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attaching wood shelf - wood movement

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Forum topic by Vjeko posted 02-15-2009 09:26 PM 1551 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Vjeko

135 posts in 2882 days


02-15-2009 09:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have a U shaped opening (3 brick walls).
I need to attach (fix so it doesn’t move) a hardwood shelf
into this opening on top of 3 wood battens.
What’s the best way of doing this to avoid wood movement
problems (if there is a better alternative to the 3 battens,
I can change it) ?

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia


12 replies so far

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GFYS

711 posts in 2938 days


#1 posted 02-15-2009 10:27 PM

not enough information. How long is the shelf? what is the weight capacity requirements? Is a “batten” a wood wall cleat attached with wall anchors upon which the shelf rests?

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Vjeko

135 posts in 2882 days


#2 posted 02-16-2009 04:18 PM

Well, your drawing is right on ! (is that sketchup ? / need to start using that ;) )
batten = cleat – I guess batten is used more in UK – I picked
up both words and use them interchangeably ;) .

The weight factor isn’t a problem (light clothing)but what I’m not sure of is the
best way to screw the shelf down. Now that I have picked up
a few ideas from my other questions on the forum, I would guess
moving the shelf a little forward from the back wall and putting a
screw in the middle at each side would be one option (am I on the
right track / have I missed something ?

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

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GFYS

711 posts in 2938 days


#3 posted 02-16-2009 06:43 PM

Typically “I” would cut and prefinish all the shelf parts. Then I would fasten the cleats to the wall with wall anchors suited to the job and fasten the shelf with 1 1/2” brads with my kewl airless brad nailer. You could use some plated grabber type wood screws if you pre drill the holes in the shelf. In the past I have drilled a pilot hole in the cleats where the wall anchor should go. Then I use a nail to mark the brick where the wall anchor would be. Then I drill with a masonry drill bit (1/4”) into the brick about an inch. clean out the hole..drive a snug wooden dowel or a shaped piece of wood scrap into the hole. After doing this in all the places I want to put wall anchors I fasten the cleats to the wall with wood screws into those spots. OR…go buy some wall plastic anchors.

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Vjeko

135 posts in 2882 days


#4 posted 02-16-2009 10:37 PM

mics_54, maybe I’m tired but reading what you said about the brads and screws,
it sounds like I don’t need to worry too much about the wood movement
of the solid wood glued-up shelf (mounting the battens/cleats is clear) ?

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

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GFYS

711 posts in 2938 days


#5 posted 02-17-2009 07:49 AM

I think it will be ok vjeko. Is the lumber kiln dried?

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PG_Zac

366 posts in 2856 days


#6 posted 02-17-2009 10:10 AM

Vjeko, Personally, I would make allowance for the movement of the shelf wood. I assume you will be placing the shelf so that the grain runs left-right in the SU picture, not back-front, correct?

The largest expansion/contraction movement will be back-front, but there will be some expansion/contraction left-right, so I wouldn’t fix the sides to the battens. I have heard that movement along the grain is ignorable only on a distance of about 4 inches, so I would fix the shelf with two screws into the rear batten, 4 inches apart at the back of the shelf.

That would give you solid fixing, and allow movement without possibly pulling battens loose.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

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Vjeko

135 posts in 2882 days


#7 posted 02-17-2009 10:57 AM

Your input was much appreciated. The more I bug everyone with these
questions and pick up good tips, the more I feel I will slowly get
an ear and an eye to judge how I should solve these questions –
it seems there is a bag of tricks to use, I just have to fill up my bag first.

Thank you – it’s like being in a woodworking class – I appreciate all the helpful teachers !

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

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creeker46

14 posts in 2864 days


#8 posted 02-17-2009 04:47 PM

My suggestion would be close to mics_54, and it would be “floating” shelf attached as follows
Floating Cleats

Floating Shelf

Side view

Just slide your floating shelf over the cleats you have fastened to the wall, and finish nail it to the cleats

-- "I have not failed 10,000 times, I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work."--Thomas A. Edison

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GFYS

711 posts in 2938 days


#9 posted 02-17-2009 06:00 PM

it’s not a freakin piano. GREEN wood will shrink maybe 1/4-1/2 inch. A dried shelf stained and finished in a climate controlled environment will not move substantially.

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creeker46

14 posts in 2864 days


#10 posted 02-17-2009 06:02 PM

Really? My mistake then.

-- "I have not failed 10,000 times, I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work."--Thomas A. Edison

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Vjeko

135 posts in 2882 days


#11 posted 02-17-2009 08:56 PM

sorry guys, with no experience and a lot of reading may I’ve become paranoid
and think everything will crack/split ;) But it still seems a bit extreme to nail it
down. I’ll go for it only if you promise to come over for a few drinks / grill
if it splits ;) Then I’ll have a good excuse to make all of them that way ;)

BTW – what joinery do you use on the floating shelf (it’s all wood)
- and don’t tell me you knew I was going to ask that – (these newbies are all the same ;) )

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

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creeker46

14 posts in 2864 days


#12 posted 02-17-2009 09:56 PM

There really isn’t alot of joinery involved in the shelf I outlined. You can use basic glued butt joints when assembling the hollow box frame for the shelf, reinforced with brads. In my picture, I had 45’s on the face of the shelf, but thats not really necessary. I bradnail the frame to the cleats and fill holes with wood putty. I will mention that I use an air nailer for all of this and that prevents any splitting.

-- "I have not failed 10,000 times, I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work."--Thomas A. Edison

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