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Fastening brackets to cabinet/vanity walls for shelves - Printable Version

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Fastening brackets to cabinet/vanity walls for shelves - Wraiththe - 02-16-2021

Question: What would be the best screws or fasteners to attach shelf brackets to the cabinet walls under my sinks?
I am putting shelves under all my sinks.
First plan was wireframe,
Second plan was using16" melamine or mdf shelf panels supported by shelf pins and using a Shelf pin jig to make the holes.

It had occurred to me that the wood can be absorbent and may begin to smell musty eventually. 15 years and the cabinets do not smell now, but don't want it to happen. So I am going back to the original idea of wire shelves.
The plan is to use the std. Rubbermaid brackets, but using screws instead of the pins and drywall anchors.

The problem: I do not want the walls of the cabinet to tear apart. We have all seen what can happen to MDF when screws are used and bad things happen.
Fortunately, only one side wall on one cabinet has an outside surface. I would rather not risk messing that outside surface up. It would be a disaster.

Maybe inserts would be the way to go, coated with some wood glue???

Not even sure what type of  drill bits to use for these as there would be very little left between the end and the outer surface.

Here are some pics of the hardware, shelf and one cabinet/vanity. Any suggestions on how to fasten the brackets? Please?

Definitely needs a shelf!

They actually make smaller ones than these now.

(My original intent was to glue wood with a notch, to the side of the cabinet to hold the shelf in place... but I now I am trying to avoid porous and absorbent material under the sink.)

RE: Fastening brackets to cabinet/vanity walls for shelves - jteneyck - 02-16-2021

I think I would screw a cleat to the cabinet where you need to add those shelf supports, then install the shelf supports on those cleats.  Several screws in the cleats will better distribute the load from the shelves and will be a lot easier to install than inserts.  It's once and done with inserts so if you are off by just a little bit the shelf will rock.   


RE: Fastening brackets to cabinet/vanity walls for shelves - Cooler - 02-16-2021

You do not have to inset these shelf standards.  You can surface mount them.  They are quite strong and do not depend on the shear strength of the fasteners. 

They are available at all big box lumber stores in a variety of lengths and finishes.  Not expensive.

RE: Fastening brackets to cabinet/vanity walls for shelves - museumguy - 02-20-2021

Can you verify the thickness of the cabinet sides? Most are only 1/2" thick. Screwing into MDF isn't a bad thing. Predrill first and you are good to go. The shelf standards that Cooler posted are an excellent choice. Years ago, they were used extensively in cabinet shops. Customers eventually preferred holes in the sides for adjustable shelf pins.

RE: Fastening brackets to cabinet/vanity walls for shelves - Terry W - 02-22-2021

MDF is fickle and you sure don't want to drill all the way through by mistake. You could always install two vertical runners on each side to support shelf pins or brackets.  1.5" wide and glued, screwed or pin nailed should be fine. You could use anything from 3/4 hardwood to 1/2 ply.