Building wood shelves when no studs available

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Old 01-09-10, 09:40 AM
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Building wood shelves when no studs available

I'd like to replace the dinky wire shelves in my small pantry closet with some more sturdy wood shelves.

The dimensions of this space are 21" deep by 28 3/4" wide with a door on the 4th side.

My plan was to find the studs and then attach a piece of wood to each of the three sides on the level I want a shelf. Then cut a piece of wood to act as a shelf and lay it on the previously attached wood pieces.

However, I do not seem to be able to locate any studs using the stud finder I've been using here for years.

The items these shelves would be holding up are not too heavy... mostly boxes and such with some cans.

Would attaching the pieces of wood that hold up the shelf be okay just putting into the drywall?

Dave
 
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Old 01-09-10, 10:27 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Studs should be on 16" centers from one corner. BUT, in the event you can't find one of the closet was not studded properly, you WILL find corner studs in each corner. You can cut a 1x2 the length of the back wall and attach it in each corner . I believe you will find a stud if you look hard enough for it. Then attach the cleat to it as well. On the sides, cut your 1x2 the full length of the closet less the 3/4" taken up by the back cleat. Install it in a similar method, but you will probably have to angle your fastener slightly so as to pick up the corner stud.
Making these cleats level all the way around will give you a level place to put your wood shelf. If you paint the shelf and cleats, the extension in front of the shelf won't be that noticeable.
Don't rely on the drywall alone to hold up anything heavier than a picture.
 
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Old 01-09-10, 11:30 AM
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Thank you for your reply. I double-checked and I'm not finding any indications of any studs except in the corners. That doesn't really surprise me as the company which built the houses around here did a really poor job.

The back corners look good to get into the corner stud. But the front of the pantry/closet has moulding all the way to the corner.

Here is a picture of that:




Just for the heck of it, here is a picture looking to the back corner.



Would it work to anchor the front part of the 1x2 into the moulding? I would imagine there is a stud behind that.

Dave
 
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Old 01-09-10, 12:35 PM
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I would stop it at the molding and toenail (screw) in order to hit that stud. The stud sticks out 1 1/2", but your sheetrock takes up 1/2" and the molding takes up another 1/2", so you are hitting a 1/2" target. But it is doable.
 
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Old 01-09-10, 01:39 PM
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As I sit here thinking about this that moulding is actually the door frame which should be a pretty solid place to anchor to.

Off to the hardware store to pick up some stuff.

Thanks again!

Dave
 
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Old 01-10-10, 11:58 AM
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I just wanted to report that the project has gone well. The old wire shelves are gone and the new wood shelves are installed and they look much better. Once they're painted they'll look even nicer.

Thank you for the assistance!

Dave
 
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Old 04-22-10, 01:00 AM
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Building wood shelves when no studs available

Originally Posted by chandler View Post
I would stop it at the molding and toenail (screw) in order to hit that stud. The stud sticks out 1 1/2", but your sheetrock takes up 1/2" and the molding takes up another 1/2", so you are hitting a 1/2" target. But it is doable.
Chandler, this is my first time on this forum. I have a project almost identical to sgtcasey, including measurements. I have located a place that will cut four white melamine shelves to my specs (18" x 30-1/4") plus provide cut cleats for the three sides of each shelf. I have never driven a nail into anything significant much less done toenailing (which I had never heard of before). I have just read up on toenailing basics on the internet and I'm afraid to try it for fear of splitting the cleat or, worse, the corner stud or missing the mark completely. I am planning to use cleats made from melamine shelving material because I don't want to go to the bother of painting wood cleats. These cleats would measure 3" x 3/4". The supplier will add white melamine edging to the exposed edge of the cleat I explained my trepidations to the supplier and he offered to include metal angle brackets to fasten the shelves to the side walls at the two rear corners to avoid fastening at an angle with a screw (I prefer using screws). Both of us thought it would be easy for me to straight screw the cleats to the corner studs by the closet door. However, I just noticed that the clamshell moulding surrounding the interior of the door frame is about 1/16" less than 3/4" from the RIGHT WALL ONLY (left wall is no problem) and therefore will not allow the 3/4" cleat to butt the front wall unless you think I should try to cut the moulding somehow. This would be a shame because it is beautifully finished even though no one sees the interior view. Should I use a metal angle bracket in the front right corner? Should I throw caution to the winds, sail right in and attempt my first toenail attachment? My husband is no help, He doesn't know his toenail from his elbow about carpentry. The difference is that I want to learn and he does not.

My kitchen closet measures as follows:

Width along back wall is 30" with and that width increases to 30-6/16" by the front corners. Studs are located (from l. to r.) along the back wall at 3/4", 11-3/4" and 27-1/2". The width increases to 30-6/16inches by the front corners.

The depth of the closet (excluding door frame moulding) is 22-7/8" Left and 23" Right. Studs on Left wall are 1/2" in from each corner. On Right wall I could find no studs but assume they are in the corners.

This kitchen closet is bare and I want shelves that can hold a lot of weight such as canned goods, rice, sugar, flour, pots/pans, giant juice bottles, boxes. I was considering wire shelves anchored to drywall, similar to the shelves sgtcasey was getting rid of, only the wires of the shelves would be closer together (1/2" vs. 1"). This 16" closemesh fixed wire shelving is guaranteed to hold 200 lbs. per shelf anchored only to drywall and not to studs. Any deflections (bending) of the shelves under weight would be considered a cosmetic and not a structural fault and could be completely eliminated by adding $12-worth of extra bracing in the form of 4 support cups per shelf. I was tempted to get this installed but don't understand how the drywall can support all this weight. Plus I don't like the idea of box crumbs leaking from top to bottom shelf and making dust over the tops of all the items on wire shelves below.

I should greatly appreciate any advice and direction you may be able to give me. If you have a chance, I'd also appreciate receiving a diagram on how to toenail with screws after a drilling a pilothole. Many thanks!
 
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