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An elegant, strong and functional hanging system

From the beginning of the construction of my mobile display units I have been racking my brain trying to devise some system to hang my art work that was durable and adaptable to my changing needs.  I first considered installing hooks into the walls themselves but the plywood is only 1/4 inch thick and can’t support the weight of heavier pictures.  Additionally the hooks had to be screwed through the canvas, which is a great way to tear it up.  There was also the tedium of re-positioning the hooks each time I wanted to hang something else.  So that didn’t work.

Next I thought of using strong fishing line hanging from screws installed in the top of the walls every two inches or so to give me flexibility in terms of where the pictures could hang.  I didn’t actually try this though, I didn’t think it would look good.  Finally after looking at some metal hanging systems online, I decided I could make my own out of wood.  I chose oak, because of its great strength, appearance and availability/price.

The oak strips measure 1″ x 3/4″  and are approx. five feet long

The strips have 12 grooves cut across the grain cut at 30 degrees, spaced about 2.5″ apart down the length of the strip.  These grooves will receive the hanging wire on the back of the pictures and allow a variety of spacing options.

To attach the strips to the walls, I’m using a French cleat system, which consists of a board with a 45 degree angle cut on one side, which slopes in toward the wall itself.  The hanging strips have a corresponding 45 degree angle cut into them and will sit in the channel created by the French cleat wall intersection.  The 45 degree cuts will nestle nicely together and allow for easy side to side adjustment of the strips.

I hung a few strips on the French cleat of one wall unit and then hung a couple of small pictures to see how it all looked.  I was very pleased with the results and think the system will work really well.

Categories: Uncategorized
Posted by John Speier on June 18, 2012

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