I have just built a set of cabinets designed to be suspended from the
ceiling. The piece has steel cables running through it and I intend to
screw hooks into ceiling joists. I was going to make a loop out of the
steel cable and lock it with a swaging tool. But there is now way I
will be able to get the length right on the first try. So I need to be
able to adjust the length.
Are there solutions for doing that?
For example, some suspension devices with threads?
Or, using split bolts instead of the thingies that you swage?
Many thanks in advance.
I'm nervous that you won't be able to get the cables tight enough, and
that the cabinets will swing like a hammock. Also, cables (actually
"wire rope" according my brother the engineer) stretch, so you'll have
to tighten them up periodically. Thin cables stretch a _lot_. Did you
ever twist the head off a bolt? That was the steel stretching.
I first envisioned two cables running from one end to the other of a
long row of cabinets with the cables held to the ceiling with hooks
into the ceiling structure. Then I thought of four vertical cables per
cabinet, one on each corner.
How do you plan to install the cables?
I plane to cradle the cabinets in 1/8" cable. Each is rated for 250lb
and I will have three (or five) cables forming an right-side-up U with
the cabinets snuggled inside the U. The cables run on the face and on
the back so you see a U when you look from the side.
Three more details:
1. The cables run in a "fan". The middle one is straight up but the
rest are slanted away. With three cables, the face lookse lile this:
\\ | /
2. The space b/w the ceiling and the cabinet is only about 8".
3. At the top of the U, the come together a little bit, making it
I guess the more conventional way of hanging from the ceiling would be
to build a soffit. But with no back support, you'd have to make sure
the cabinets were structurally designed to be hung rom the top, as
opposed to fastened to the wall.
Don't need much convincing to believe they stretch. Suspension bridge
cables would be snapping wildly like the snakes on Medusa's head if they
didn't. Also, I was fortunate to have a materials science course many
decades ago. Big ass hydraulic machine. Put rods & bars in it and it
pulled it laterally until it snapped and recorded snap level. Some rods
and bars would thin as they were pulled, aka stretch.
Turnbuckles will work. You MUST not swage because there will be no
allowance over time for drooping. However, ceiling suspended cabinets have
to be made extra large so that "normal" people can access them from the
floor. Short people will have to be allowed for, too, if as in my case my
wife is five feet tall. That leaves you with a very large cabinet. Access
to top shelves by ladder only. If you're going to put them away from a
wall, there's the swing/vibration factor. I have seen them professionally
mounted over islands, tho. As Steve said, I have doubts, too.
The cables will be plenty strong enough, and the angle will keep
swaying to a minimum. The "wire rope" can probably hold at least 10
times what you will put in it. It is not likely to stretch enough
that you would ever notice. Structurally and functionally, I don't
see how this will be a problem. Where I see a problem is appearance.
How are you going to fasten all of these hooks and have them be
symmetric? Are you going to put blocking up in the celing? Also,
your connections are probably going to have some cable saddles. How
would you hide these? Does the cable have a colored coating? How
does the cable fasten to the cabinets? More hooks? I like this idea,
but I'm not sure it won't look like an industrial installation.
Why not use all thread? You can get the hanging appearance; it can be
easily adjusted; and it can be easily hid.
Back in the stone age, for the California Modern 'flying wing' houses,
open space above the cabinets was pretty common. Usual approach was a
L-shaped short wall with a pass-through at counter level, and wall
mounted cabinets. Double-sided cabinets above a breakfast bar would be
ceiling-mounted to a box-section soffit that was held up on far end by a
short full-height wall that framed the entry to kitchen space from the
dining area. Hard to make suggestions without seeing the kitchen, but
rather than cables, I'd be inclined to to use a boxed-in soffit
suspended from threaded rod or pipe and flanges or something. A 2-inch
iron pipe painted in the ceiling colors would almost vanish to the eye.
I think anything on cables will be way too wobbly, and drive the user
of the kitchen flat crazy.
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