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Old 02-02-2009, 10:03 PM   #1
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Hi -I'm Doug from El Paso, Tx - an amatuer handyman looking forward to picking up some useful info from experts.

We recently needed to hang some heavy-duty shelving in an office space and needed to get through the sheetrock, the gap behind the sheetrock (about 2 1/2 in.) and then into the cinder block (wasn't hollow). A series of 2x4's placed vertically was being attached to the interior wall and the total drilling depth was about 4 1/2 in. Attempts to pre-drill and then use lead anchors in the cinder block proved unsuccessful for us (amatuers). Another shopping run and we found 5 1/2 in. Tapcons (said to be the longest available.) To date, the fully loaded shelving is still in place. The question I have is: What could we have used if the needed drilling depth would have been greater? As it is, there was only about an inch or so of Tapcon biting in the pre-drilled hole, so we loaded in quite a few extra to ease our fears... if there exists some other fastener we would probably go back and load them in as well.

Thanks for listening... dneely

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Old 02-02-2009, 11:14 PM   #2
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Butterfly toggle screws would be about the only other way to go that I can think if you cannot get to the back side of the wall. But if it wasn't hollow block, that wouldn't work. Red-heads don't work too well in block, period.

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Old 02-02-2009, 11:18 PM   #3
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Ayuh,...

I would screw into the 2x4s to support the shelving,..

If I didn't think the 2x4 were firmly attached to the concrete wall,...
I might predrill,+ use a pile of those 5, 1/2" tapcons to Securely attach 'em....
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:22 AM   #4
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That sheetrock has to be fastened to some kind of studs, probably steel if this is a commercial structure. You should have screwed the vertical 2x4s to the studs, or, if the spacing didn't work for your desired location, screw some 1x4s horizontally across the studs and screw the 2x4s to those. Tapcons are strong, but not designed to be holding a lot of weight hanging out in space like that. If the bottoms of your 2x4s are resting on the floor so they support the load instead of being part of the load I expect you'll probably be OK, though. If they don't reach the floor, I'd consider it an accident waiting to happen. Hope you're not in an earthquake prone area
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:34 AM   #5
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Dneely:

I agree with RatherBeFishing.

Think of it this way: If there were no strapping behind that drywall, how was it hung? In mid air? There had to be something to hang the drywall onto, and you should have found out where it was and fastened your 2X4's through the drywall to it. (or as previously suggested, fastened horizontal boards to the strapping through the drywall, and then fastened your 2X4's to those boards where convenient.)

Invest in a Zircon stud finder. You can buy them at any hardware store or home center. That tool would have allowed you to find any wooden strapping behind the drywall. I've never worked with steel studs, so I don't know if that tool can be used to find steel studs, but I suspect so.

If the wooden 2X4's aren't resting on the ground, then I agree it's an accident waiting to happen, and it won't take an earthquake to precipitate it. Some secretary standing on a chair and putting a foot on one shelf to get at the stapler on the top shelf would be enough to bring down the shelving.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:26 AM   #6
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Ok, let's attack this from the opposite direction.

This is an office, right? Hopefully a hanging grid & ceiling tile ceiling? Probably steel joists overhead.

Steel bar joists make excellent hangers, especially right up near the wall. Can you get into the ceiling to see if there is some way you can hang those 2 x 4's off the bar joists (or any type of joists right up against the wall) where the few hundred pounds of load won't really effect much?
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:33 PM   #7
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I didn't read anything about load on the shelving, manufacturer's model, etc. If I knew that, I could give some advice.

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