Author Topic: Help with a closet  (Read 8979 times)

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Offline denrusso

  • Posts: 43
Help with a closet
« on: November 18, 2013, 08:32 PM »
Still relatively new here and trying to read and watch everything that's relevant. 

I'm finalizing some 'light' work on my house (demo two bedrooms to the studs, new insulation, wiring, walls, and resurfacing my wood floors).  Doing most, not all, myself.  In the master bedroom, I had two closets that I decided to expand into one larger reach-in closet.  The 'new' closet is now the full length of one of the walls - 137.5"

I want to build 5 sections - from left to right - 25" hanging, 24" drawers (5 8" high starting a foot off the floor, with two adjustable shelves on top), 36.5" hanging, 24" drawers (same setup), and 25" hanging.  That's a total of 134.5" plus 3" for material (using 0.5") for a total of 137.5".

Using 0.5" birch ply, I intend to cut each piece 14" deep and, for the drawer sections, 6' tall.  Starting 1' off the floor will give me a height of 7' on the wall.  I'll 'hang' each section with a French cleat using 3/4" ply (4" wide) so you'll be able to see through it to the back of the finished closet wall.

Does this seem ok?

I'd like to incorporate the 32mm system - are there advantages for doing so in a closet organizer?

On building the drawers - I plan on using 1/4 ply - how does one determine the size of the draw box if the face is 8" tall.  Are there slides available in the 32mm system that will fit a 14" side or do I need to alter the width?


Any insight or suggestions for improvement on this project are greatly appreciated...


Thanks,
dr
TS55Req | OF 1400 | Domino 500 | CXS | MFT/3 | LR 32 | FS 3000 | FS 1400 LR 32

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Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6280
  • Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 09:49 PM »
Check your closet door opening height, most are 6'8". It may restrict the top shelf.

Your closet lighting must be enclosed, I've gone to recessed lights or LED strips. You can get real fancy and LED the shelves and drawer interiors.

Tom

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3977
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2013, 09:12 AM »
Allow a minimum OF 42" vertical for hanging space if you intend to have stacked "short hanging" spaces.  The LR 32/32mm system will come in VERY handy, especially if you want to build in flexibility in the design stages.  It will allow you to reposition shelves and hanging gear on the fly later.  Check the ceiling height inside the closet.  If you have less than 8' ceilings, consider holding the partitions as high as possible to allow for longer hanging garments.  This will be very useful if you are very tall, have a long torso or long arms and need long shirts to prevent tails and cuffs from interfering with the lower hanging bar or dragging on the floor.  For some insane reason, around here the builders were doing 7' 6" ceilings in the late 70s and 80s, making ceiling fans difficult to install safely and negating the usefulness  of the top shelf in closet remodels.  See if you can find a nearby California Closets franchise (or any other similar semi-custom closet remodeler) and take a good look at how they do things.  Their closet system is based on the 32mm system so you'll be able to get a good reference on methodology.  Look especially at how they create their fixed shelving (and hardware) to create stability between the partitions.  I'm with Tom on the use of LED lighting; just be sure to get the right color temperature lighting. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline denrusso

  • Posts: 43
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2013, 09:53 AM »
Thanks for the replies!

While finishing the walls, I installed (2) 3" recessed LED lights 1/4 of the way off each side wall and 2/3 from the back wall.

Ceilings I know are 8' so I should be good there.  The wife and I are also on the below avg height (5'8") side so the clothes won't be too long.  I plan on having at least one long hanging section for dresses and other long hanging items.  I was looking at the local Home Depot  [scared] for some ideas - they have a Martha Stewart collection that I was looking at and that's where I got the idea of 14" deep. 

For following the 32mm system in a closet, how important is it that the depth is divisible by 32?  If really needed, I could increase it to 384mm (15.1")


Thanks again!
dr
TS55Req | OF 1400 | Domino 500 | CXS | MFT/3 | LR 32 | FS 3000 | FS 1400 LR 32

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3569
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2013, 10:45 AM »
I want to build 5 sections - from left to right - 25" hanging, 24" drawers (5 8" high starting a foot off the floor, with two adjustable shelves on top), 36.5" hanging, 24" drawers (same setup), and 25" hanging.  That's a total of 134.5" plus 3" for material (using 0.5") for a total of 137.5"

As Sparktrician has noted > 41-2" min for hanging  womens clothing and > 46" for mens shirts/jackets/pants

Using 0.5" birch ply, I intend to cut each piece 14" deep and, for the drawer sections, 6' tall.  Starting 1' off the floor will give me a height of 7' on the wall.  I'll 'hang' each section with a French cleat using 3/4" ply (4" wide) so you'll be able to see through it to the back of the finished closet wall.

Does this seem ok?
I would use 5/8" or 3/4" ply. 1/2" is a bit thin. See this thread for info on metal cleat and hanger system.

I'd like to incorporate the 32mm system - are there advantages for doing so in a closet organizer?

It depends. If you are using 32 mm system hardware it makes it easier.

On building the drawers - I plan on using 1/4 ply

I think 1/4" ply is too thin drawers. I would use 1/2". 1/4" is ok for the bottoms.

how does one determine the size of the draw box if the face is 8" tall. 

depends on how much space you want between drawers and how they are designed. You will need some space so drawer boxes don't hit each other.

Are there slides available in the 32mm system that will fit a 14" side or do I need to alter the width?

The 350mm slides will fit a 14"/352mm deep cabinet. If you are going to use the 32mm system slides, then size your drawer depth accordingly.

For following the 32mm system in a closet, how important is it that the depth is divisible by 32?  If really needed, I could increase it to 384mm (15.1")

While it doesn't need to be on the 32mm system, it does make it easier to install hardware if it is on the 32mm grid. Otherwise you need to offset one row of holes (front or back) to accommodate the hardware. Planning is more important than following the system religiously.

Good luck.
Tim

Offline denrusso

  • Posts: 43
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 03:39 PM »
As Sparktrician has noted > 41-2" min for hanging  womens clothing and > 46" for mens shirts/jackets/pants

Two of the three hanging sections I plan on using double rods for 'short' hanging.  I'd like to have them the same height so I'll go with as close to 3.5' as possible.


I would use 5/8" or 3/4" ply. 1/2" is a bit thin. See this thread for info on metal cleat and hanger system.

OK - I'll go with 3/4" then - not that much difference in price.  I initially thought that 3/4" would be too much, after looking at your work on the above thread, I'll take your advice!

Those metal cleats look nice.  I was thinking about just taking some 4" wide 3/4" ply and cut a 45 degree angle on and attach to the wall (with the help of a laser level).  The top of each of these closet sections would have a matching piece of ply that I could use to hang on the wall.  Is that too simple?  Maybe get something a little better like the Hafele?  BTW - can you recommend a good online retailer for their hardware?


It depends. If you are using 32 mm system hardware it makes it easier.

I like the sound of easier!   8)


I think 1/4" ply is too thin drawers. I would use 1/2". 1/4" is ok for the bottoms.

1/2" it is for the drawers with 1/4" bottoms.


depends on how much space you want between drawers and how they are designed. You will need some space so drawer boxes don't hit each other.

Probably only the 3mm reveal.  If the drawer face is 8" tall then maybe a 4" or 6" tall drawer box?


The 350mm slides will fit a 14"/352mm deep cabinet. If you are going to use the 32mm system slides, then size your drawer depth accordingly.

Got it - that makes sense.


While it doesn't need to be on the 32mm system, it does make it easier to install hardware if it is on the 32mm grid. Otherwise you need to offset one row of holes (front or back) to accommodate the hardware. Planning is more important than following the system religiously.

Good luck.
Tim

I like the idea of being able to change each section in the future if something doesn't end up working for us.  I figure with the 32 system, I would have the flexibility to maybe remove a drawer or two and maybe add a shelf.  Or possible remove a double hanging unit in favor of a full length hanging.

Regarding the 32 hardware, specifically the drawer slides, are they screwed into the system holes?  Just trying to anticipate what I would have if we were ever to remove a drawer.


Thanks for taking the time Tim and providing some much needed insight!
dr
TS55Req | OF 1400 | Domino 500 | CXS | MFT/3 | LR 32 | FS 3000 | FS 1400 LR 32

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3977
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 04:48 PM »
Another thing regarding sizing and hole spacing - the pars in the California Closets system are 14" deep, front-to-back.  That's pretty much standard.  The shelf/system holes are spaced 32mm apart vertically, but are spaced 2-3/4" from the front and back edges of the par horizontally.  This equates to 70mm instead of the standard 37mm depth in the 32mm system.  The reason for this is to space the lateral hanging rod 11" from the wall, or half of the normal 22" presumed shoulder width of the normal human adult.  It does make shelves a bit "tippy", so you may want to consider boring three lines of holes instead of two; 37mm from front and back edges and 70mm from the front edge to accommodate hanging hardware.  I concur with Tim that the pars and shelves need to be made of 3/4" materials,  the drawer boxes from 1/2" material, and the drawer bottoms from 1/4" material.  Also, check your selected drawer glides to be certain that their mounting holes will line up right with the hole system horizontal spacing that you choose to use or you'll be drilling them on the fly. 

« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 04:53 PM by Sparktrician »
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3569
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 06:08 PM »
The reason for this is to space the lateral hanging rod 11" from the wall, or half of the normal 22" presumed shoulder width of the normal human adult.

Willy brings up a good point here. The standard closet is 24" deep, so the hanging rod needs to allow the clothes to clear the front wall and doors. This of course is not as critical if you are installing in a walk-in closet space.
California closets offsets for the system holes are the same front and back so the panels are interchangeable and to allow the hanging bracket which is approx 2" long to clear the system holes. This lets you access the Rafix attachments above them.
Tim

Offline denrusso

  • Posts: 43
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 09:29 PM »
Thanks for the input!

The closet is almost 36" deep (35 and change) so I believe it is deep enough if I go with a 14" par (learning new terms!) and will have enough room for the top shelf.

I like the idea of three holes to support the shelves.  As for the holes for the clothes bars, can they be 37mm from the front - will that work (stability, aesthetics, etc...)?

Any recommendations for an online retailer for the hardware?


Thanks again!
dr
TS55Req | OF 1400 | Domino 500 | CXS | MFT/3 | LR 32 | FS 3000 | FS 1400 LR 32

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3977
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 09:00 AM »
Hafele is one vendor of top quality closet hardware.  They have regional dealers listed on their site.  As for the 37mm spacing for system holes, you can do that, but you're wasting space behind the hanging gear.  Now if you were to install a wall safe behind the hanging gear, it might make access slightly easier for those that know of its existence.  Your call here.  I'd go with the 70mm spacing to allow more maneuvering room to get to the hanging gear, assuming you don't have full straight-in access to the entire closet.  The Rafix hardware that Tim mentioned is available from Hafele.  You'll need special tooling from Hafele to install it correctly.  This kind of connector is essential to link the pars to the fixed shelves to stabilize the system laterally.  Since you'll likely be snooping on Hafele's site, you may also want to check out the steel mounting rail and cover and associated adjustable par hangers instead of using a cleat.  Par spacing should be no greater than 30" (preferably 24") laterally to prevent shelf sagging and overloading of the pars and their hangers.  One other thing is that the California Closets system uses a 9.5mm spacing (from the top of the pars) for the start of the 32mm system.  That puts holes right where you will need them for the top shelves.  The LR 32 spacing bars (new style) give you that option.  One other thing - if the end pars are to be visible in your closet, you might consider half-boring them so that the exposed sides look like they have no holes.  The far right par would be half-bored left, etc.  You would use the spear-point bit in the LR 32 set to do through-bores and the brad-point bit to do the half-bores, set to a 10mm plunge depth. 

« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 09:07 AM by Sparktrician »
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline denrusso

  • Posts: 43
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 01:00 PM »
I'm now up to creating the section that will contain the drawers.  They'll be 8" high, 24" wide, and 14" deep.  With a 3mm reveal around each drawer face, that leaves 6mm between each drawer face.  Should I have a thin strip of wood between the pars, separating each drawer so that you can't look into the drawer via the reveal?


Thanks,
dr
TS55Req | OF 1400 | Domino 500 | CXS | MFT/3 | LR 32 | FS 3000 | FS 1400 LR 32

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3977
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2013, 01:21 PM »
I'm now up to creating the section that will contain the drawers.  They'll be 8" high, 24" wide, and 14" deep.  With a 3mm reveal around each drawer face, that leaves 6mm between each drawer face.  Should I have a thin strip of wood between the pars, separating each drawer so that you can't look into the drawer via the reveal?


Thanks,
dr

The most common practice is to use a fixed shelf with Rafix hardware to act as a visual barrier above the top drawer.  This also provides lateral stability for the system when it's locked into place.  You might also consider using a fixed shelf below the bottom drawer for the same reasons. 

- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline denrusso

  • Posts: 43
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 01:33 PM »
The most common practice is to use a fixed shelf with Rafix hardware to act as a visual barrier above the top drawer.  This also provides lateral stability for the system when it's locked into place.  You might also consider using a fixed shelf below the bottom drawer for the same reasons. 

I do plan on having fixed shelves at the bottom and top of the set of drawers, just as you suggest.  However, I'll be using dominos to place them.  My question was more about in between the drawers themselves as there will be a total of 5 of them (I don't think I made that clear) stacked.  Should I mount four pieces of wood in between the 5 drawers?


Thanks!
dr
TS55Req | OF 1400 | Domino 500 | CXS | MFT/3 | LR 32 | FS 3000 | FS 1400 LR 32

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3977
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2013, 05:51 PM »
The most common practice is to use a fixed shelf with Rafix hardware to act as a visual barrier above the top drawer.  This also provides lateral stability for the system when it's locked into place.  You might also consider using a fixed shelf below the bottom drawer for the same reasons. 

I do plan on having fixed shelves at the bottom and top of the set of drawers, just as you suggest.  However, I'll be using dominos to place them.  My question was more about in between the drawers themselves as there will be a total of 5 of them (I don't think I made that clear) stacked.  Should I mount four pieces of wood in between the 5 drawers?


Thanks!
dr


I wouldn't bother.  Usually the minimal (3 mm) reveal gap conceals the drawer's contents.  Are you going to use full-length pars that rest on the floor?  If not, I'd rethink using dominoes to join the shelves to the pars.  When the pars are hanging from the normal steel rail (in the California Closets paradigm), they sometimes experience breakage at the hanging adjuster mount holes if overloaded, and replacing a broken par would be a real pain if the shelves are dominoed and glued in place.  Admittedly this is an uncommon occurrence, and happens on the melamine-covered MDF pars.  Plywood is a different story since it's far less susceptible to this kind of breakage.  If you're using plywood and sitting the pars on the floor, three fixed shelves is quite sufficient for keeping the pars in proper alignment with each other; top, bottom and midpoint, much like a bookcase. 

« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 05:55 PM by Sparktrician »
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3569
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Help with a closet
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2013, 12:08 PM »
I wouldn't bother.  Usually the minimal (3 mm) reveal gap conceals the drawer's contents. 
Agreed. you can if you want but it isn't standard practice and really isn't necessary.

Are you going to use full-length pars that rest on the floor?  If not, I'd rethink using dominoes to join the shelves to the pars.  When the pars are hanging from the normal steel rail (in the California Closets paradigm), they sometimes experience breakage at the hanging adjuster mount holes if overloaded, and replacing a broken par would be a real pain if the shelves are dominoed and glued in place.  Admittedly this is an uncommon occurrence, and happens on the melamine-covered MDF pars.  Plywood is a different story since it's far less susceptible to this kind of breakage.  If you're using plywood and sitting the pars on the floor, three fixed shelves is quite sufficient for keeping the pars in proper alignment with each other; top, bottom and midpoint, much like a bookcase. 

Agreed. From the information you have supplied, you are going to hang your pars. I always have a fixed shelf on the bottom of full length pars. I put a cleat on the wall under that fixed bottom shelf to support the unit to prevent breakage as noted by Willy above.
Tim