but)
The "but" in melamine is that you need to buy the pre-taped
stuff to haver finished edges. Melamine makes a nice looking
closet when done correctly.
The 07/99 issue of Fine HomeBuilding has a excellent article
on just this subject. It shows ALL three methods and will
allow you to do a excllent job.
"Outfitting a Clothes Closet" by Gary Katz
You can download it for $3.50 and it will be well worth
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