Help with shelving project please

graywings123March 12, 2010

I bought steel adjustable shelf standards which are used for bookcases. I want to use them to make shelving in an extremely narrow closet. The mounting holes in the standards are too small to take a #6 wood screw, which is the most narrow size screw with any length that I could find at Home Depot.

What do you think of the idea of my drilling the holes larger to accommodate the #6 screws? Is it possible, and is this something an amateur like me can do? Do I need a certain type of drill bit to drill through steel?

I assume the standards are designed to be put up with nails against wood, but I am working with what I'm pretty sure is wallboard (possibly plaster) and I want to use plastic plugs and screws.

Here is a link that might be useful: Standards

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Enlarging the holes should not present a problem.
Standard twist drill bits (not 'Bullet' style) will do the job.
If using flathead screws, I'd also bevel the holes with a countersink bit.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 7:27PM
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Thanks Randy!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 10:00AM
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As randy said, enlarging the holes in the standards is not a problem. What would be a problem is mounting the standards into only the sheetrock with plastic anchors. Over time these anchors are likely to come loose and your shelves may possibly fall off the wall. Make sure you locate the studs that the sheetrock is attached to and screw into those. (And standards are not meant to be nailed to walls...they are always screwed in.)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 1:12PM
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Thanks, kudzu9. The amount of weight applied to these standards will be far less than they would receive from books filling a bookcase - a narrow shelf and a pair of shoes.

I wasn't planning to use nails, only mentioned them because the Rubbermaid package of clips came with a supply of them. If the nails are not meant for the standards, then what is their purpose?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 7:36PM
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Better route and better looking cosmetically Imo with the full round heads. Plus it will be more reliable. If you aren't familiar with making countersinks in metal with a bit, it will end up weakening and even go through the original opening.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 1:52PM
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Thanks for clarifying. I have seen the plastic anchors that take nails, and they work fine for mounting the little, hooked, plastic clips that hold wire shelves on the walls, but I've not seen them used to support standards. I'm assuming that you have a package of RubberMaid shelves with fasteners, but another brand of standard?

If you're only lightly loading the shelves, you may be ok with the nail-in type of fastener for the standards. However, personally, I would use screws and drive them into the studs, which I think would be a much better approach, and insure a long-term installation. I have drilled out standards in the past to be able to use beefier screws, and, if you go that route, simply enlarge the hole enough to accommodate the shank diameter. Don't try to do a's do-able, but you need some experience and a drill press helps, too. Otherwise, as sierraeast points out, countersinking could create problems.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:53PM
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kudzu - I'm sorry, my mention of nails has misled you about how I am mounting this thing. I'm going to use #6 wood screws with plastic plugs after enlarging the holes in the standards. I can hit a couple studs, but half of the standards will be only into drywall.

And, yes, I have abandoned the idea of countersinking the holes and will be using round head screws.

There is no identifying info on the standards except a number and MADE IN USA. An internet search of the number goes to a site that says they are from Rubbermaid.

Here is a link that might be useful: standards

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 9:30AM
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Just to be clear: For locations where you can hit studs, you don't want to use a plastic anchor...just the screw. I couldn't tell for sure from your last post if you were planning to use the anchors for all holes.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 4:41PM
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Thanks, kudzu!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 6:35PM
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