french cleat system with locking mechanism? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-02-2014, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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french cleat system with locking mechanism?

Hello from Austria,
may I kindly ask for your advise.

Currently I am updating my retail shop.
I would like to make a display shelf wall based on the idea of the "french cleat" technic.
That would give my flexibility in arrangement and a uptodate look.
My fear is only if someone, unintentionally, pushes the shelf it might easily come off and fall on the ground and could hurt someone.

Now my question: Does anyone know a way to lock the shelfs in place?
It should be, if possible, without any additional screws, in order to avoid ugly screwholes and for optical reasons as invisible as possible.

That is a hard one, right? Any suggestion is welcome.
Many thanks in advance
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-02-2014, 02:31 PM
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A single trim head screw in the center of the shelf to the stationary cleat should be sufficient, and not real noticeable.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-02-2014, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hi there again,
in the meantime I found a similar system, called the "hook-and-slat" system, explained on www.americanwoodworker.com, by Jock Holmen.
I believe that one is more secure and fits my needs.
Any other proposal is welcome.
Thanks a lot,
Manfred
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-02-2014, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Hello and many thanks for your suggestion.
I agree with you one small screw would not be very noticeable, if you fix it once and leave it, but
as we will rearrange the display wall almost every two weeks (retail shop) it will not take long and the wall looks ugly. Especially bad because it will be visible in eye-height of customer.
Sorry, but grateful for your efforts. Thanks
Manfred
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-02-2014, 03:00 PM
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drill a hole through the upright portion of the shelving unit - the piece the shelf portion of the french cleat is attached to: drill this hole so that it will penetrate the wall portion of the FC, preferably below the 45 cut. Then place a piece of dowel through the hole - make it a snug-but-not-too-tight fit. This will lock the shelf to the cleat: the shelf won't be able to move side to side, nor will it be subject to lifting forces, yet by simply pulling out the dowel you'll be able to move and rearrange the shelves. This requires, of course, that all your cleats be made to the same dimensions, at least as far as the dowel hole goes.

There is another way, but this is a lot more work, and reverses the normal positioning of the two parts of the FC, and requires two full cleats - one mounted upside down with respect to the other.

It also requires that the shelf be installed by sliding the shelf in from the side, not by lowering it from above.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-02-2014, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hello OldEd,
not only one, but two great solutions to my issue.
Thank you so much for these clever ideas.
Greetings from Vienna,
Manfred
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-02-2014, 05:52 PM
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If you're making a french cleat from wood, you won't likely need a locking mechanism. If you look at the size of the cleat parts, the long side of " stock will be taller than 1" (after being cut on a 45 angle). So, with the height of the pieces being over an inch, you wouldn't likely use the cleat to install a " shelf. The actual shelf would have to be thicker than that.

The cleat system is designed for cabinets/boxes, etc. When the parts are fitted together, you wouldn't be able to 'bump' what's hanging and dislodge the cleat connection. To separate, the hung object would have to be lifted vertically to clear the wall member.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-03-2014, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hello cabinetman,
thanks a lot for your reply.
Please see attached a pretty bad drawing how the shelf will look like.
As you can see the "attack surface" is quite big, in this case, and I believe it is not secure enough for a retail shop.
Thank you for your support.
Manfred
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-03-2014, 07:16 AM
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If your display boxes are anywhere near all the same height, put a series of grooves in the top strip and let the top of the display box rest in one. Kind of like this:
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Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-03-2014, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Another helpful support, I am so grateful-thank you-

BINGO, thank you, that is easy, simple and effective.
Great idea, thank you again and greetings from Vienna,
Manfred
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