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The back is recessed to accept it for finished pieces.

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For the shop I have an entire 'cleat wall' where fixture hang, are easy to rearrange and secure.  This is the wall 7 years ago. 

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It has changed many times.  I'm just not in a place where I can get to other pics.

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One thing I forgot to mention was if you are using plywood as French cleats which is more than acceptable don't just rely upon glue to hold the cleat to the workpiece. The face veneer of plywood is thin and may part company with the layer immediately underneath. Always back up a French cleat by reinforcing with a mechanical fixing (screws or nails) as well as glue.

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On a medicine cabinet I made with recessed french cleat, I used pocket screws to the sides to hold the french cleat in place. I don't know if this is standard practice, but since the backing piece was cardboard I did not see any other option. It's been hanging from the wall for the past 5 years without issues.

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I've been wondering this for a while, but haven't researched it yet. How much weight can a French cleat hold (assuming it's properly fastened to the wall and whatever you're hanging)? How important is it for the cleat to be one 'full' piece when assembled? i.e. in the original drawing, would it be much weaker if the cleat fixed to the bracket was 1/4" away from the wall?

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7 minutes ago, legenddc said:

I've been wondering this for a while, but haven't researched it yet. How much weight can a French cleat hold (assuming it's properly fastened to the wall and whatever you're hanging)? How important is it for the cleat to be one 'full' piece when assembled? i.e. in the original drawing, would it be much weaker if the cleat fixed to the bracket was 1/4" away from the wall?

If the cleat is firmly attached to the wall, it creates so much friction that it becomes part of the wall. So it will hold a lot more weight than just hanging something from the same screws without a cleat.

The cleat attached to the bracket should make contact with the wall, unless you're just hanging a tool or something lightweight.

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1 hour ago, legenddc said:

I've been wondering this for a while, but haven't researched it yet. How much weight can a French cleat hold (assuming it's properly fastened to the wall and whatever you're hanging)? How important is it for the cleat to be one 'full' piece when assembled? i.e. in the original drawing, would it be much weaker if the cleat fixed to the bracket was 1/4" away from the wall?

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My 'cleat wall' cleats are 3/4" ply with a 3-1/2" screw into each stud on 16" centers.  I have a half a dozen full clamp racks and tool cabinets hanging and have had for years.  I wax both parts so things don't stick and move different fixtures whenever it makes my life convenient.  Sometimes things stay in one place for years and then just lift off and move to another location.  Being SoCal I do use some cut-off double-head nails as "keeper" pins.

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The hole is at a slight angle toward the back and the pin exits just below the wall cleat.  The ground sorta rock-n-rolls around here, ya know ;-)

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Good topic!  I've used French cleats for a lot of shop cabinets.  It's my favorite way to hang things that need to be weight-bearing.  

 

One nice thing about the cleat is that hanging a cabinet level is a breeze.  Nothing weighty to hold up, just a small cleat.

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16 hours ago, gee-dub said:

The hole is at a slight angle toward the back and the pin exits just below the wall cleat.  The ground sorta rock-n-rolls around here, ya know ;-)

Huh.... While I live in an area that does get Earthquakes, I never would have thought of that.   Of course, around here, it's once every ten years you look at the person sitting next to you and say "Was that another earthquake or just a heavy truck going by?".   That's a neat little trick.  I'll have to remember that one for my teardrop trailer I plan to build before I die. 

 

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How would one go about using a french cleat for a shelf?

I'm planning on building a coat rack that mounts to the wall.  I'd like to hide the attachment points, so the screws aren't obvious, but I also want it to be removable without demo tools.   How would I use a french cleat to hang a shelf/coat rack so that it appears flush to the wall, without being obvious there's something behind the rack? 

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@Marmotjr, I used a french cleat to hang a huge, three-piece mirror that looks like a 6-foot tall arch-top window, and weighs near 100 lbs. I mounted the three mirror pieces to a sheet of 3/4" ply, edge banded and painted to match the bronze mirror frame. Before attaching the mirror sections, I cut our a rectangular section of the ply, angled on the top edge to form the moveable half of the cleat. Then I made a strip for the wall-mounted section, a bit narrower and shorter than the opening in the plywood backer. The strip still spans 3 studs, but allows me to shift the mirror a bit to get it centered under the peak of a cathedral  ceiling.

As for shelves, I see a lot of "floating" single shelve built like a shallow box, and hund on cleats.

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On 4/27/2017 at 1:53 PM, legenddc said:

I've been wondering this for a while, but haven't researched it yet. How much weight can a French cleat hold (assuming it's properly fastened to the wall and whatever you're hanging)? How important is it for the cleat to be one 'full' piece when assembled? i.e. in the original drawing, would it be much weaker if the cleat fixed to the bracket was 1/4" away from the wall?

Not sure what the limit is but my hand tool cabinet is well over 200 pounds full of tools.

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  • 10 months later...

I had to look it up, to remember why we were angry with the French!  Hopefully they've forgiven our boorishness, ignorance and having been just plain wrong!

"In 2003, when France opposed going to war in Iraq, the U.S. took the next logical step: its House of Representatives' cafeterias stopped serving Frenchfries. They served "freedom fries" instead. Naturally, "French toast" became "freedom toast" as well.Mar 28, 2011"  (from time.com)

I love the "...took the next logical step."  I don't remember "freedom pastries" or "freedom wine", so it probably never quite registered.

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  • 2 months later...

Rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd resurrect this one to try to add a few more thoughts to it.

I'm looking at this video from Crafted Workshop where he turns his pegboard into a french cleat wall. Has anyone done this and care to share some feedback (good or bad) about it?

 

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There's nothing wrong with that implementation of a French cleat. It would be fine if you were in a state of flux constantly moving things around (like a store display for instance). For a shop? I'm not so sure... Once you have settled on a particular layout I find you leave it and get on with some woodwork .

In practice I've found that a single horizontal line of cleats 4 feet from the ground and a single line at 6 feet from the ground are all I've ever needed.

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