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Thickness for a French Cleat

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Forum topic by Michael James posted 08-15-2011 11:52 PM 5616 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Michael James

89 posts in 1737 days


08-15-2011 11:52 PM

Hey Everyone,

I’m trying to figure out how to attach a French Cleat to a mirror (yet to be built) for our home’s entrance. I have the design in mind but am not sure how thin I can make the French cleat to ensure a solid attachement to the wall. I would really love for it to be hidden so I was thinking of trimming out the mirror with 1/2” strips around the parameter.

Can I go as thin as 1/2”? – I’ll be using hard wood – probably Cherry.

I’ve looked at the Hangman products too, but they seem like they’ll push out the top of the mirror too much.

-- Michael James - www.michaeljames.ca


10 replies so far

View sawdustphill's profile

sawdustphill

53 posts in 1379 days


#1 posted 08-16-2011 12:43 AM

hey Micheal you should be ok with 1/2 in. cleats I have used 1/2 in. cleats on a 30in. tall X 48in. wide X 12in.
deep open front oak cabinet and it has held up for years.
hope this helps.
Phillip from Ky.

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 1516 days


#2 posted 08-16-2011 12:48 AM

I dont see why 1/2” wouldnt work.

-- http://aewoodworks.webs.com

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5351 posts in 1287 days


#3 posted 08-16-2011 01:02 AM

1/2” will work. I have built many mdf frames for a local tile shop to display tiles. Pretty heavy and 2 mdf french cleats have kept them up for years. so any hardwood 1/2” cleat should be plenty thick enough. If you use two and your outer frame is thick enough the mirror should sit parrallel and flush with the wall.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2511 days


#4 posted 08-16-2011 01:55 AM

Michael, here is another alternative that is available for mirrors. The hangman products are basically aluminum french cleats and are offset only 9/32”. I have used them on several mirrors that I have made and they work just fine.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1847 days


#5 posted 08-16-2011 05:52 PM

I’ve used French cleats made from 1/4” material for mirror frames. As long as the cleats are firmly mounted, there’s little issue with weight, IMHO. However, the problem is if the mirror is in a place that could be bumped. It wouldn’t be hard to dislodge such a cleat. I used this method for my bath room mirrors, which are never really touched unless they are being cleaned.

If this is a concern, regardless of the size of material, you can just make wider cleats or increase the angle to 60/30 rather than 45/45 degrees.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1739 days


#6 posted 08-16-2011 07:11 PM

How big and heavy is the overall mirror going to be, roughly? If it’s for an entrance, it doesn’t sound overly large. I don’t see why 1/2” wouldn’t work for such a task? The larger/longer you make the cleat, the more you’ll be spreading out the weight of the mirror, both for the cleat and mirror frame, as well as the span on the wall, preferably anchoring the wall cleat to 2-studs.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Radu's profile

Radu

299 posts in 1732 days


#7 posted 08-16-2011 08:17 PM

Michael,

Here is another alternative: flush mounts. HD in your area should carry them. There is another type – I don’t find a picture and I don’t know their proper name. They are approx 3” long by 1/2” (or so) and they slide and wedge into each other – heavier duty.

View Michael James's profile

Michael James

89 posts in 1737 days


#8 posted 08-16-2011 08:41 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments – great advice. I’m leaning toward the wooden french cleat but will investigate these other options. One thing I didn’t mention was that it will have coat hooks along the bottom so it will also need to support those.

-- Michael James - www.michaeljames.ca

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1739 days


#9 posted 08-16-2011 08:45 PM

In that case, since it’ll get touched/bumped fairly frequently with the coat hooks, you might want to go with a steeper angle, as Jay suggested.

You may even want to consider gluing a thin strip of sandpaper along with edge of the cleat for friction to help prevent the mirror from sliding since it’s going to be touched fairly frequently with the coat hook usage.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Radu's profile

Radu

299 posts in 1732 days


#10 posted 08-17-2011 03:22 PM

Michael, here are the other type of flush months I mentioned about. I know you’re leaning towards the wooden french cleat, but just in case.

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