How to Build One French Cleat Shelf

The term French Cleat Shelf is not the correct answer to the question: What kind of shoes does the French national football team wear? For your purposes here, the French cleat is an intelligent and clever way to securely hang objects on the walls.

A French cleat is just two pieces of wood, each of which has an edge 45 degrees apart. A piece is attached to the wall with the edge facing upwards. The second piece is attached to the back of the item you are hanging on the wall and its beveled edge is downwards. To hang an item, slide its clamp onto a wall-mounted cleat. Simply put, no glue or binding is required. The upper cleft is easily connected to the lower cleft.

The attachment of cupboards to walls, as well as the hanging of large glass and shelving units, are common uses for French cleats. However, they are also an excellent choice when it comes to installing modular tool racks in the workshop, as this example demonstrates. French cleats are incredibly sturdy, and the number of possible storage configurations is only constrained by the user’s ingenuity.

To create a basic tool hang system, start by cutting 3/4 inch plywood into a strip that is 5 inches wide and at least 30 inches long. This piece will become a growing cleat that attaches to the wall. Of course, you can cut this strip as long as necessary to suit your needs, but make sure it is enough to anchor at the roots of the two walls, usually at a distance of 16 inches in the middle. There are.

Bevel-Cut the Mounting Cleat

Bevel-Cut the Mounting Cleat

Next, using a table saw, circular saw, or jigs, cut the edge of the rising cleat at 45 degrees. If necessary, use a straight edge guide or fence to make a perfectly straight cut along the length of the plywood strip.

Cut the tool French Cleat Shelf.

For the cleat, cut a small strip of plywood attached to the back of the tool shelf. Cut the edge of the cleat to 45 degrees, as you did for the longest width.

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Create a tool shelf

Combine two small pieces of plywood to form a tool shelf. Next, screw and glue the small cleat to the back of the shelf, making sure its edge is down.

Save the mounting cleat.

Apply the long climbing cleat to the wall and its beveled edge facing upwards. Make sure it is level and run the patch at the roots of the wall.

Hang the tool shelf.

Now, place the tool shelf anywhere you want with the growing cleat length.

Check the cleat for strength.

When you look at the profile of the French cleat, you will see that the two beveled pieces of plywood fit snugly together and the tool shelf is flattened against the rising cleat.

Start using your cleats.

Start using your cleats

We tested the power of our French cleats by hanging a box full of 10-pound screws. Tool shelves and cleats are fast grips and strong enough to support a tool.

Add side support.

If necessary, you can strengthen the tool shelf by adding side supports, which provide extra strength to hold heavy objects such as pipe clamps. Support also prevents items from falling off the shelf.

More uses

Here is another example of a French cleat shelf that includes dolls. They are used to hold a hammer, pliers, and screwdriver.

Hanging power tools

Hanging power tools

In this example, French cleats are used to secure electrical appliances against the wall for easy access.


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