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Miscellaneous
Shelving Q's & A's

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Built-in Bookshelf

I am looking to cut into existing sheet rock wall and build-in a bookshelf. Can I do this without jeopardizing support to the house? How deep is the avarage wall? This will affect how deep my shelves will be. Where do I start? Will I have to anchor the shelves to something?

Is this wall an outside wall? Or is it a "load bearing" wall? Here is the scoop on walls. Generally walls are just 3 1/2 inches deep. They are built with 2x4's. You might have a house built with 2x6's but that wall is only 5 1/5 inches deep. With outside walls, you would be opening up the area that is filled with insulation.
The support they provide requires a stud every 16 inches. If you were to want to go wider than that you would need to support a header (horizontal 2x6's or bigger depending on the span) above the bookshelf area. All in all, I would NOT recommend building it into an outside wall.

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Now about inside walls. A load bearing wall is one that typically runs the same way as the ridge of your roof line and supports the upstairs floor. Some walls are not load bearing and you can remove them entirely or cut into them to your hearts content. For load bearing walls, again, you would need to replace the studs with a header supported at either end. First thing of course willbe to determine if the wall is a load bearing wall.
What makes it load bearing, is among other things, does the floor above have joists that end on and are supported by the wall in question. If we are talking a first floor wall, is it above a beam in the basement, running parallel to it, just above it.

So where does that leave you? I am not sure what you had in mind for size or location, etc. But you may be better off building it against a wall as part of the wall instead of inside the wall.

As for attaching the shelves they sell many different kinds of shelf supports. Many you can just drill holes in the shelf side walls and by placing the pins in the different holes adjust the height of the shelves. Or you can go with a permanent mounting of the shelves by cutting dadoes (slots) in the sides into which the shelf fits and permanently glue them in.


Shelving

Looking for a cost effective and durable way to mount shelving to a wall? Wall is plaster board with pressed wood panaling.


What sort of shelves. What will they have to hold, weight-wise and what about appearance?

As for attaching to your wall, for heavy duty shelves, you will want to screw into a stud for the supports. For light duty, a molley will do.
You can buy L brackets to mount the shelving on, relatively cheap, sturdy but not too nice looking.
Or you can screw a board to the wall for your shelf to rest on and support the outside edge with vertical freestanding posts. This would be the strongest, and you can make the posts merely 2x4 for cheap easy and sturdy, or build nicer posts from 1x4's or use turned posts for a fancier look.

Building Shelves/Concrete

I want to build some sturdy shelves for my garage(8'x16"x7' tall), but DO Not want 400 lbs. of 2x4's in the construction. Any ideas? I would also like to raise the height of the concrete pad underneath my deck (it's the low spot and water sits there forever) about 4". How do I do this without ripping out and replacing the existing pad?

You can pour a slab right on top of the existing one. Especially if you are going 4 inches thick.

To build the shelves, use 2x4's for the vertical members, 2x2's for the shelf supports (front and back of each shelf) and any shelf material that suits you. Plywood, masonite, hardboard, etc.






How to hang what-not shelf?


I have a small wooden what-not shelf, about 2.5 feet wide and 2 feet high and 4 inches deep.
How do I attach it to a wall? I have drywall over wood studs. I can find the studs with a StudFinder.

One suggestion I got was to nail picture hangers into the wall and use screws to attach small wire
loops to the back of the shelf. Then basically hang the shelf like a picture. I don't think this is a good solution - not stable enough. My wife is going to put china teacups on the shelf. Any better suggestions?


I am with you. No wire. Are there any vertical flat pieces on this shelf that you can mount it to the wall?
If so, here is the thought...
Buy some small wooden plugs. They sell decorative "buttons" that can be stained or painted to match the shelf.Drill a hole the size of the plug, then drill a hole for the screw. Don't worry about the studs. Plan to put the shelf where it is aesthetically pleasing and the mounting holes ( just need two) balanced also, one near each edge. Put the shelf against he wall where you want it. And mark where the holes in the wall will be drilled. Then drill the holes into the wall. If you hit a stud, well fine, use a screw long enough to go at least an inch into the stud. If you don't use a drywall fastener (sometimes called molleys; well they were either a brand or a type) they have all kinds. The wing type that open up behind the wall would hold more weight than you are dealing with.. but the molley type which expand and grab the drywall is what you want. Drill the hole big enough for the molley, mount it, then screw the shelf into the molleys. Finally plug the holes using the button plugs. A little glue to hold them in.
Now.. lets say there is NO vertical piece. Make one. A small piece of wood stained or painted to match the shelf can be mounted on the wall, and the shelf hung from it. The wood piece need only be at most 1 inch wide 3/4 in thick. You can nail or screw down into the shelf into the mounting board. Just do a nice job, counter sink and plug the holes if you use screws, countersink and fill with nail filler for the nail holes. (Use very small finishing nails 4d would be plenty big.)



more

Idea 1
Are there any vertical flat pieces on this shelf that you can mount it to the wall?
If so, here is the thought... Buy some small wooden plugs. They sell decorative "buttons" that can be stained or painted to match the shelf. Drill a hole the size of the plug, then drill a hole for the screw.
Don't worry about the studs. Plan to put the shelf where it is aesthetically pleasing and the mounting holes ( just need two) balanced also, one near each edge. Put the shelf against he wall where you want it. And mark where the holes in the wall will be drilled. Then drill the holes into the wall. If you hit a stud, well fine, use a screw long enough to go at least an inch into the stud. If you don't use a drywall fastener (sometimes called molleys; well they were either a brand or a type) they have all kinds. The wing type that open up behind the wall would hold more weight than you are dealing with.. but the molley type which expand and grab the drywall is what you want. Drill the hole big enough for the molley, mount it, then screw the shelf into the molleys. Finally plug the holes using the button plugs. A little glue to hold them in.

Idea 2
Now.. lets say there is NO vertical piece. Make one. A small piece of wood stained or painted to match the shelf can be mounted on the wall, and the shelf hung from it. The wood piece need only be at most 1 inch wide 3/4 in thick. You can nail or screw down into the shelf into the mounting board. Just do a nice job, counter sink and plug the holes if you use screws, countersink and fill with nail filler for the nail holes. (Use very small finishing nails 4d would be plenty big.)

First suggestion sounds too complicated for me.

Second suggestion sounds do-able. Only downside, I can think of is that the shelf will not be against the wall. It will be about 3/4 inch away. How will that look?

This is tough of course trying to picture this shelf.
What I described in idea #2 was a board that the shelf could rest on. So it wouldn't stick our from the wall. Here is what I picture... the shelf sits on TOP of the board. know what I mean? What I wouldn't give for you to see my hands as I describe this. (Or to see your shelf)

Hanging heavy duty shelves on metal studs

What method do you recommend for hanging 1-1/2" thick oak shelving on metal studs? The shelves must be heavy-duty, since they will hold books. I purchased sturdy metal brackets, but I don't feel very good about attaching them securely.

Many kitchen cabinets are hung using regular drywall screws. Use fine thread drywall screws. The length would be 1-1/4 inch plus the thickness of the bookcase material the screw will go through. I.e.) assume 3.4 inch backing, then use a screw that is 1.25 + .75 = 2 inches long. If you are uncomfortable with that supporting all the weight, use a couple of drywall molleys in the middle.



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