I have just installed these cool black iron pipe for shelf brackets on an office wall. The wall is 3/4” pine 7.5” wide. Each pipe is attached with 4 #10 screws 1.25 long.

Each board is attached to framing at the top plate and at purlins as indicated. The tape indicates where studs are.

I did not attach directly to studs because it made for odd spacing on these 98” shelves.

I have been questioned about the decision not to attach on studs over strength of shelf concerns.

Is there any reason to think these supports will be inadequate as installed?

Shelves are for books and will be 1” thick pine boards 11.5” wide. Supports are 23” on center.

Should I move the supports to the stud location?

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    I think it's okay for supporting a plank and a few picture frames, but I wouldnt trust it for anything else, much less books. The #10 screws will be ripped right out, the screws would probably be okay for sheer force, if there were a diagonal brace, but I'd think it'll pull out with that amount of leverage. Even in the studs, you'd be looking at sagging and later failure.
    – Gary Bak
    Nov 12, 2018 at 18:23
  • I can hang my body weight 210 lbs off each pipe.
    – Kris
    Nov 12, 2018 at 18:34
  • @Kris Right now you can. But after a year of books and bumping the shelves, etc. it may not be quite as sturdy. Nov 12, 2018 at 18:56
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    I was thinking of pull out being a problem but if you can hang on the bar it should hold as you have multiple support points.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 12, 2018 at 19:09
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    I think it'll be fine. You can always go back and change it if you notice anything. Nov 13, 2018 at 15:06

3 Answers 3


Spread Them Out - 1/2 on Studs

Current setup:

98" shelves, 23" between supports. That means 4 sets of supports with 8.5" hanging on each end.

Proposed setup:

98" shelves, 24" between supports. Still 4 sets of supports, with 7.5" hanging on each end. But now you can put 2 sets of supports into studs - i.e., 1 & 3 are 48" apart = 3 x 16". That assumes studs are every 16", which is standard and appears to at least roughly match your tape.

In each support, if it is in a stud, make sure 2 screws are solidly in the stud (it will likely be hard to get all 4 into the studs, but that's OK). If the support is between studs, use toggles for 2 screws for increased strength.

With that, I think you should be OK even with a full load of books.

Alternatively, you could go to all supports in studs, but I think given the nature of the supports and the wall (3/4" pine should be much stronger than 1/2" drywall), I don't think that's necessary.

Just be careful. I remember many years ago shelves at a job (installed by the maintenance guy, not by me) falling down under the weight of PC backup tape drives. So I tend to overdo it from experience.

  • Ok am I right you are saying move the middle 2 onto the studs and leave the outer 2 as they are?
    – Kris
    Nov 12, 2018 at 19:18
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    No. That would leave you with a relatively uneven structure - one section 16" and 2 much longer. I mean move them all so that they are all 24" with either 1 & 3 or 2 & 4 in studs and the others with toggles. Nov 12, 2018 at 19:21
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    I added a picture to show the full run of the shelf area
    – Kris
    Nov 12, 2018 at 19:26
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    Moving from left to right, I would move the 1st support just a couple of inches to the right to be on the stud, the 2nd a few inches to be centered between studs, the 3rd a few inches to be on the stud and the 4th a few inches for symmetry. Nov 12, 2018 at 19:32
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    I did this today it looks very good and the 2 that are mounted to the studs are rock solid.
    – Kris
    Nov 15, 2018 at 4:00

Attaching to the studs would be best practice but you already have them up and they are "relatively" strong


I would had one toggle anchor to to each bracket on the upper most hole just for good measure and peace of mind.


I had a similar situation and my 1st thought was using the toggle bolts as suggested already. My wife reads a lot of heavy books. There still there along with heavy antique bookends. I used the toggles that open up to around 3 or so inches. My paneling was thinner than what your wall has.

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