Thursday, December 21, 2017

The French Cleat System

Chris built me a french cleat system for the kitchen so I could have additional wall storage. Plus I think it's a nice design feature - pretty and functional. Woot!

What the heck is a french cleat, you ask? It consists of a wall-mounted molding with a 30-45 degree slope and a matching angle cut into the unit to be hung. It's typically used to mount cabinets and heavy things because the molding can span the studs which means it's wonderfully secure on the wall. And the units you mount can be easily arranged to preference because they don't have to be directly lined up on the stud - the molding took care of that for you. 

My idea was a decorative cleat system that would fill in between the two barrister bookcases that I use in the kitchen.
Just needs something in the middle...
I wanted something sort of pallet-like because that fits with the whole industrial-farmhouse vibe I've got going (I do live in a barn after all). But I wanted it pretty. So we picked some maple boards from the property wood pile and found some with great figuring. 
Look at that grain!
I designed the size and style, Chris cut all the boards and sloped them appropriately, I gave them a good poly, and we put it all together. Then it came time to hang it.

As I mentioned, when you hang something from a cleat you don't have to worry about evenly spaced studs. Good thing as the studs in this wall weren't were we needed them. So we used a cleat to hang the cleat system.
Finding studs
A cleat is mounted to the wall then the matching cleat on the unit is slotted onto it.
Carefully positioning the unit
Ta da!
I wish the photo showed the grain better. In real life it's truly beautiful. Functional looking, but beautiful.

And here is an example of the shelves we'll build for it. Chris banged this one together from scrap wood (maple, but still scraps) just so we could get a feel for how it would work and look.
Fits perfectly
I then tried to create a shelf to hang my antique meat grinders and mucked it up so badly that I burned the evidence. I'll keep trying and get that thing filled eventually.

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