Closet System - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-07-2018, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Closet System

I am looking to do something like what is pictured below. I have the closet partially sheetrocked but the back of the wall is still open to add whatever bracing I may need. The only issue I am having is that most options involve screwing into end grain. Would running "nailers" in the rear wall and coming in from behind the wall and into the ends of the higher quality plywood (not sure what type yet) be suitable to hold all this weight? I was going to use the kreg jig to make the shelves adjustable so all the weight would be on the side vertical pieces, including the closet rod which would then tie into a stud on either side.

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post #2 of 18 Old 04-07-2018, 09:47 PM
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I'm in the middle of a closet renovation also. If you want to do hanging shelves, you should beef up the back wall while you have the chance. I'd make that middle unit with the top, bottom and one of the middle shelves permanent and then put holes in to make the others adjustable. Use a 1/2" back to tie it to the wall.

Go look at the ClosetMaid site and look at the dimensions of their products and the assembly instructions. You can reap a wealth of closet knowledge from there. I basically used the assembly instructions to figure out the parts I was going to need and what I was going to modify.

I made my units similar to their Space Creations Premier units, but did them in 3/4" cherry plywood rather than particle board and laminate. The trim is all solid cherry. With the exception of that darker top rail, I routed and made all the face frame myself.

http://www.closetmaidspacecreations.com/

The 14" depth is perfect for closets. I would strongly advise sticking with that for closet shelves and boxes.

I looked at hang rods at several stores and ended up ordering the ClosetMaid nickel plated rods. They have really nice hardware and come in a variety of sizes.

I did mine as modular units, so I didn't have to hang anything, it all stands on it's own.

I would strongly recommend spending a few extra dollars and get the Woodpecker shelf hole jig, and use a plunge router with a up spiral bit. You will get excellent pin holes that way.

Here's a few photos, it's hard to get a good view from inside the closet.

Next step is three 8" drawers and two 6" drawers to go in that unit in the bottom photo.

Holler if you have any closet questions!
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Last edited by andr0id; 04-07-2018 at 09:51 PM.
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-07-2018, 09:49 PM
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If you would use the Container Store hardware all you would have to do is hang a horizontal bar on the studs and everything would just hang on it. Couldn't be easier.
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-07-2018, 10:15 PM
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I'm always a fan of overkill...I'd put 3/4" plywood on the back wall before installing the drywall. It's always preferable to anchor into studs but you won't have any issues with the plywood and you can fasten anywhere you want unless you're using them to store your collection of engine blocks. Make the top shelf and bottom shelf solid to hold the shape and drill holes(1" or 32mm pattern) for adjustable shelves in between. Install with pocket screws every 16" or so and fill them with plugs...a little paint and done. Just my 2 cents.
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post #5 of 18 Old 04-08-2018, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
Go look at the ClosetMaid site and look at the dimensions of their products and the assembly instructions. You can reap a wealth of closet knowledge from there. I basically used the assembly instructions to figure out the parts I was going to need and what I was going to modify.
Good idea never thought of that. I'll let you know if I have any questions.
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-08-2018, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo415 View Post
I'm always a fan of overkill...I'd put 3/4" plywood on the back wall before installing the drywall. It's always preferable to anchor into studs but you won't have any issues with the plywood and you can fasten anywhere you want unless you're using them to store your collection of engine blocks. Make the top shelf and bottom shelf solid to hold the shape and drill holes(1" or 32mm pattern) for adjustable shelves in between. Install with pocket screws every 16" or so and fill them with plugs...a little paint and done. Just my 2 cents.
Would pocket holes be enough if I went into a a stud behind the wall? I've used pocket holes and have the Kreg jig, but usually just to hold things together, not actually support them. Is a pocket hole considered a "structural" joint? Not saying that it is or isn't. If the pocket hole is sufficient then that makes it simple.
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post #7 of 18 Old 04-08-2018, 06:16 PM
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Not structural but you should just factor the amount of weight that the shelves will be holding. You aren't supporting a tank and the weight is applied mostly as a shear force so pocket holes should be just fine. If you get into the stud then that's great but it won't really provide any more holding power for your application than going into 3/4 ply. I like the convenience of not needing to pull out a stud finder or having to plan the closet layout so it hits on the studs.
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post #8 of 18 Old 04-09-2018, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sr73087 View Post
Would pocket holes be enough if I went into a a stud behind the wall? I've used pocket holes and have the Kreg jig, but usually just to hold things together, not actually support them. Is a pocket hole considered a "structural" joint? Not saying that it is or isn't. If the pocket hole is sufficient then that makes it simple.
Pocket screws do best where the force is in line with the the joint.

I wouldn't use a pocket screw to attach the edge of a shelf to the wall, if that's what you're asking.
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-09-2018, 12:42 PM
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The 14" depth is perfect for closets.
That seems a little shallow. Is that enough space for a clothes hangar and a coat/jacket?
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-09-2018, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gj13us View Post
That seems a little shallow. Is that enough space for a clothes hangar and a coat/jacket?
Hang rods are typically 11" from the back wall to the center of the rod. So yes, works just fine. See my pictures above.
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post #11 of 18 Old 04-09-2018, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
Hang rods are typically 11" from the back wall to the center of the rod. So yes, works just fine. See my pictures above.
I shy away from "typical" in favor of what works best for the customer.

Measure from the center of the clothes hanger to the edge of a shirt and give the closet rod a little breathing room so clothes don't brush too hard against the back wall when you slide your hangers from side to side. After that, pick a shelf depth that is aesthetically pleasing so that it doesn't look like the hangers are protruding past the shelves too far. You can always make things shorter, you can't really make them longer/deeper without starting over. I have a few hangers for dress pants that are a full 24" wide(no I'm not fat, they are just old hangers with sentimental value)...my closet rods are centered 13" away from the wall for that reason.
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post #12 of 18 Old 04-09-2018, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Echo415 View Post
I shy away from "typical" in favor of what works best for the customer.

Measure from the center of the clothes hanger to the edge of a shirt and give the closet rod a little breathing room so clothes don't brush too hard against the back wall when you slide your hangers from side to side. After that, pick a shelf depth that is aesthetically pleasing so that it doesn't look like the hangers are protruding past the shelves too far. You can always make things shorter, you can't really make them longer/deeper without starting over. I have a few hangers for dress pants that are a full 24" wide(no I'm not fat, they are just old hangers with sentimental value)...my closet rods are centered 13" away from the wall for that reason.
The widest hangers 99.99% of the people will need are men's suit hangers and they're 17-1/2 to 18" wide.
That's the heavy wooden ones with the wide shoulder supports like these and they leave plenty of clearance so material doesn't rub the back wall.


https://www.amazon.com/JS-HANGER-Ext.../dp/B00LIHB64S

18" / 2 = 9"
11" - 9" = 2 inches clearance
Wilt Chamberlain's kitchen counters may be higher than the standard 36" height, but I'd never advise anyone to build a 40" kitchen counter without a really good reason.

Of course if somebody has some unusual heirloom they want a cabinet or other feature built for, then go for it, but that doesn't mean the rest of us should ignore standards for fittings in a house. It's really infuriating when switches, counter tops, doors, TP holders and other fittings in a home are in the "wrong" place. I've rented awkward DIY homes before and found them quite annoying.
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post #13 of 18 Old 04-15-2018, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
I'm in the middle of a closet renovation also. If you want to do hanging shelves, you should beef up the back wall while you have the chance. I'd make that middle unit with the top, bottom and one of the middle shelves permanent and then put holes in to make the others adjustable. Use a 1/2" back to tie it to the wall.

Go look at the ClosetMaid site and look at the dimensions of their products and the assembly instructions. You can reap a wealth of closet knowledge from there. I basically used the assembly instructions to figure out the parts I was going to need and what I was going to modify.

I made my units similar to their Space Creations Premier units, but did them in 3/4" cherry plywood rather than particle board and laminate. The trim is all solid cherry. With the exception of that darker top rail, I routed and made all the face frame myself.

http://www.closetmaidspacecreations.com/

The 14" depth is perfect for closets. I would strongly advise sticking with that for closet shelves and boxes.

I looked at hang rods at several stores and ended up ordering the ClosetMaid nickel plated rods. They have really nice hardware and come in a variety of sizes.

I did mine as modular units, so I didn't have to hang anything, it all stands on it's own.

I would strongly recommend spending a few extra dollars and get the Woodpecker shelf hole jig, and use a plunge router with a up spiral bit. You will get excellent pin holes that way.

Here's a few photos, it's hard to get a good view from inside the closet.

Next step is three 8" drawers and two 6" drawers to go in that unit in the bottom photo.

Holler if you have any closet questions!
So in your design above, are you tying this into the wall behind it or all standalone?
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post #14 of 18 Old 04-15-2018, 07:25 PM
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Gosh darn it, It really is annoying when you can't see pictures because of a third party hosting.
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post #15 of 18 Old 04-15-2018, 11:12 PM
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So in your design above, are you tying this into the wall behind it or all standalone?
It's a big L.

I screwed the corner unit to the wall and the side units that touch the walls.
The rest are just screwed together with cabinet screws.
It's a very tight fit, so it's bomb proof at this point.
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post #16 of 18 Old 04-16-2018, 09:58 AM
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Gosh darn it, It really is annoying when you can't see pictures because of a third party hosting.
Me too. I cannot see the photo. All I see is an icon with a message, "Third party hosting has been temporarily disabled..." Why not upload the photos to the Woodworking Talk website in the post itself, where all can see them?
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post #17 of 18 Old 04-16-2018, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
Hang rods are typically 11" from the back wall to the center of the rod. So yes, works just fine. See my pictures above.
That looks about right. My closet is indeed ~22" deep. However, if I were doing it myself I'd make them a little deeper because my blazers/shirts sometimes end up with smashed buttons from the sliding doors.
I guess what I'm saying is, the world needs a new standard closet depth.
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post #18 of 18 Old 04-17-2018, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Pocket screws do best where the force is in line with the the joint.

I wouldn't use a pocket screw to attach the edge of a shelf to the wall, if that's what you're asking.
Now if the vertical boards rested on the ground and the pocket hole screws were just tying it to a piece of plywood in the rear of the closet, not holding the weight, would that be a proper use of the screws?

Technically the pocket screws should be a stronger joint than screwing into end end or the edges of plywood correct? I always try and do things the "right" way and walk away with a sense of pride in what I just did rather than just throwing things together quickly.
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