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Thread: Hanging Heavy Record Cabinets

  1. #1

    Hanging Heavy Record Cabinets

    Hi all!

    So, I have a client who is interested in a mid-centuryish floating cabinet for vinyl records. She wants 12 running feet of records stacked 2 high, made from 3/4 ply (see sketch below, there is also another hanging cabinet below the record shelves). Now, I've built and hung a lot of upper cabinets, but by my calculation, if this thing were stacked full of records, it would weigh close to 1000lbs! Is this safe to hang on a 2x4 wall? And, how would you go about hanging these? French cleat? Solid wood runner hidden in back? I'd love to make it happen, I just don't want anyone crushed in the process!
    EF Record Cabinets 2.png

  2. #2
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    hard wood runner in the back of the middle shelf and the top shelf, lagged or use structural screws, such as head locks ( flat head version of timber locks) into the studs. should get 8 studs? so 16+ of the large screws. i would make sure they are centered in the 2x as well. I think that will do it. i think i would be more worried about the connection of the hardwood runners to the case.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Adam....full length hardwood runner lagged into EVERY stud for best weight carrying capacity. It would probably be a good idea that the runner is let-in to the casework and for that kind of weight, additional mechanical (metal even) strengthening may be required.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    I would not use lag bolts. GRK screws are much stronger as well as easier to install using a impact driver.

  5. #5
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    I agree with all of the above, including the GRK recommendation, and would only add the words French cleat to the options for you to consider. I've appreciated the benefit they've given me when hanging bulky and moderately heavy things.
    Chuck Taylor

  6. #6
    I heard an interesting practice from a professional (maybe here).
    When installing a run of kitchen uppers, in order to deal with uncooperative stud locations, he cuts out a strip of drywall, say 3-4" high and about as long as the run. Screw in a long matching strip(s) of good quality plywood, like Baltic Birch. Then when installing the cabinets or cleats, you can screw into wood anywhere along the line and distribute the load among more screws including as many at the stud locations as you can.

    I also happen to feel the IKEA metal hanging rail system is very good. I think you can buy the components from IKEA to use it, and if not there must be similar products available on the open market.

    +1 on GRK structural screws (I think they call them RSS)

    Edwin

  7. #7
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    Edwin, that's an excellent suggestion and the strip of plywood can be mudded in so it's invisible, too, if that's necessary. I'm glad you mentioned getting as many fasteners into the studs, however. .5" plywood (same thickness as typical drywall) has "some" holding power to increase the load bearing, but the studs are still the key.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Edwin, that's an excellent suggestion and the strip of plywood can be mudded in so it's invisible, too, if that's necessary. I'm glad you mentioned getting as many fasteners into the studs, however. .5" plywood (same thickness as typical drywall) has "some" holding power to increase the load bearing, but the studs are still the key.
    Very well then - another alternative I have done is to cut away the strip. Let's stay it is 48" long x 4" high. Now that you have the opening, install 2x4 "blocking" between the studs with toenailed screws (or better yet, pocket screws if you have the jig). This way you have a continuous line of 2x4 material, which yes, could be concealed by reinstalling the drywall strip, mud and paint. The blocking will give you about 1.5" thickness and it will be laterally anchored into the two vertical studs.
    Once again, I feel distributing the load over numerous fasteners is important.
    This probably sounds like a lot of work, but it's surprisingly simple to do.

    Edwin
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 01-14-2020 at 11:31 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    Very well then - another alternative I have done is to cut away the strip. Let's stay it is 48" long x 4" high. Now that you have the opening, install 2x4 "blocking" between the studs with toenailed screws (or better yet, pocket screws if you have the jig). This way you have a continuous line of 2x4 material, which yes, could be concealed by reinstalling the drywall strip, mud and paint. The blocking will give you about 1.5" thickness and it will be laterally anchored into the two vertical studs.
    Once again, I feel distributing the load over numerous fasteners is important.
    This probably sounds like a lot of work, but it's surprisingly simple to do.

    Edwin
    I used this approach when I was installing a wall-hung closet organizer (I used 2x6 blocking - not much additional cost/effort), and was very happy with it. Being able to drive a screw anywhere along the length of the cleat made life easier, and of course, spread the load. Worst part of it for me was repairing the drywall after the blocking was installed - I hate drywall work!

    As a more general comment, I'm all in favor of making things as stout as possible, but I'm not sure that a 1000 lb load, relatively evenly distributed over a 12' span sounds like a lot. These cabinets look like they'll be similar in height to kitchen wall cabinets. Maybe someone here knows the details of kitchen cabinet specs, but I would think that a standard kitchen cabinet installation should have no problem carrying 85# per linear foot.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    ...but the studs are still the key.
    I agree 100%.

    I don't have anything useful to add other than that I have a box of LPs that's maybe 30" long and I can barely pick it up (mainly because it's unwieldy, but also because it's HEAVY!)

    (Also, 1000# sounds like a "light" estimate to me for over 20' of LPs plus the weight of the cabinet, though I haven't done any calculations...)
    Last edited by Jacob Reverb; 01-14-2020 at 12:16 PM.

  11. #11
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    by lag, i mean a modern structural screw. I use them a lot, drive with an impact, though for most cabinet/interior / fine woodworking you may never encounter them. i would not use regular #8 or #10 GRK cabinet screws.

    https://www.fastenmaster.com/product...-fastener.html

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Stern View Post
    Hi all!

    So, I have a client who is interested in a mid-centuryish floating cabinet for vinyl records. She wants 12 running feet of records stacked 2 high, made from 3/4 ply (see sketch below, there is also another hanging cabinet below the record shelves). Now, I've built and hung a lot of upper cabinets, but by my calculation, if this thing were stacked full of records, it would weigh close to 1000lbs! Is this safe to hang on a 2x4 wall? And, how would you go about hanging these? French cleat? Solid wood runner hidden in back? I'd love to make it happen, I just don't want anyone crushed in the process!
    EF Record Cabinets 2.png
    I'll offer some (really rough) math to go with the other recommendations:
    - For a 144" long cabinet, assuming studs 16" OC, it will will span 9 studs. So assume only 8 stud attachments to allow some safety margin and maybe 'missing' one due to installation requirements.

    - 1000 lbs distributed over 8 studs is a vertical load of 125 lbs/stud. Personally, I'd not be overly concerned by this loading.

    - If you can get 2 screws (of whatever specification) in each stud, then each screw could see a shear load of 62.5 lbs (=125/2). I'd not be terribly concerned by this load for anything larger than a #10.

    - If you also assume the center of the load is 6" off the wall (for a 12" LP), then the cabinet generates 6000 in-lbs of torque (=1000 lbs x 6"), trying to 'rotate' the cabinet off the wall. If you assume worst case that ALL of this torque must be countered by only the top-most screws (x8, located at the top of the case, so a 6" 'lever arm' to resist torque), then each screw would need to resist 125 lbs of 'pull' (=6000 in-lbs/8 screws/6"). The reality is that all the screws will carry SOME of the load, but I figure all loading on just the top 8, and so the balance of the screws give a safety margin.

    This torque resistance is the most likely failure mode IMHO. So, I'd try to make sure the fasteners can resist something on the order of 150 lbs of pull. (I'd look at 1/4" or larger. Bolting completely thru the wall would be ideal!)

    Any french cleats or nailers will certainly help to evenly distribute the load, but ultimately this distributed load has to be carried into the stud wall by the 'point load' of the fasteners - and the studs have to support it.

    If insurance and/or liability is a concern, consult a Structural Engineer. Any local Home Builder or residential Architect should be able to refer one.

    (I'm a long way removed from such structural calculations, so stress the ROUGH nature of the above. The math seems simple because of the assumptions I've made.)

    Edit: California and seismic rules render the above as jibberish!! Beware.
    Last edited by Malcolm McLeod; 01-14-2020 at 1:14 PM. Reason: brain fart!!
    Molann an obair an saor.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Reverb View Post
    (Also, 1000# sounds like a "light" estimate to me for over 20' of LPs plus the weight of the cabinet, though I haven't done any calculations...)
    You can average the weight to about 35lbs / linear foot.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm McLeod View Post
    Any french cleats or nailers will certainly help to evenly distribute the load, but ultimately this distributed load has to be carried into the stud wall by the 'point load' of the fasteners - and the studs have to support it.
    What about an oversized steel washer between the head of each GRX fastener and the interior of the carcase? Like a giant fender washer? Or perhaps a vertical steel plate on the back interior wall of the box that would align with the location of the studs, which you could drill holes through in the appropriate locations for the fasteners to go through? Like a mending plate, only beefier? Just thinking out loud.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  15. #15
    I'd be more concerned about my cabinet. What's holding the bottom on with several hundred pounds pushing down and what's holding the case to the back?

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