Screw strength - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 11-28-2016, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Screw strength

Firstly forgive me for a multitude of sins and faux pas. I'm new to woodworking, speak in metric and new to the forum. I'm looking for some preventative advice over catastrophic consolation.

I'm making a custom cabinet for my garage out of 18mm ply. I figured it would be easier to make 3 smaller cabinets and fix them together given my limited experience and tools. So I have three vertically stacked boxes, each 6' wide by 1.5' high (give or take). I made my boxes by guessing and screwing the top and bottom panels to the side panels. This means I have "vertical" screws through top panel into the edge of the side panel (I was trying to keep the side panels free of screw holes). I intend to gel and screw the 3 boxes together bottom-to-top-bottom-to-top.

Assuming I put a French Cleat at the top, this suggests I'm dangling the entire weight of the thing on the 8 screws I put in holding the "lid" to the sides. This feels like a "bad thing".

I figured I could also add a cleat to the wall below the cabinet to add support form the bottom too, but would welcome any advice on how to hand the thing as well as whether these 6 3.5mm x 30mm screws will hold.
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-28-2016, 09:59 AM
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If you glue the french cleat to the cabinet and use 8- 3" drywall screws into studs you could load the cabinet down with bricks and it would stay there. If the cabinet is only 6' long actually 4 screws would be enough. Not long ago I built a wall cabinet 8' long and 54" tall. I installed it with 4 screws at the top and 2 at the bottom.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-28-2016, 10:52 AM
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screws nin end grain...

Screwing into end grain from either a top or a side panel is risky because the plys can separate and the screws loose their grip. However, if you but a cleat below the stack of three cabinets/boxes you can reduce the load hanging from the French cleat. I disagree with Steve, because they are 3 separate units. If they were all one, backed with one sheet of ply, then yes, it will support it.
The cleat underneath will support most of the weigh, so use long screws into the studs.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-28-2016, 01:52 PM
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Working single handed, it is easier for me to put a batten on the wall and get it level. Then just a matter of lifting cabinets into place and securing.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-28-2016, 03:50 PM
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French cleat is what I used for my shop cabinets. No problem. And the funny thing is I haven't moved them since they were installed several years ago. But they were easy to hang and move into position. When I was happy, I screwed them to the wall studs like mentioned above. Solid as a rock.

Remember if you use a French cleat, you will also need to add a spacer at the bottom of the cabinet so the cabinet will hang correctly. Take a look at my pics and you will see what I am talking about.

Good luck. Glue is your friend.
Mike
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-29-2016, 02:04 AM
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I prefer using hanging cleats also glued to the back of the cabinet. If the cabinet is going to hold heavy weight, i Use cleats top and bottom. Now comes the rub - I would not use drywall screws as they can snap. I prefer to use SPAX screws or construction screws.

Cut it twice, measure once and it's still too short.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-29-2016, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys. Walls are made out of brick, so no drama with studs and drywall. Here's an image of what I'm talking about. I'm worried that the whole contraption is going to shear off at the points I've indicated given the screws go into the end-grain and the weight of the unit is distributed across the top section on the cleat. I'm planning on backing the whole unit with a single sheet of 12mm plywood too, so I'm hoping that will add sufficient support.

Of course, the thing is built now, so I guess there's one sure way to test if this will hold or not...
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-29-2016, 07:49 AM
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If you were talking particleboard there would be a possibility of the ends shearing off. Plywood, if it's all glued together isn't going to do that.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-29-2016, 10:25 AM
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beerygaz, thanks for the question. Welcome to the forum. Thanks for the replies as I learned a lot here. Just wish I had the wall space for more cabinets.
beerygaz, when you get done with the French cleats, celebrate with a glass of Chablis or Bordeaux.

Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning, all you need is two hearts and a diamond. Later, you wish you had a club and a spade.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-19-2016, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Folks I just wanted to say thanks for the advice and suggestions. I used a baton at the bottom and a cleat at the top and it's holding solid.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-19-2016, 07:51 AM
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Looks good.
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