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Old 08-08-2012, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,321 posts, read 4,381,271 times
Reputation: 8639

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Has anyone used these brackets to build shelves?

Amazon.com: Simpson Strong-Tie RTC24 Ridgid Tie Connectors (Pack of 10): Home Improvement

Those are for 2x4s, and I am in the midst of making a shelving unit with them (bought much cheaper than shown with that link), but they have a similar product for 2x2s that I am actually more interested in for a different purpose. HOWEVER, the company doesn't have a load rating for the 2x2 brackets, and their technical support rep didn't want to even guesstimate. I guess they can't for liability reasons, but you can download a .pdf of plans from their main web site, and the first project the document shows is a 4'-wide, 16"-deep shelving unit made with 2x2s and their 2x2 brackets. The unit I want to build with 2x2s would be 4' wide but 21" deep (and maybe 1/2" plywood instead of the 1/4" plywood they show in their plans document, although 1/4" might be fine?). All I am asking for is a BALLPARK weight capacity per shelf. With a 4' wide unit, the maximum weight per shelf I would need is 150 lbs., and likely much less, like 100 lbs. FYI, shelves made out of their 2x4 brackets and 2x4s are rated for 1800 LBS. PER SHELF using 4 brackets (450 lbs. download per bracket), so it seems like shelves made with 2x2 brackets and 2x2s should be able to hold 1/12 of that, right? Or am I missing something important?

Any help/tips would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:52 AM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
17,598 posts, read 23,805,174 times
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Spend $20 on a decent hammer (I like Estwing) and $10 on a box of nails.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Alaska
5,154 posts, read 9,519,015 times
Reputation: 3505
Or if you have a drill or impact screwdriver, a box of screws will work and you can take it apart later and re-use it. I'd go with star-drive screws.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:50 PM
 
21,720 posts, read 37,184,337 times
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Default Not for lateral load...

...I have remodeled more than a few homes over the years and I have seen even experienced carpenters misuse these sorts of brackets. They are designed to ensure that board stay aligned. The prevent boards from getting ****-eyed in either the build process of separating after construction. The board still need to supported and secured at the load-rated span and along the butt end.

The load rating of the angled of sheet metal they are made from is a FRACTION of the wood itself -- you can generally squeeze / twist the things out of shape with your bare hands -- something that even an Olympic powerlifter could not do with a 2x2 along its bearing plane.

If you are doing this to achieve a rough "industrial" look it makes sense, but to actually build a solid bookcase that will support the full rated load that the wood is capable you ought to look at something like a Kreg pocket screw *** -- How to Use Pocket Screws | The Family Handyman , it is really more of a cabinet maker's way of building, lots cheaper too.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
3,351 posts, read 10,920,412 times
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I use 2x2's to build cages for my tomatoes. Just grab some 2x4's (or 2x3's if you want smaller looking lumber) and nail it up. With a decent design, you could support 3 times the weight you want to.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,321 posts, read 4,381,271 times
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Barking Spider, just wanted to say I love the shelves you built (you posted a photo of them at my request in another thread several months ago, about bin warehouse alternatives). But I didn't have enough confidence to build those myself, hence my use of the brackets for this, my first attempt. (I was actually trying to follow the instructions at Some Simple Shelving For Your House | Ask the Builder as they seemed straightforward enough, but of course studs are hard to find in exterior basement walls ...)

Chet, the "industrial look" is fine for these shelves -- they will go in my basement and garage and just need to be utilitarian. And the biggest reason I chose to use the brackets to build my first shelving unit was because they are (relatively) easy for keeping shelves aligned -- I am building these by myself and it's hard to keep things aligned when I am just nailing boards.

I did check out that Family Handyman article -- I actually subscribe to that magazine but didn't remember seeing that article (but it's from 2003 so that's not surprising!). I will keep this in mind for future projects when looks are more imporant. I am going to try to take a woodworking class at my college in the spring -- I have read a LOT but it doesn't seem to me to be the type of thing you can teach yourself from books/articles. At least I can't.

Thank you all for the replies, I will rep you if they will let me (i.e. if I haven't too recently!).
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,227 posts, read 2,842,074 times
Reputation: 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Has anyone used these brackets to build shelves?

Amazon.com: Simpson Strong-Tie RTC24 Ridgid Tie Connectors (Pack of 10): Home Improvement

Those are for 2x4s, and I am in the midst of making a shelving unit with them (bought much cheaper than shown with that link), but they have a similar product for 2x2s that I am actually more interested in for a different purpose. HOWEVER, the company doesn't have a load rating for the 2x2 brackets, and their technical support rep didn't want to even guesstimate. I guess they can't for liability reasons, but you can download a .pdf of plans from their main web site, and the first project the document shows is a 4'-wide, 16"-deep shelving unit made with 2x2s and their 2x2 brackets. The unit I want to build with 2x2s would be 4' wide but 21" deep (and maybe 1/2" plywood instead of the 1/4" plywood they show in their plans document, although 1/4" might be fine?). All I am asking for is a BALLPARK weight capacity per shelf. With a 4' wide unit, the maximum weight per shelf I would need is 150 lbs., and likely much less, like 100 lbs. FYI, shelves made out of their 2x4 brackets and 2x4s are rated for 1800 LBS. PER SHELF using 4 brackets (450 lbs. download per bracket), so it seems like shelves made with 2x2 brackets and 2x2s should be able to hold 1/12 of that, right? Or am I missing something important?

Any help/tips would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!
To answer your basic question Simpson rates the RTC series at 40 Lbs/Sq. Ft. Simpson is great with their documentation and you can find the RTC series specifications here RTC/FWH Rigid Tie™ Connectors. That's an excellent idea for your first project to use the RTC series for the shelves. Not sure if you were referring to this DIY link from Simpson or not http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/fliers/...OJCTPAD06.pdf?

Simpson Strong-Tie products are without a doubt excellent products. They have a production facility close to me and I attend their training often. Part of the training is usually a brief tour of their plant and testing facilities. They put a lot of design and production effort into their products and their people are very knowledgeable from the top down.

Good luck on the project and let us know what you finally decide on.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:33 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,321 posts, read 4,381,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escanlan View Post
To answer your basic question Simpson rates the RTC series at 40 Lbs/Sq. Ft. Simpson is great with their documentation and you can find the RTC series specifications here RTC/FWH Rigid Tie™ Connectors. That's an excellent idea for your first project to use the RTC series for the shelves. Not sure if you were referring to this DIY link from Simpson or not http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/fliers/...OJCTPAD06.pdf?
Not sure where you got 40 lbs./square foot? I don't see that anywhere in their documentation. The first link you included above is one that gives 450 lbs. download for the 2x4 brackets, but it has "n/a" for the 2x2 brackets (the RTA2Z). I was on the phone with their tech support people yesterday (one at a regional office, then after 20+ minutes she transferred me to their home office), and NO ONE would give me an answer for the shelf built with 2x2s -- they said they don't HAVE an answer as that hasn't been tested, and they would not even give me a ballpark figure (apparently for liability reasons). The first person I spoke with for 20+ minutes said she'd worked there for 11 years and no one had ever asked her for the shelf capacity of the shelf built with 2x2's. I thought that was odd since the 2x2 shelf is the first one on that project sheet (the .pdf file -- mine is the exact same as the one you posted here but it ends in 08 instead of 06). To me it seems like a pretty basic question to ask the "shelf load" of a project they have available for download at their site.

Could you please tell me where you got the 40 lbs./square foot? Seems like that would vary depending on 2x4 vs. 2x2, shelf width & depth, etc. Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:34 AM
 
21,720 posts, read 37,184,337 times
Reputation: 10714
I am pretty sure that the 40 lbs/sq ft number is going to be the "deforming" point of the bracket itself, and like I said you can deliver that with your bare hands. (average human grip strength is around 40 lbs /sq INCH... http://www.chacha.com/question/what-...er-square-inch ) Just for comparision the sorts of wood fiber decking boards that are often used for building up a flat roof or industrial type structure are much stronger: http://products.construction.com/swt...329/499870.pdf

The total load that a completed shelf can hold is a factor of the span between the sides and the relative deflection that the shelf itself allows -- a reinforced shelf (typically done with an additional strip down the middle) will support a far greater load than unreinforced plywood. The unreinforced plywood will flex and that puts additional tension on the ends...

For most cabinet builders they really don't need to calculate the max load, as 99% of commercial shelving is metal and if the customer wants wood look they just build out a wood trim to surround the rated steel supports and shelves... Scotland Rack, Ltd: Industrial Steel Shelving, Warehouse Rack, Open Shelf Filing how they are tested: Scotland Rack, Ltd: Industrial Steel Shelving, Warehouse Rack, Open Shelf Filing

Last edited by chet everett; 08-09-2012 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,227 posts, read 2,842,074 times
Reputation: 1967
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Not sure where you got 40 lbs./square foot? I don't see that anywhere in their documentation. The first link you included above is one that gives 450 lbs. download for the 2x4 brackets, but it has "n/a" for the 2x2 brackets (the RTA2Z). I was on the phone with their tech support people yesterday (one at a regional office, then after 20+ minutes she transferred me to their home office), and NO ONE would give me an answer for the shelf built with 2x2s -- they said they don't HAVE an answer as that hasn't been tested, and they would not even give me a ballpark figure (apparently for liability reasons). The first person I spoke with for 20+ minutes said she'd worked there for 11 years and no one had ever asked her for the shelf capacity of the shelf built with 2x2's. I thought that was odd since the 2x2 shelf is the first one on that project sheet (the .pdf file -- mine is the exact same as the one you posted here but it ends in 08 instead of 06). To me it seems like a pretty basic question to ask the "shelf load" of a project they have available for download at their site.

Could you please tell me where you got the 40 lbs./square foot? Seems like that would vary depending on 2x4 vs. 2x2, shelf width & depth, etc. Thanks!
The shelf plans in the link above are using the RTC series connectors. The link you are referring to for the 08 version is http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/fliers/DIY-PROJECT08.pdf. It also uses the RTC series connectors. The RTA series was apparently intended for light duty use as a replacement for gussets and stiffeners and not necessarily to support weight like the RTC series which is a structural connector. Anything of significant structural build Simpson Strong-Tie does test heavily and also typically submits to The International Code Council, Evaluation Services, for inclusion in accepted ES reports. Since the RTA series are intended for light duty (however Simpson Strong-Tie chooses to define that) it was most likely not in their plans for extensive engineering, testing, ICC ES inclusion, etc.

Here is a handy guide from Simpson Strong-Tie on their product uses for DIY, as well as other Home Projects Connectors Catalog: Download PDFs.
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