Beginner's guide to mounting shop cabinets in concrete? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-28-2011, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Beginner's guide to mounting shop cabinets in concrete?

I have a basement shop. My walls are foundation concrete, very thick and very difficult to drill in with masonry bits (and an 8 amp drill). (I tried mounting shelves using tapcon masonry screws with mixed results).

What's the best way to mount something to a concrete wall?

I'd like to mount some cabinets I built and clamp racks into the wall....perhaps some pegboard down the road. What's the best way to do so? I assume I need concrete anchors and an SDS hammer drill (I bought a Ryobi hammer drill from Home Depot and it did no better than my regular drill...I quickly returned it).

Does anyone have leads on info on using concrete anchors for such an application? I am guessing the ideal would be to mount a large 2x4 ledger?

I need to learn about which concrete anchors to use and best practices for installation.

Does anyone have any leads where I could learn this info?


Thanks!!!!
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-28-2011, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaGeek View Post
I have a basement shop. My walls are foundation concrete, very thick and very difficult to drill in with masonry bits (and an 8 amp drill). (I tried mounting shelves using tapcon masonry screws with mixed results).

What's the best way to mount something to a concrete wall?

I'd like to mount some cabinets I built and clamp racks into the wall....perhaps some pegboard down the road. What's the best way to do so? I assume I need concrete anchors and an SDS hammer drill (I bought a Ryobi hammer drill from Home Depot and it did no better than my regular drill...I quickly returned it).

Does anyone have leads on info on using concrete anchors for such an application? I am guessing the ideal would be to mount a large 2x4 ledger?

I need to learn about which concrete anchors to use and best practices for installation.

Does anyone have any leads where I could learn this info?


Thanks!!!!
Your hammer drill may have been on the blink, or you didn't switch it to hammer drill from just a drill. I've used a 5/8" Makita drill/hammer drill, and have no problem drilling for Tapcons. Using tapcons, you can seat the head. Or, you could use sleeve anchors.

If you had a good masonry bit, Tapcons require a fairly small hole compared to other fasteners. Whatever you use to mount the cabinet...like a ledger, you still have to get into the concrete. You might have to resort to a rotary hammer, and SDS bits.








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post #3 of 16 Old 11-28-2011, 11:37 AM
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As cabinetman says, the hammer drill is the key. DO NOT GO CHEAP!!!

Many years ago I purchased a Black and Decker hammer drill to install hurricane shutters on my brick house. Worked myself into exhaustion with that drill even when it was brand new. I did not know any better so accepted what I had.

Last year I wanted a new drill. Purchased a moderate priced Mikata, corded drill for $8x.xx and what a difference. Night and day.

Get yourself a decent drill like a Mikata, Craftsman, DeWalt or similar. It will be worth it.

George
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-28-2011, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks + what about anchors?

Thanks for the helpful responses George and Cabinetman!!

I did notice that the hammer mode on the Ryobi didn't seem to be noticeably different than the regular one. Are the SDS drills worth an extra $100? If I knew they would do a better job, I wouldn't mind plunking down money for the $80 Harbor Freight Model (http://www.harborfreight.com/3-in-1-...mer-97743.html) or the entry level $160 Dewalt (http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-D25023K-8-Inch-Compact-Rotary/dp/B0038ZWCQE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1322523880&sr=8-2)

I am very nervous about the tapcons. Should I be? Some of the holes I drilled didn't seem too sturdy (then again it took 10+ minutes per hole and involved me grunting and sweating so I may have not drilled a great hole to begin with. a few screws pulled out some powdery concrete and didn't seem to take hold.

Where can I learn about concrete anchors and which ones to go with? I am definitely willing to spend more if it means whatever I mount is more securely fastened. My biggest nightmare is 200+ lbs of clamps either falling from 6' up, hitting me in the head and/or damaging a workpiece or expensive tool.

What is the most secure way to fasten into foundation concrete?

What should I research and learn about? Are there any good sources for this sort of info?
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post #5 of 16 Old 11-28-2011, 07:47 PM
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+1 to what c-man said. Any old halfway decent hammer drill should be fine for tapcons. You must have not had it in hammer mode or your bit was dull. When the drill is in hammer mode it will be loud as hell!! Don't be afraid to use plenty of tapcons if you go that route, also be sure that when you screw the cabs into the 2X4/1X4, the screws are just short enough to not hit the concrete behind it and push the 2X4 off the wall.

edit: also be sure not to move the bit around(side to side) too much once the bit starts going into the concrete or the tapcons won't have enough concrete to bite when you go to screw them in. It will take you a few tries before you know how tight you'll be able to get the 2X4 to the wall before the tapcon will start to strip out.

Last edited by deftworks; 11-28-2011 at 07:53 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-28-2011, 08:30 PM
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When the drill is in hammer mode it will be loud as hell!!
+1. Not only will it be loud, it will seem to vibrate, which is in actuality a beating (pounding) called BPM's (beats per minute) when a load is applied to the bit.. My Makita hammer drill has a variable speed 0f 0-2,800 RPM's, and 0-44,800 BPM's, which it does while rotating. For concrete, I would use a corded tool, not a cordless.

Make sure you are using the correct size of masonry bit for the screw size you're using. The two sizes of screws which you might be using are 3/16"...and that needs a 5/32" masonry bit. Or, 1/4" screw, which needs a 3/16" masonry bit.








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post #7 of 16 Old 11-28-2011, 09:53 PM
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Then again you may not need to bolt into the concrete wall, build a stud wall frame in front of the wall and anchor into the floor and rafters. Put insulation in place in the wall, sheetrock and hang your cabinets and pegboard.
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post #8 of 16 Old 11-28-2011, 10:05 PM
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Tapcons are very strong. If you use them correctly I wouldn't worry to much.

As long as you have the space Gary has a great solution. Just build a 2x3 wall and you can hang everything from the studs or blocking in between the studs. You can attach it to the concrete floor using the tapcons, but there is no worry now as they are just preventing the wall from moving side to side. The topside can me nailed/screwed into the floor joists in the floor above you. Or is that considered ceiling joists because they are above you?

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post #9 of 16 Old 11-29-2011, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it.

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Tapcons are very strong. If you use them correctly I wouldn't worry to much.
I am less worried about the screws and more about my holes or the concrete crumbling. I have a good sense of the strength of wood. I lack this sense in regards to concrete.
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As long as you have the space Gary has a great solution. Just build a 2x3 wall and you can hang everything from the studs or blocking in between the studs.
As far as framing a wall...I'm a software engineer :) This is probably out of my league. I have seen the steps performed, but am not confident in my ability to be a carpenter. Space is precious, but the loss (what 4"?) could be afforded. The bigger concern is that since this is a basement, doesn't that require vapor barriers?

It's a great suggestion, just probably not a fit for me.

So tapcons are an option. I'll give them a second try. I have been told in passing that I should look into anchors as well. I guess I'll do an experiment with a ledger soon.
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-29-2011, 01:51 AM
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If you have a hole a little over sized and the screw will not hold get a single strand of #12 electrical solid wire, leave the plastic insulation on the wire, cut off a strand long enough to hit the bottom of the hole and stick out of the hole about 1/2 inch. Screw the screw into the hole with the wire in the hole and it will hold and will not pull out.

I have mounted very heavy objects on a concrete and block wall using this method and using deck screws, it always held up for me and I could bury the head of the screw in the wood most times.

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post #11 of 16 Old 11-29-2011, 04:47 AM
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If you have a hole a little over sized and the screw will not hold get a single strand of #12 electrical solid wire, leave the plastic insulation on the wire, cut off a strand long enough to hit the bottom of the hole and stick out of the hole about 1/2 inch. Screw the screw into the hole with the wire in the hole and it will hold and will not pull out.

I have mounted very heavy objects on a concrete and block wall using this method and using deck screws, it always held up for me and I could bury the head of the screw in the wood most times.
OK...it's time for the new game show..."It's Tip Time".

Here's one for when you are in a jam. Drill a hole in concrete. Chisel off a section of wood with long grain that's slightly larger than the diameter of the hole. Place one end at the entrance of the hole, and pound the sucka in with a hammer 'til it's flat. You may have to chisel off what peened over on the concrete. That will hold a screw, and I betcha ya can't pull it out.








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post #12 of 16 Old 11-29-2011, 12:55 PM
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OK...it's time for the new game show..."It's Tip Time".

Here's one for when you are in a jam. Drill a hole in concrete. Chisel off a section of wood with long grain that's slightly larger than the diameter of the hole. Place one end at the entrance of the hole, and pound the sucka in with a hammer 'til it's flat. You may have to chisel off what peened over on the concrete. That will hold a screw, and I betcha ya can't pull it out.








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post #13 of 16 Old 12-03-2011, 01:35 PM
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I'm totally intimidated when it comes to fastening things to concrete (not to mention developing software ) , basically because I've never watched it being done and don't have the tools.

Quote:
I'd like to mount some cabinets I built and clamp racks into the wall....perhaps some pegboard down the road.
If you can build cabinets, then a 2 x 3 wall really isn't that difficult - It would definitely be my method of choice especially since it appears with the clamp racks and pegboard you'll be going nearly to the ceiling anyway.

I don't know what your intention is for the clamp racks but a portion of the clamps could hang within the wall depth. As for insulation, if the rest of the room isn't insulated, I wouldn't bother as long room air can circulate behind it (like through the pegboard).

Good luck.

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post #14 of 16 Old 12-06-2011, 09:30 AM
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Whichever route you go, use some construction adhesive behind the furring strips. Once dry, the wood will not come off the concrete wall. This is assuming the concrete is not sealed or painted. I would build the energy wall (thats what its called up here) and sheat with plywood and/or pegboard and paint. The plywood gives you unlimited area to screw things to unlike drywall.
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post #15 of 16 Old 12-07-2011, 11:20 AM
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No one mentioned a ram set, powder actuated system to set fasteners into the concrete. That would be my choice for a large job.

In my 100 yr old house there is just plaster over brick on the exterior walls, no insulation. I'm using a nail gun to install 2x2 studs or furing strips to the walls and insulating with ridgid foam panels. The bricks are soft enough to take nails but hold firmly.
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post #16 of 16 Old 02-18-2012, 12:51 AM
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As a electrician I fasten stuff to concrete every day.

First of all the drill matters a lot but also the bits matter more. if you get the cheapie china made concrete drill bits that come with the cheapie drill bit sets that is part of your problem. Get GOOD drill bits. Preferably made in the USA or germany. Those china made drill bits you might as well use swizzle sticks. Absolutely worthless. The drill well either go get yourself a Hilti, Milwaukee or a bosch hammer drill and you will never need a corded drill again.

You can also rent or buy a Ramset powder actuated tool. looks like a gun but it shoots these hardened metal nails in concrete. It also can shoot a variety of nails that have a threaded head which you can bolt a washer and nut to further secure a piece of wood or uni-strut.

One thing to remember if you plan on using a drill and anchors is to clean out the hole that you drilled. The concrete powder acts like a dry lube and sometimes the anchors loosen up. I use this small rubber bulb that has a small brass needle tip to blow out the concrete dust out of the holes i drilled.
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