Building Stuff with Wood – French Cleats

17 Oct

We like to think that De Jungle is all things to all people all the time. Not only do we like to talk about books, movies, government, etc., we also like to discuss woodworking (it shows what multimedia Renaissance folks we are.) Today we’ll discuss French cleats. These nifty things will help you hang pictures, shelves, whatever.

We recently needed to mount an oval shaped photograph encased in plexiglass. The traditional wire-and-hanger arrangement wouldn’t do, as the photo, while not heavy, was big and bulky. We also didn’t want to drill holes in the plexiglass to attach the wire.

oval picture with wooden frame

oval picture with wooden frame (seen from back of picture)

We used poplar to make a square frame and attached it to the plexiglass with epoxy (the frame was to prevent the plexiglass from warping.)

Frame with Cleats

Frame with Cleats


We attached a cleat to the top of the frame with the point of the cleat facing away from the artwork

Side View

Side view with grey wall at left


Here is a cutaway view showing the frame and artwork from the side. The cleat is in blue, whereas the amber color represents the artwork. The bottom cleat is in yellow attached to the grey wall at the left. (In real life, you wouldn’t be able to view the top cleat from the side, but we needed a way to illustrate it.)

In short, we think French cleats are an excellent way to help you hang objects when wire just won’t do.

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