June 30, 2008

Into the Closet

When my house was built 20-odd years ago, ventilated wire shelving was the new rage. So new, that it still had a few problems. The vinyl coating turned out to be a bad idea as it got sticky with age, and the clothes rod didn't allow hangers to slide very far. Like about 10 inches. Grrrr.

Well, I replaced my closet shelf/rod the other day. My hangers can now slide from one end to the other with only minor hanger bumping at the two braces.

BTW, the brown hangers date from when plastic hangers were new and only sold at hoity-toity department stores. These were 29 cents each in about 1977 and have lasted because they're heavier and thicker than current iterations. I can't recall any of them breaking yet.

The new shelf/rod is also nearly twice as long as the original. The closet installer (the shelving was so new it wasn't yet available for self-installation!) put in rods at two heights, and given my personal lack of height, I rarely used the higher rod. So I replaced the half-width lower rod with a full-width one. That required a bracket for the end; also the shelf design had a different bracket. Here's a focused-on-the-wrong-part shot of the correct bracket.

Because I wanted the new rod in the same place as the old to minimize the number of brackets to move and holes in the wall, I ended up reusing the original end bracket, making it work by inserting matching shelf hooks so the height is correct.

It's a bit of a kludge, but the alternative was to relocate everything. The new bracket is self-anchoring and the old one has traditional plastic plug anchors. Removing and replacing wall anchors is not IMO a good thing to try. This picture also shows the special screw that require special drivers or driver bits. Those Closet Maid people were sneaky, but I foiled them by acquiring a square-tip bit a long time ago.

The new shelf design made new angle brackets necessary. They're just a little longer as well, so I did have to put two new holes in the wall, but I found the studs and fastened the wall end very securely indeed. It was surprising to discover the original installation didn't fasten to the studs.

My new, free-sliding, wider, stronger shelf/rod makes me smile.

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