Question on French Cleat Storage Systems

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Forum topic by groland posted 06-23-2018 02:24 PM 1367 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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228 posts in 4182 days

06-23-2018 02:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: french cleat system on irregular walls

I wonder what solutions guys have come up with for putting French Cleat Storage racks on walls that are irregular? None of the videos I have looked at address this.

In starting to lay out the locations of my Fr. Cleat system, I noticed that the sheetrock walls are far from flat in any plane. I plan on using 1/2” plywood screwed into the studs to which the cleats (also 1/2 inch plywood) would be attached.

If you have done this satisfactorily, and like the results, I would like to know how you handled the bumps and shallows in the walls behind?



7 replies so far

View HTown's profile


114 posts in 1957 days

#1 posted 06-23-2018 03:00 PM

I use FC in the shop with sheetrock walls that aren’t noticeably bumpy.
The depth of the cleat will take up some wall variance. (ie. they may not seat all the way). Also short mating cleats would only need that length of the wall to be in reasonable shape.
Hope this helps.

View Rich's profile (online now)


5608 posts in 1360 days

#2 posted 06-23-2018 03:08 PM

I personally wouldn’t use plywood for cleats. Its layered construction makes it weak in one of the directions that it will be under load. Some 4/4 poplar, or something similar will not only be stronger, but give you more leeway for undulations. Also if the wall is too irregular for even that, use some shims.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View BlasterStumps's profile (online now)


1681 posts in 1210 days

#3 posted 06-23-2018 03:45 PM

There are metal hanger brackets that work similar that might work with irregular surfaces.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View pontic's profile


797 posts in 1379 days

#4 posted 06-23-2018 03:53 PM

I had to put shims on a few of mine. They worked well.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View jerryminer's profile


960 posts in 2212 days

#5 posted 06-25-2018 02:55 AM

+1 on shims. Small pieces cut from a cereal box (or equivalent) work well for this. Stack them up as needed. A drop of glue will keep them in place.

Plywood should work fine for cleats. It’s plenty strong in the directions you need.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View bobasaurus's profile


3633 posts in 3955 days

#6 posted 06-25-2018 03:47 AM

I have a 4×8’ backer sheet of plywood on mine to make it uniform.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View jonah's profile


2119 posts in 4069 days

#7 posted 06-25-2018 02:52 PM

Treat it just like a window or door frame. If it’s irregular, you shim it to be straight and flat. Shim behind the cleat wherever there is a gap, then screw through the shims. Be sure to pre drill the hole in the shims or they’ll split.

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