Today I finished and fixed the french cleat boards I cut yesterday. One of the reasons I was doing the job was that the results I got last time weren’t as good as could be hoped for and the top shelf, in particular, had been looking dicey. Those have been taken down and will get remounted with the cleats: I know I can mount things securely to wood.
Of course, that means the cleat boards still have to be mounted securely to the wall. I spent a long time trying to figure out where the walls had wooden studs underneath, using both a stud finder device and the old technique of knocking on the wall and listening to the different sounds. My conclusion – the wall doesn’t seem to have the consistent arrangement I would expect. The online videos are very confident that vertical studs at 16″ centres is a universal arrangement but I’m pretty sure I’ve got some diagonals and other odd shapes under there.
In the end I decided to take my best shot and let the drill tell me more. I managed to get a couple of holes into solid surfaces, which I am now in the habit of plugging up with matchsticks – cheap, eco-friendly and, if you get enough packed in, it makes for a very good grip under compression from the screw. For the ones that went into plaster board, I used a new set of plugs I picked up in Wickes yesterday, from the Fischer Duopower range. By combining a couple of different plastics, they claimed to adapt to a number of different jobs.
I’m delighted to say that they seem to have lived up to the claim. I drilled a large enough hole so that they went in smoothly with only a little encouragement from a hammer to get the flat to the surface. Each of the boards feels very firmly connected. Indeed, if I’d had this kind of plug last time I might not have needed to redo the work (although I like the cleat system and it will give more flexibility). Thumbs up for duopower plugs.