Drywall over metal support panel

thomaskuhnSeptember 6, 2012

This might be hard to explain, but here i go. I am almost finished with a remodel of our dining room. The wife decided to have me build all of our dining room furniture with the exception of the chairs. The theme is contemporay/industrial... Wood and brushed aluminum surfaces. The last thing she would like is ultra thin floating shelves made out of brushed aluminum. Perhaps 4-5 shelves going up the wall,3' long. I was originally trying to figure out a good way to fasten a 1" thick shelf to the wall! But now i have a better idea.

My idea is to have a vertical sheet of aluminum with perhaps 1/4" aluminum shelves welded perpendiculary to it.. I could then remove a large piece of drywall, fasten the support aluminum structure to the studs and recover over the aluminum back with new drywall. Once covered, and painted, the wall would look like it is magically supporting these ultra thin shelves.

Is there a way this us usually done, a way to take into the extra volume the backing would need? Is there a diffent way to try and do this? Perhaps something other than a sheet? Tubing between studs?

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You can get thinner drywall. How thick is the aluminum sheet?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:09PM
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The shelves will not be any stronger if you just have lip bent on the back edge and then fasten it to studs and blocking and hide it behind the drywall.

Why go to all the trouble of welding?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:44PM
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Good evening!

I am not sure hoe thick the backing Al will be. Less than a 1/4 " i think. 1/8" maybe.

Brickeyee, interesting, not sure i follow though. Can you explain a little further? Is the lip bent up/dowward?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:15PM
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Use a sheet brake and bend the shelf into a shallow L. The short part of the L gets holes drilled into it and screwed into the studs. Then you can apply drywall to the studs in between the metal shelving and save about $200 on aluminum not to mention the services of an expert TIG welder. if you don't own a Harbor Freight sheet brake, then you can use dimensional lumber ripped to create a sharp 90 degree edge to "fold" the aluminum around it with another piece of lumber and clamps to apply the force, but it's harder to do straight and true without the even pressure of a brake.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 1:31AM
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" Is the lip bent up/dowward?"

It does not matter.
If you want the drywall to lay perfectly flat without lot of feathering work to hide the hump from the aluminum (and it will be a PITA with all the shelves in the way) instal any blocking behind the face of the studs by the thickness of the aluminum and then remove wood from the stud faces so the outer face of the flange is flush with the face of the studs.

Make sure you put tape on the aluminum along the wall when finishing the wall.

Drywall compound is caustic enough before it dries or sets to etch the aluminum and cause a rough surface.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:57AM
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Thanks everyonr!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 1:41PM
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