Metal "French Cleats" - How Much Weight?

I'm working on a hall wall worth of shelves and cabinets (see a.b.p.w. The Next to the Next Off The Wall Project) and, rather than take them to the floor and do moulding around the base, I want to hang them 8 to 10" off the floor. I'll avoid doing a boatload of miterer corners and coping - and make it easy to get the dust bunnies that appear out of nowhere and hide under things that make if difficult to capture and remove them with a vacuum cleaner.
I like the idea of "french cleats" for hanging stuff off the wall. I made wooden ones to hang the two wall hanging tool cabinets in the shop. But for my first "house" furniture, I don't want to screw two halves of a ripped 2x4 into the studs on the wall and waste hall space to accomodate them in the back of the shelves.
SO - I saw some "z clips" in aluminum on the Lee Valley site
http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&pA869&cat=3,43715,43716&ap=1
The tallest shelf unit will be 6' tall, 28" wide and 12" deep. It'll be out of english sycamore which has a density in the rock maple range - about 46 pounds/cubic foot and the shelf wood will be about 2.2 cubic feet - about 100 pounds - without any books. The books could add another 100 pounds.
I'm only going to be able to catch two studs to screw into and the Z clip stock is 3 1/8" tall by 3/16" thick so I can get two screws into each stud.
So my question: Will these things support 200+ pounds if done as described above? I REALLY don't want this thing to come off the wall - figuratively and literally.
charlie b
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Not what you are looking for, but how about making just the shelf in front of the cleat narrow enough to accomodate a wooden cleat? A bit more complicated, perhaps, but less expensive.
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SNIP

above? I REALLY don't want this thing to >come off the wall - figuratively and literally.

Charlie, I think the first thing I would do would be to call LV and ask. They seem to have a pretty good track record of knowing their products.
On the other hand, I think at those prices I might just order some product and test it myself. Try a simple shelf loaded up and see how it does. I think I would go to a fastener company and get some real screws too, not the super soft trash sold at the big box or hardware stores.
A couple of hundred pounds seems a bit light for me considering the sizes of books I have. A six foot tall cab that is over two feet wide loaded with Twain, Dickens, Dumas, Sabtini, C.S, Forester and my Eastman publications would add to 100 lbs by about the fourth shelf.
As always, just my 0.02.
Robert
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Looking at the drawings I know how I would do it. I would probably use something like the Z clips on the top. But on the bottom, I would set a piece of wood right on top of the baseboard trim and screw it through the sheetrock into the studs.
This would give you a shear cleat that rests on the baseboard (I would add screws to that as well). When installing, you could lift up the piece, place it on the wall, and let it go straight down into position. The clips would hold the top as well as keeping it from tipping out, and the cleat would hold the bottom.
Like a good upper kitchen cabinet, I would leave a nail strip along the bottom and screw that into the studs, too.
The one board you have for your cleat can be painted to match your existing trim. With your cabinet at 12" of protrusion and only 8 - 10" off the wall, no one would see the cleat unless they got down on their hands and knees. Your width only has to be wide enough to pass your screw points by an inch or so, meaning that the cleat doesn't necessarily have to be full width.
Attaching this way, you would have four screws in the base board as reinforcement, four nice sized screws in the cleat (or more), and two screws through the nail strip to hold the cabinet in place. All would support weight.
None would be visible with a little forethought, of which you seem to have plenty.
Once again, my 0.02.
Robert
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When doubt could you use a double row of these for double strength? Alternatively, Rockler sells these and also sells steel cleats claiming, Hardened steel for outstanding strength and durability. 18'' in length. Protrudes 7/16'' from wall when pieces are assembled.
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?Offerings_ID47&TabSelect Ştails
Also, did you get my e-mail? I was inquiring to see if you might be interested in a better 24 page Domino owners manual in pdf format? Festool e-mailed it to me and I would be glad to send it to you.
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I've used these Rockler cleats. Right now, a set of them is holding up a loaded handplane cabinet in my shop. 48" tall, 12" deep, 36" wide. There are maybe 2 dozen planes there, plus saws, measuring tools, mallets, etc.
The cleats are strong enough.
Patriarch
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This place is like magic. Ask a question and get three, four or five solutions to the problem you're asking about. Am going to try several of the suggestions ( have six shelves/cabinets to hang). Will go with masonry/concrete screws because they're a lot harder and stronger than the silverish - whatever they're made of - screws. Sheet rock screws - nope.
Thanks for the options.
charlie b
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wrote:

I have used 3/4 inch plywood for "french cleats" using 3" drywall screws with a fender washer. Putting the screws into studs I think you will be ok, just span two studs minimum.
Mark
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Markem wrote:

I would be really careful using drywall screws in a load-bearing situation. Too many horror-stories.
Good screws aren't all that expensive...I recently used some of the Spax ones from LV and they work nicely. Haven't personally ordered from McFeeley, but have heard good things about them.
Chris
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Somebody wrote:
> I have used 3/4 inch plywood for "french cleats" using 3" drywall > screws with a fender washer. Putting the screws into studs I think you > will be ok, just span two studs minimum.
Personally, have absolutely no faith using drywall screws in a load bearing application.
I like #14, coarse thread, self tapping, pan head, sheet metal screws, at least 2-1/2" long complete with with fender washers to spread the load.
SFWIW, #14 screw is about 1/4" thread OD.
Use a 3/16" pilot hole drill, drive them with a screw gun, and you are good to go.
Lew
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You have my couriousity. Why not use dry screws on a load bearing wall for hanging a French cleat? What difference does it make whether the wall is load bearing or not?
You don't have to explain to me that there are better screws for this type application, I have been using square drive screws since the 80's.
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OK! Never mind! Its early! I read that wrong 5 times! I read "load bearing wall" you said, "load bearing situation".
Sorry. ;~)
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On Thu, 07 Jun 2007 11:48:06 GMT, "Leon"

Unfortunately my use of drywall screw is as a generic name.
Mark
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shame, SHAME On you. ;~)
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