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A Safe Computer Shelf?

Ok, I had 2 IKEA PC workstations groaning under a lot of stuff and a set of shelves 10ft away for the printer router and modems.

Decided to mount everything other than the laser printer on a shelf above the now relatively bare PC workstations, bare other than for the laser printer the keyboards and mouses/mice

Now have you ever thought how much this weighs!!!!

Shelf brackets..

Think hardback books....LOTS of books.... not pottery figurines!

BUT what already gets mounted on the wall?

Bingo... MICROWAVES!!!!!!!!!.. These are bulky and heavy things!!!

IN the UK you can buy cheap pairs of microwave brackets for a tenner (10 UKP) each good for 15kg a pair plus

So apart from the shelf sticking out further than a microwave does, these babies are great.......

The ones above are the "bees knees", I have used AVF stuff for TVs and HIFIs and it is quality!!!!!

Go buy some here!!!

Not sure if it s 60 kg per pair or individual?

They come with screws and plastic wallplugs BUT beware...

Don't get screwed.......

IF you live in a house with soft bricks ( built in the UK Victorian era or between the wars excluding Accrington Brick) and/or there are any soft concrete blocks or thermalite blocks in your house's construction... the plastic plugs supplied might just crush the brick down!!!!!

ARE YOU Uncertain of what to use.... ask the man in B&Q.... he helped me out!!!

You mightr be advised to ditch the things supplied and get tooled up with RAWLBOLTS!!!

Rawlbolt® Bolt Projecting Anchor

Suitable for situations where it is useful to support the weight of the fixture during installations. For use in concrete and brickwork. Ideal for overhead and ceiling work or heavy items. Securing cable trays, ducting and trunking. Installing lift guides and radiator brackets. Installing partitions and structural fixtures. Timber wall plates. Twenty sizes available - M6 - M24.

These expand in the hole and can be set up to expand maybe 2"-3" into the wall ensuring you are getting a sound grip

If the wall is soft expect to see a lot of thread emerging until it grips!!!!

NEVER make the hole oversize as the RAWLBOLT will not be able to grip far enough.



The Shelving

The wood the shelf is made of will have to be pretty substantial, mine was 1" composite board with wood veneer

IF you do not have the shelf supported (at say 18" spacing or less with a bracket no more than 6" from each end) you may have problems with the shelf lifting at one end if unloaded at the other OR sagging/bowing/twisting.......


CAUTION: these rawlbolts have a thread that emerges from the wall as you tighten them up, the spare thread will need trimming off (right)

Doing this "in situ" (left) is a waste of time as you will damage the wall with your hacksaw and may not have enough clearance

thread the nut all the way onto the rawlbolt

trim the threaded rod down to leave say 1" plus the thickness needed by the bracket, run the nut off the end of the threaded rod

IF you had cut it off without the nut in place you would have difficulty getting a nut back on ;)

Lining UP

Remember to allow for the thickness of the shelf

THEN Mark a short line on the wall along where the bottom of the shelf will hopefully be...

Space the location of brackets at say 18" apart with the outer ones no more than 6" from the shelf ends...

extend the line using a spirit level

Hold the brackets in place by hand aligned with respect to the line

Mark the PROPOSED holes with pencil on the wall

OK now here goes...

Fix in brick not mortar!

image from

If BY ACCIDENT you screw up your lining up you might sink holes in the mortar BETWEEN the bricks or blocks


TAKE time to drill SMALL pilot holes, 4-6mm or something and look for brick or blockdust in all holes (good)

IF the shelf is not too heavily loaded you might be ok if the middle or bottom bolt is in mortar... probably not if the top is!!!!

Unless your house was built by idiots or surrealists the HORIZONTAL line of mortar should extend as a level to avoid from now on by moving the reference (first) bracket up or down

HOWEVER there is mortar showing in all holes.... you might just have a hole lying on the vertical mortar line too!

One hole giving mortar will probably be cured by moving the bracket up or down a bit.....

ANd the same applies regarding locating the rest of the brackets....... BUT only left right for these if you are fixing the first as a HARD REFERENCE

Expect to have the final approx locations of your brackets a bit to the left or right of where planned !!! BUT always level with each other

SO Geting #1 aligned vertically is essential!!!

Fix the first bracket

The brackets normally have one hole lozenge shaped to allow for left-right "yaw" adjustment

Fix the bracket in place with JUST the "adjustable" screw AND the one furthest away from it

Tighten them almost tight

Use a sprit level to align the bracket (right)

mark the position of the remaining hole

REMOVE the bracket, drill the remaining hole

REFIT the first bracket nice and tight

NOTE! See the traces of the first holes drilled to the right... spot on into the mortar or a block in the wall where the fireplace used to be

BE PREPARED to move your brackets to the left or right to hit solid masonry!!!!


Fix the rest of the brackets

With one bracket fixed to the wall you NOW have a firm reference point for the horizontal

Use the first bracket as a place to rest your spirit level right across to #2 and left across to #3 as well (right)

Proceed accordingly as above but remember you can only adjust the positioning LEFT or RIGHT...

NOT up and down!!!!

Note the 5UKP B&Q shelf already fixed below the main shelf for the print server, Dial up and ADSL modems


If you can put reasonable pressure on the end of the bracket and it pulls out of the wall THIS IS UNSATISFACTORY!!

Likewise you putting 50kg force on it when the estimated load is 25kg is stupid!!!

Carefully observe the clearances between the brackets and the wall for signs of opening up....

Take care and enjoy your new computer shelf, this page describes my own technique, I am a GEOLOGIST not a BUILDER so if you think I am wrong DON'T do it this way yourself.... I may be wrong... but to date (November 29, 2003) I am not pinned to the floor by 2 PCs a scanner, a UPS and a Printer!!!


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