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  1. #1
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    Default Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    Okay - so hanging anything on my walls is always an exercise in futility and a major undertaking for me. A miracle is when I can hang anything so that it's strait, doesn't fall off the wall, etc. etc. I say all this so everyone knows what a non-handywoman I am.

    I want to hang this shelf - the kind that looks like molding with recessed holes in the back. I just don't get what I'm supposed to use so that it lies flush against the wall. I've drilled 2 holes, and used 2 screws that are drilled almost all the way into the wall (and therein seems to lie the problem). The shelf hangs, but it is just ever-so-slightly hangs away from the wall and not flush, for obvious reasons. What, pray tell, am I supposed to use for this kind of shelf?

    I got it at a thrift store so there were no instructions with it. I don't think it's a coincidence that the hole looks like a little screaming face, lol.

    p.s. I hope folks that answer don't get into a "I know more than you do" match, as that is what happened the last time I tried to get help here, and frankly, it's been a while since I've posted because of that bad experience. I just want some help - that's all.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    I would say that the most you could hope to do is set the screw into the wall as deep as possible and still have the shelf mount catch the screw head. If you must have it absolutely tight, then you'll likely need to mortise the shelf bracket into the shelf so it and it's screws are not standing above the surface of the shelf where it meets the wall.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    the trick is to use a round topped screw that has a flat bottom and then get the adjustment length to the wall just right. every once in a while you might also need to chisel out and set the mounting plate deeper in the shelf or shim it out depending on how it is made and the flatness of your walls.

    you'd want to use a button head cap screw or a round head cap screw (even a dome head screw but not necessary), not a flathead or countersunk type screw, as in not like a drywall screw and not oval head screw- and threaded all the way or nearly all the way up the shaft to the underside of the screw head so you can drill that screw in as much as you have to to the wall. if the capturing mounting plates on the shelf are inset a lot you might want to remove them and shim them back out or take some bigger washers on the screw before you screw it into the wall to act as spacers on the shaft of the screw after you've captured the screw head in the "open mouth" of that bracket and push it down.

    sometimes a cork or felt self adhesive disk or two (like you use to protect wood floors from chair legs) attached to the bottom wall side edge of the floating shelf is enough and needed to hold tension and shim the bottom edge of the shelf out away from the wall so it doesn't lean if the shelf top is heavy or the wall side of the shelf isn't exactly square/plumb or slightly beveled, after you find the exact location that works you can then use a finishing brad to more permanently attach the self adhesive cork or felt disk.

    good luck with your mounting project.

    something like a, or b below:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:S...types.svg#file

    p.s. I don't see the shaft elongated rounded top notch I usually see with those screw mount type brackets you might need special hooked mounting brackets that you mount to the wall with two screws each for that kind of "mouth" bracket - like you see on heavy mirror or picture mounting hardware kits.
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 11-30-2008 at 05:10 PM. Reason: added link with screw head type images and a post script

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue RidgeParkway View Post
    the trick is to use a round topped screw that has a flat bottom and then get the adjustment length to the wall just right. every once in a while you might also need to chisel out and set the mounting plate deeper in the shelf or shim it out depending on how it is made and the flatness of your walls.

    you'd want to use a button head cap screw or a round head cap screw (even a dome head screw but not necessary), not a flathead or countersunk type screw, as in not like a drywall screw and not oval head screw- and threaded all the way or nearly all the way up the shaft to the underside of the screw head so you can drill that screw in as much as you have to to the wall. if the capturing mounting plates on the shelf are inset a lot you might want to remove them and shim them back out or take some bigger washers on the screw before you screw it into the wall to act as spacers on the shaft of the screw after you've captured the screw head in the "open mouth" of that bracket and push it down.

    sometimes a cork or felt self adhesive disk or two (like you use to protect wood floors from chair legs) attached to the bottom wall side edge of the floating shelf is enough and needed to hold tension and shim the bottom edge of the shelf out away from the wall so it doesn't lean if the shelf top is heavy or the wall side of the shelf isn't exactly square/plumb or slightly beveled, after you find the exact location that works you can then use a finishing brad to more permanently attach the self adhesive cork or felt disk.

    good luck with your mounting project.

    something like a, or b below:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:S...types.svg#file

    p.s. I don't see the shaft elongated rounded top notch I usually see with those screw mount type brackets you might need special hooked mounting brackets that you mount to the wall with two screws each for that kind of "mouth" bracket - like you see on heavy mirror or picture mounting hardware kits.

    you slam me for using wiki and then you use it???

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    Can you post a picture of the backside of the shelf?
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    I have to agree with Blue. The haning bracket is proud of the back so the bracket is what will be flush with the wall. You need to add a bumper or felt pad on the bottom edge of the shelf that is tha same thickness as the hanger, or mortise the bracke into the back of the shelf to make it flush. Personally I prefer the washer head screws for this.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 11-30-2008 at 06:16 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by mtngigi View Post
    Okay - so hanging anything on my walls is always an exercise in futility and a major undertaking for me. A miracle is when I can hang anything so that it's strait, doesn't fall off the wall, etc. etc. I say all this so everyone knows what a non-handywoman I am.

    I want to hang this shelf - the kind that looks like molding with recessed holes in the back. I just don't get what I'm supposed to use so that it lies flush against the wall. I've drilled 2 holes, and used 2 screws that are drilled almost all the way into the wall (and therein seems to lie the problem). The shelf hangs, but it is just ever-so-slightly hangs away from the wall and not flush, for obvious reasons. What, pray tell, am I supposed to use for this kind of shelf?

    I got it at a thrift store so there were no instructions with it. I don't think it's a coincidence that the hole looks like a little screaming face, lol.

    p.s. I hope folks that answer don't get into a "I know more than you do" match, as that is what happened the last time I tried to get help here, and frankly, it's been a while since I've posted because of that bad experience. I just want some help - that's all.
    first off it is sad that your thread deteriorated both in the way you asked it would not, and that it has a lot of off topic banter. If you (like me) subscribed to it and every time you got an email it was another off topic post.

    apparently i was not as CLEAR as I should have been, although I thought the link to the type of screws diagram and description were clear enough, guess not since there was a series of just the type of posts you asked not be made after I posted.

    I did not mean the type of screws others have mentioned and pictured they tend not to work too well, the thin edges round over bend warp and cause problems when you try to hang, remove, rehang the shelf until you get it right, especially troublesome if after you settle on your mounting you go to remove it, patch other holes then remount, i've been there done that and its frustrating to say the least. I actually meant the types I mentioned and the washer trick had nothing to do with the type of screw head. since close proximity to the screw head is important to close the gap you need a screw that you can drive deeply to the wall also.

    the second thing is I noticed is that the screws that are holding your hanger plates seem to be rounded top screws. if that is the case you might want to swap them out for flat top screws that countersink into the plates that might gain you the flatness you need for a flatter against the wall install. Ace hardware sells loose screws and they're really helpful if you have one nearby you can bring the shelf with you and find the best replacement screws, guessing you'll need four total probably cost you a nickle a piece.

    if what I suggested doesn't work, you might be better off getting regular keyhole hanger plates they look like this:

    http://www.woodcraft.com/product.asp...&FamilyID=1928

    the other fail safe if you change to a regular keyhole hanger to use special hangman "bear claw Hanger" screws. these have that washer like post built in. this is what the bear claw hanger screws look like (click on link) http://www.hangmanstore.com/Hangman-...-Kit-p/khl.htm you can mouse over the picture to enlarge it to see how they are different.

    when I referred to using washers on the post I did not mean washer head screws, I meant to use two loose washers on each screw so that when you mount the shelf and get the screw head by itself or the screw head and one washer in the keyhole of the hanger plate and leave one larger flat washer between the backside of the plate and the wall before you engage it, the washer is between the wall side of the plate and the wall, as you push the floating shelf down to nest in the notch of the plate the washer helps tension against the wider open area of the plate, or the "mouth" as you called it, vary the washer spacing as to how many you catch in the mouth and how many are outside without having to remove the screw from the wall or keep driving our letting out the screws.

    works like the bear claw hangers, except in the situation with your seemingly proprietary hanger plate don't think the bear claw hanger screws would work quite right, but would with a more traditional keyhole hanger plate. I think that type of plate uses a proprietary hook sort of like a J hook but tapered not flat bar stock shaped like a triangle that locks it.

    instead of using floor protector pads you could use picture bumpers but they're basically the same thing unless you get rubber ones I usually don't use rubber but cork instead because the cork doesn't mark up the wall like rubber does and rubber can stain/mar the paint more often i use the felt protectors for chairs for actual pictures instead of official picture bumpers because they are even less likely to mark or scratch the paint then cork and they never stick to laytex paint even in the summer or under the heat of lighting.

    hope that helps and good luck with your floating shelf mounting project.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue RidgeParkway View Post
    I did not mean the type of screws others have mentioned and pictured they tend not to work too well, the thin edges round over bend warp and cause problems when you try to hang, remove, rehang the shelf until you get it right, .
    Blue, First suggesting a different screw type was not a reflection on your choices but a personal preference. Second if you had ever actually used the type of screws I pictured you would not have made the statement above. The entire head is hardened and you will not bend or round over the washer part hanging and remove the shelf hundreds of times.

    You also said "I meant to use two loose washers on each screw so that when you mount the shelf and get the screw head by itself or the screw head and one washer in the keyhole of the hanger plate and leave one larger flat washer between the backside of the plate and the wall before you engage it" this may be possible if there was one hanger near the edge but with two hangers trying to keep two sets of washer separated as you hang the shelf and have it adjusted to hold the hanger next to the wall is almost impossible.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 12-01-2008 at 12:32 AM. Reason: correct spelling
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    Blue, First suggesting a different screw type was not a reflection on your choices but a personal preference. Second if you had ever actually used the type of screws I pictured you would not have made the statement above. The entire head is hardened and you will not bend or round over the washer part hanging and remove the shelf hundreds of times.

    You also said "I meant to use two loose washers on each screw so that when you mount the shelf and get the screw head by itself or the screw head and one washer in the keyhole of the hanger plate and leave one larger flat washer between the backside of the plate and the wall before you engage it" this may be possible if there was one hanger near the edge but with two hangers trying to keep two sets of washer separated as you hang the shelf and have it adjusted to hold the hanger next to the wall is almost impossible.
    Jack
    I have used similar LOOKING screws as you have pictured they include such screws in assemble yourself cheap chipboard filled furniture, i don't like them. She needs to get the screw head closer to the wall and into it and have tension against the inside of the bracket to hold it tight to the wall. Those screws also don't have threads close to the screw head they are for joining two pieces of wood together one drawing to the other. Also it was the head shape not the driver that i was discussing earlier. I think the average homeowner wants to stick to the basics, slotted or phillips screw drivers, etc. and the type of mounting hardware they can access easily, cheaply and effectively, like molly bolts, expanding anchors and screws, wood screws, etc. and not have to buy more tools to make the hardware work. Another reason I didn't agree with that pictured above. however I wasn't referring to your commentary until you challenged that I had never had any experience with them - i was referring to the jkirk and havana and then the canuk a.spruce yacking that took place after i posted. but then you too got personal. guess it is like picking a scab you just can't resist.

    Jack, no it isn't impossible at all. let me explain what i'm talking about: case in point three apparently identical floating narrow plate rack type shelves from the store. not one of them had the mounting plates "mounted" the same on the backs. guess tolerances were/are sloppy overseas and quality and assurance non existant. wood was that hard but easily cracked hard asian tulip wood stuff almost like bamboo when not stained or painted, so wasn't about to start messing with mortising or chiseling out more to even it out or remove brackets to shim them out. you can bet that if they couldn't mortise out evenly for the two mounting brackets the deeper cuts for letting the screw head in weren't going to be smooth burr free or identically clean/unobstructed. wanted to put plates on display on them for a wall grouping they needed to be tight and secure then and always.

    add to that very old and not perfect walls.

    came up with the best middle ground for each shelf added washers for that distance minus the thickness of the mounting bracket plate and screwed the screws in a set distance from the wall used larger diameter washer but same size hole closest to the wall that matched the keyhole inside pocket behind the plate shy of the height of the top side of the shelf and the nesting spot when screw head is "keyholed" as a guide that when just barely able to see shelf was seated/nested in the hole, acts as a shim to wall. the rest let them fall and separate where they may as you push the shelf from a tilted to flat geting the head onto the larger "mouth" before you slide it down to catch on the shank or shaft of the screw in the nest or groove of the keyhole. this way if one bracket is mortised deeper than the other, or one is prouder off the shelf then the other or not level doesn't matter you're within a good tolerance. doesn't matter if left one is behind one or two washers it will fill in. if you have a noticible gap on one side versus the other just lift the shelf and do over. gap or no gap the mount is shimmed by the washers and tight.

    when happy with the mount slip bumpers on the back/underside, now shimed to wall at top of brackets and bottom, shelf secure. hope i explained that well enough for you to understand the washer trick.

    i learned from my helpful hardware man at Ace 70 yearold works mornings during the week as his son officially took over the buisness. its easier to understand with the stuff in your hand then it is to describe it, but it does work, just use solid washers not locking stars or split washers that will NOT work. washers are about a nickle each those cork disks you get 12 on a card for fifty cents.

    he also taught me the washer trick for hanging pictures that are strung with wire. you screw or nail two washers to the wall with a little gap then you nest the picture wire between the washers when you hang the picture, won't jump off the wall like on a nail head, and unlike a picture J hook won't make the picture lean out from the wall to collect dust on the back side of the stretcher frame. it works. two washers cheaper than heavy duty picture hanging hook and no nasty wire scratch marks near the hanging point on the wall, since you take the wire taught set it then carefully let the picture down then level it. bumper it up with cork or felt and you're done.
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 12-01-2008 at 02:14 AM. Reason: cleaned up link to image.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hanging Shelves - Seems Simple But NOT

    Yikes.

    Let's go back to the beginning .... the OP purchased this at a thirft store with no instructions. It's likely the package had been opened at one time or another.

    Are these even the correct brackets .... who knows?

    If they are the correct brackets then it's likely the screws were included in the hardware packaging .... if so ...... all this discussion about screws is moot.

    Perhaps the bracket is upside down .... what fits into the hole in the center .... is there something that's missing ...... who knows?

    To me those pictures ... while always welcomed .... don't provide enough information.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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