Can I hang cabinets from metal studs?

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On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 05:18:59 GMT, Unquestionably Confused

Brian, the mention of torsion boxes gave me an idea that you might consider. When I was rebuilding the front of my camper I ended up creating a torsion box for the floor. (see: http://groups.google.ca/groups?hl=en&lr=&selm ±ge9v0jsftvlv84gkd5vqpvtf658rjacq%404ax.com
Essentially milled 1"X1" (real dimension, not 3/4") cedar on 1-foot squares grid with 1/8" plywood glued on each side. It is more than sufficient to hold up my weight (250lb) on a 4'X7' floor.
I don't know what the shear strength would be of this kind of construction, but note that the cupboards on my camper (late 70's) are screwed into a wall made with 3/4" lumber and they haven't moved despite having been used mostly on very rough Yukon backroads. I'll let you do the weight calculations to compare it with steel studs. You might have to make the wall thicker for the lecktrical stuff.
Just an idea, but it brings the whole thing back to wooddorking.
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html
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writes:

Absolutely, Builders in Houston use them to build houses.

Like 2x4 studs, they need a covering like dry wall to become rigid.
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On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 13:03:38 GMT, "Leon"

Steel studs are common in commercial construction. I haven't seen a wood stud in a phone building for at least 15-20 years, regardless if the wall carries a load. Lots of these walls have counters, cabinets, etc... mounted to them. A lot of this stuff is installed as an afterthought, so the wall was not specially designed to carry the load.
Barry
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I'm guessing commercial construction uses 20 gauge metal studs for load bearing walls, not the 25 gauge metal studs they sell at all the home improvement centers.
I was thinking about the 25 gauge studs when I was questioning if any used them for load bearing walls.
Brian Elfert
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wrote:

I should also mention that some of these walls are studded 12" OC.
Barry
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I did some web searching on this a while back, and found a number of people who claimed to be hanging cabinets from steelstuds with no problems (I don't know what guage of steel they were using).
I assume the success rate would vary with the amount of weight and the number of screws (and whether you're using screws designed for steel studs). It seems to me there should be some kind of rule of thumb for weight-per-screw. The screws seem to grip pretty well.
Another possible strategy is to arrange things so that something else takes the weight, and the studs just hold it upright.
The OP said his walls weren't up yet, so I'd certainly add wood blocking wherever it might come in handy. For an RV, you also have to consider dynamic loads. I like the idea of a french cleat, with a peg that has to be removed before you can lift the cabinet off the cleat.
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Yep, everyone here should recognize that the skin spreads and sustains a load. Boats, cars, airplanes, all build on that principle.
That's why it's no longer a simple question of withdrawal force on a screw, because the load has been spread by that infinite fender washer called a wall skin to other screws, other studs.
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Metal studs for a house would be really expensive. A 20 gauge stud is about $6 each and load bearing walls might need them every 12" instead of 16" with wood.
They make finger jointed wood studs that are extremely consistent in size. I have no idea if they cost less than 20 gauge steel studs or not.
I would use metal for a house in a heartbeat if it was similiar in price and I could find a carpenter who has done it before on a house.
Brian Elfert
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I'm not sure I want to go with metal studs yet. I figured I needed to be sure I could attach my cabinets before choosing metal or wood studs.
Wood studs would be less expensive but heavier.
Brian Elfert
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Brian, Very interesting project. For RV use, I would consider using smaller studs, say 2" x 2". And where loads exist for cabinets and fixtures, I would inlay some plywood or 1" x 4"s for securing the cabinets. All screws eventually work loose in RVs. I would also consider not using drywall behind the cabinets and use 1/4" plywood instead. This way you will save a considerable amount of weight and be able to secure the cabinets using a French cleat system. (French cleat - a board ripped in half at 45 deg. One half of the cleat attached to the wall and the other mating half attached to the cabinet.)
Dave
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2x2s would probably work as that is what wood framed RVs are generally built from. The only reason for thicker studs would be for insulation. They make special electrical boxes for RVs that fit in a 2x2 wall.

Someone else mentioned drywall. I didn't mention drywall and have plans to use it. 1/4" plywood covered with something is what I am planning to use. I'm not sure if 1/4" plywood will really hold up cabinets.
Brian Elfert
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Brian,
I am a carpenter and was doing the exact same thing at Montreal's City Hall. We were building a new kitchen for the blue collar works and commercial code states that metal studs are to be used because of fire code. So here is what I did. Metal studs are in a shape of a U and always face the same direction. Where you plan to put your cabinets, you need to add a piece of stud about 12" long in the opposite direction. So that the 12" stud will face the 8' stud(the U's will face eachother). Since the studs are 16" on center...you can cut a piece of 3/4" plywood 12"x15-1/2". Use 3/4" drywll screws. Do not use the self-tapping kind(silver). They will just burn the wood and will spin. But since you are turning a semi to an RV...if it will be on the road, I would use 2"x6" pine instead of plywood between the studs. It's cheap and it will hold your cabinets without a glitch.
Good luck,
Patrick
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writes:

You're thinking of drywall, and you won't use wooden studs because of the weight?
This does not compute.
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Opps. Should say I have NO plans to use drywall.
Brian Elfert
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Awesome! Show us some pictures when finished. Putting some wood in the studs where cabinets will be makes sense. Wilson
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wrote:

consider using plywood instead of drywall for the sheet goods over the studs. you'll save weight and add both strength and stiffness to the structure. then you can get an attachment you can count on for the cabinetry.
build the cabinets as light as you can. lauan ply is light for it's strength, comes with a surface that is smooth enough for laminate but will likely need some prep before paint.
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What we do for commercial jobs is have the GC provide 6" wide heavy gage (gauge David) coil stock wherever we need in wall blocking. This is screwed directly to the face of the stud.. You could also use horizontal steel studs bay making screw tabs on the ends.
Personally I like 2 X 6's. If your studs are 16" on center cut the 2X material to 15 7/8"(ish) and notch (dado) the face of one end to clear the break (wrap) in the steel studs. Working from the notched end face screw the 2X in place through the stud and into the face of the 2X. Screw the other end through the stud and into the end of the 2X.
It's as easy as eating pie.
UA100
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Yep. Done about a zillion linear feet of blocking that way (at least it seems that much. Blocking is _boring_ work). Not only can you drive a screw anywhere you want, but you know the screw won't pull out. And, the load is distributed along the whole wall. Also, scrap 2x or 3/4 ply is abundant in pieces 15 7/8" long.
Regarding an earlier post, I think maybe the french cleat idea is maybe not so good, seeing as how the RV will be going over bumps and whatnot.
Hope it helps.
-Phil Crow
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On 24 Mar 2005 18:10:22 -0800, the inscrutable snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com spake:

Simple fix: Use upper and lower sets of cleats and affix with screws through the backs (into the bottom cleats) to hold them in place.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

whatnot.
ah HAH! So _that's_ why we keep you around! <g>
-Phil Crow
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