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Thread: Thoughts on plywood shop walls

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan M Peters View Post
    You can make a lot of french cleats by ripping up a sheet of plywood. And if you put the french cleats on the sheets of plywood to be hung on the wall before hanging, you can screw them from the back. That way there are no screw holes on the face.
    Here's a pretty good video: https://youtu.be/lzd0dxziyIs

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I've never used french cleats. Are they cheaper than deck screws and shelf brackets?
    Cheaper in that you can move stuff around "instantaneously" and without needing a third hand for a level. A well designed French cleat system can be an amazing thing as a shop evolves and needs change. My next shop...if there ever is one, such as if we decide to downsize...will have a cleat system for sure.
    --

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

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Cheaper in that you can move stuff around "instantaneously" and without needing a third hand for a level. A well designed French cleat system can be an amazing thing as a shop evolves and needs change. My next shop...if there ever is one, such as if we decide to downsize...will have a cleat system for sure.
    I'll keep that in mind. Mine seems to have evolved to steady state. If I want to move something I take out screws and put them in a different place. A plywood wall with extra screw holes is kind of decorative.

  4. #19
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    Cleats are good for the anal mind, John...everything spaced nice and level. Everything has it's place, even if that place changes over time. LOL And yea...a lot less extraneous screw holes. But on a practical sense, the cleats can have a lot of weight holding power, too. One novel way to use them is for interchangeable/movable work surfaces as well as for holding knocked down things on the wall until you need to pull them out in a way that you're less likely to knock them off the wall accidentally. That's what I mean about a well thought out cleat design. Did I happen to mention the anal mind thing?
    --

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

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    ... Did I happen to mention the anal mind thing?
    Ah, I can see how that would be attractive to some. I guess I'm more of a sloppy "slap it up and use it" person.

    For example, my tape storage system is incredibly practical but I'm sure it's a horror to the refined gentleman shop keeper.
    Don't know if cleating it could make it any more compact or accessible.

    tape-storage.jpg

    When I do change up, such as when I acquired a set of Robust tool rests and threw out the old, I make use of an amazing device that will both remove and insert screws.

    lathe_toolrests_IMG_5751.jpg

    That the wall may end one day end up full of holes doesn't even register on my consciousness. Some people even start with walls full of holes. (I HATE pegboard!) And a 3/4" pine board on steel shelf brackets can hold a huge amount of weight.

    But I looked up some french cleat and slat wall designs to see what all the fuss was about - I can see how they would be attractive to a retail store that did a lot of change-about or to someone who likes to redecorate. But the deal-breaker for me is they all appear to require a resource so valuable it's long used up in my shop - empty wall space!

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 02-11-2020 at 10:46 PM.

  6. #21
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    A cleat system is definitely easier to implement in a "clean" space, such as a brand new workshop...
    --

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

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    A cleat system is definitely easier to implement in a "clean" space, such as a brand new workshop...
    The first time I hung cabinets (by myself) using a cleat, I swore that I'd never attempt to hang one with a ledger strip, and a deadman again

    So it's not really just about being 'clean' and 'neat', it's really about convenience. Besides, since I tend to use offcuts of plywood to make the cleats, it's effectively free.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  8. #23
    CD plywood is unsanded.

  9. #24
    Man, thanks all of the replies and your thoughts.

    I do plan on going french cleat where I want my hanging tools, but I'm gonna mount some cabinets on the wall as well and have a corner with shelves that I'm gonna make for random storage and to encompass my keezer and my garage fridge (any beer brewers out there?!).

    I'm sold on the plywood, and im gonna go half inch. I'm not gonna finish the ceiling yet, just gonna reinforce the runners so that I can use it for storage (got a plan to put my lumber up there) plus I like the look of my subroof, If i'm gonna go wood I figure go all out. I'm not planning on insulating because I live in southern california and it's not really necessary.....Sorry to rub that part in for some of ya...

    Thing I'm just not sure yet is the sanded vs unhanded aka, expensive vs less expensive....

    Gonna price out at Ghanal lumber tomorrow to see if they can beat the Lowes/HD prices...

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolfo Picanco View Post
    ...I'm not planning on insulating because I live in southern california and it's not really necessary.....Sorry to rub that part in for some of ya...
    Ha! In my experience comments concerning the relative weather in SoCal are often tempered by the relative cost of living.

    Compared to around here the overall index is 173.3 vs 85.5 (https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-l...geles-ca/50000) Maybe your area is better.

  11. #26
    HAHA, TRUTH. But I fully understand I live in a super high cost of living state, and a super high cost of living city (Long Beach), but I do love where I live, have a good job as a teacher that pays well compared to the averages that teachers are paid, good benefits, and a gainfully employed wife. So I'll stick to my pocket of southern california until I can retire to an acre in the mountains somewhere that isn't quiet as expensive.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Ah, I can see how that would be attractive to some. I guess I'm more of a sloppy "slap it up and use it" person.
    Preach it brother John! Also plywood with screws can be far less random. I watched a LOT of youtube videos on French Cleat and I have yet to see one that it looks more convenient that put a screw anywhere. Maybe it's because my space is very limited, and plywood allows me to cram in as much stuff as is humanly possible. Also I've yet to see a hanger for cleats that couldn't also be screwed into a wall.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I've never seen "unsanded" plywood, honestly....

    Plywood is a good material if you want/need to be able to drive screws "anywhere". It's not inexpensive, however, and thinner, less expensive sheets will not have the same screw holding power as thicker sheets. (no surprise there). That said, I suspect you could easily get away with nominal 1/2" material (about 7/16" actual) as long as you screw anything heavy into the studs.

    That all said, be sure to check with your local code enforcement folks about what's acceptable to put on the walls and ceiling of a garage, especially if it's attached to your home. At the very least the wall bordering the house will be required to be fire retardant and thicker drywall. You may or may not be permitted to put anything flammable over it.

    Most of my shop walls are covered with 7/32" T1-11 sheet goods. I like the look. The portion that has OSB is "functional" but I'm not a fan. I did not consider thicker plywood due to cost. If I did another shop, I'd probably go drywall and French cleats.
    Here in the Phoenix area, building code requires 5/8” drywall on all garage walls and ceiling in case of fire.
    “Pay no attention to what you cannot control..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  14. #29
    Mark, It's too bad those Phoenix birds are protected by the Feds. But I love to see them on clear nights !

  15. #30
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    +1 on the drywall lift. I’ve put up osb by holding it in place with my head and shoulders while driving screws. It wasn’t pretty. The lift gives you time to position carefully and saves on excedrin.

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