Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Which way do shelf brackets go?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    3,711

    Which way do shelf brackets go?

    I am putting up 15.5" shelves. I am planning on using 15"x12" shelf brackets. Which part goes under the shelf and which on the wall. For 45 years I have done half one way and half the other, so at least I am half right. Thought it might be time to ask. Anyone?

    The shelves are replacing a recycled kitchen cabinet that has been on the wall for 16 years. Today the particleboard on the back disintegrated and the cabinet fell. Go figure.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    25,029
    Blog Entries
    1
    My opinion might be wrong but it has always been to put the long arm down.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,411
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    My opinion might be wrong but it has always been to put the long arm down.

    jtk

    Correct. It is simple physics.
    Bill D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    2,074
    Blog Entries
    1
    I don’t think the length of the arm going down is important. All of the stress on a shelf bracket are on the two upper screws driven into the wall. The shelf wants to fall down but can’t so it tries to pull away from the wall. The screws into the shelf don’t have much to do other than keeping the shelf from shifting. The bottom screw into the wall doesn’t much to do other than keep the bracket from rotating. Those two top screws are the workhorses. Make them long and drive them into studs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    3,024
    Whichever way they fit/look best. I suspect they come with different length arms to accommodate different shelf widths.

    There are plenty of symmetrical brackets available that eliminate the issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    25,029
    Blog Entries
    1
    This is where Dr. Google is your friend:

    .png

    If my understanding the "three quarters rule" is correct this means the 12" length of "the actual bracket under the shelf" means it would be good for a 16" deep shelf.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 05-24-2022 at 4:24 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    When I put shelves up, while I do put the long side down I never put in the bottom screws, just 2 more screws to remove and holes to fix later if/when the shelf goes away.

    And 'floating' glass shelves seem to work fine without much in the way of legs--
    fb.jpg
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Eastern Iowa
    Posts
    687
    This question was asked by a Home Depot customer who wanted to use a 12”x 8” shelf bracket.
    This is the reply by the manufacturer.

    The other thumbnail is of a closet rod/shelf bracket that will support up to 500 lbs. of clothing and stuff.
    The shelf leg is 14”, the wall leg is 9”.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  9. #9
    Shelf brackets can be installed either way; depends on the application.

    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    60,926
    I agree with Andy...I'd choose the long leg vertical for more weight under a narrower shelf and short leg vertical for a wider shelf for bigger bulk understanding the weight to be supported might be a little less. Those brackets he shows as an example are pretty darn good, too. I've used a bunch of those for shop purposes.
    --

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Coquitlam
    Posts
    351
    I have always installed them both ways based on shelf width. I don't think it really matters for practical purposes which side is down.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •