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Thread: French cleat question

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    French cleat question

    Never used a french cleat to hang a cabinet but I am about to do my first one. Because of the size and weight issue I built the unit as two pieces. I was a little concerned about the wife and I being able to lift a 7' length of cabinet over a washer and dryer and hanging on the cleat.

    Now I am concerned about getting the two pieces to fit up snug together. I can imagine a lot of reasons that they would not fit perfectly together. Obviously I could screw the sides together once in place but that is sort of last resort. Just curious if any had done this and might have some advice?

    Wondered why no one had replied. Seems I was typing this in the shop and never sent it.


    OK here is a photo. If you look close you can see the right had side is a separate part. It's held by clamps at the moment to finish the dry fit.

    Jeff
    Last edited by Jeff Horton; 03-08-2007 at 05:49 PM.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Dunlap View Post
    1. Did you build a recess in the back of the cabinet equal to the thickness of the french cleat? If not, then forget about it. You will have a huge gap.
    Yup. Thought of that one before I built it.

    2. How close to the ceiling is the top of the cabinet going to be? If you don't have about 3-5" of clearance, then forget about it. You'll never be able to hang it on the cleat.
    At least a foot below the trim.

    3. As far as making sure the two cabinets are snug together, then you just make 2 cleats that are perfectly level with each other. Also make them a bit shorter than the width of the cabinets. That way you have wiggle room to snug the cabinets together.
    I was thinking one long cleat since I am under 8' in length. And yes I thought about that and left space from one long cleat.

    4. I personally like to cut my cleats in matched pairs on the TS. I just double the size of the cleat and add 1/4". Then tilt the TS to 45 degrees and rip it down the middle. After that, I take each piece and cut off 1/8 inch of the pointy end. Otherwise if you leave it pointy, it can cause the cleat to ride up under each other and fail.
    Great minds think alike.

    I had not not thought about removing the point but I am betting when I saw it I would have. Since my cleat will be 3/4" stock. I recesses the back of the cabinet an extra 1/16 so that the cleat on the cabinet didn't hit the wall. Figure that would make sure it was tight on the wall cleat.

    5. Last but not least, always, always screw your cabinet after hanging it to the bottom cleat. Also put in a spacer bar down on lower part of the cabinet parallel with the cleat and screw your cabinet to that also.
    OK, now I got a question. Your using two cleats? The one one I saw used a single cleat at the top. Then it just rested on/against the wall at the bottom. They didn't add any screws at all once it was hung.


    Almost forgot the most important thing...... Is your wall straight? If it is bowed then you have to mess with shims to get your cabinet to hang flush with the wall. Any deviation more than 1/4" is super hard to get flush so I usually go a different way with it then.
    Now you tell me!

    Seriously that is a good question. I have not checked it. It's a new house we built so it should be. But with the poor quality of lumber it might have a bow in it. Surely not that bad. The carpenters were a good crew. Will check that before I install it.

    Thanks Matt. Sound like I was on the right track. Just confused by that one thing.

    Jeff
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Dunlap View Post
    You said you recessed the back an extra 1/16"?

    Not good. Now you will have a 1/16" gap or worse, your cleat won't be fully engaged. The cleat on the back of the cabinet needs to be flush with back
    Just to make sure we are on the same wave length, here is what I am doing Matt.

    Attachment 5736 Attachment 5737

    I was thinking this 1/16" recess insured a tight fit against the wall. Does this make more sense?

    Jeff
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  4. #4
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    Good post guys! I have only used a cleat once for a light fixture I made and I could see where I would need to improve my methods! I think I may be learnin' something!

  5. #5
    Don Taylor is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Me too! Thankee, Thankee, Thankee

    DT

  6. #6
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    Well Matt, should see if this works in a couple of weeks. The more I thought about it I am not sure that there is an advantage to this extra recess. I don't see why it won't work, but I am not sure it gains anything?

    Hoping to finish these up over the weekend and then start sanding and painting them.

    Jeff
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

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