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Background

In the kitchen I have an 80cm wide recess that perfectly fit with my 80cm wide x 72cm tall cupboards I got as a gift when moving in. One of the cupboards stands on the floor in the recess and I wish to mount the second one on the wall above it.

The cupboard has two rectangular loops on either side screwed to the back for hanging it on a hook. Normally I wouldn't have a problem mounting it, however because I'm mounting it inside a recess, after measuring everything it turns out the furthest I can drill from the corner wall to still fit the hook inside the loop is 2,5cm. This is a problem, because the drill I have is too wide to drill this close to the corner without the wall on the side getting in the way.

I prefer to not modify the cabinet itself, as my (shady) modification most likely won't handle the load and I prefer not risking it with 4 cats in the house.

Problem

I need to drill a hole for a screw anchor 2,5cm from the concave corner, but the drill I have is too wide to fit in that corner.

Possible solution

The possible solution I have is to drill the hole at an angle, at 70-60 degrees horizontally instead of the usual 90 degrees. The drill bit is long enough to drill the hole at that angle without obstruction but I'm afraid it could negatively impact the load-bearing ability of the wall plugs. I don't know how valid this concern is since this is a second time in my lifetime when I mount something on a wall with a drill.

Additional info

The wall is some depth of plaster (I'm guessing 1-2cm) over red bricks. For mounting I'm using Fischer Wall Plugs 55010 with corresponding-size L-shaped hooks. The cupboard looks like on this picture and the loops on the back of the cupboard look similar to those.

The side wall is 40cm deep on the one side and 20-25cm deep on the other side.

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Several options

Drill at an angle: Just use a longer drill, anchor, and screw to achieve more depth into the brick. You can also use a short drill extension (10cm) to reduce the angle a little, rather than a very long extension that takes you entirely out of the recess.

Use the side wall: Your problem is the back of the cabinet is just a flimsy decorative panel, you can only use the side panels for mounting. That is what those hooks are for. But since your cabinet will be in a recess you can also drill one or two additional holes through the side of the cabinet into the side wall, using suitable anchors there and screws to add support for the cabinet using its side wall. If there is a gap between the cabinet and the side wall of the recess, fill it with washers or shims so you can tighten the screw fully. Then use the hook only for the opposite side, or combine this approach with a crooked hole for this hook.

Strengthen with plywood: Throw away the hooks. Buy a piece of 1cm plywood the size of your cabinet, and screw it using suitable screws to the back of the cabinet. The same kinds of screws that are supplied to attach the hooks should work, just 1cm longer, and you can use more of them, all around the edges. Then you can screw the plywood to the wall by drilling wherever you want, it doesn't have to be so near the edge.

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  • Suggestion with plywood is a good advice but I'd prefer to use the resources I already have. Drilling through the sides of the cabinet seem safer than risking it with inserting hooks at an angle. Out of curiosity, why would you prefer to modify the cabinet with plywood instead of using mounting rail, which seems to be a standard nowadays from what I found when I was search for tips on mounting furniture? Jun 15 at 14:45
  • A mounting rail would also work well. If the cabinet sides are chipboard I'd want as many screws as possible spread around them. So for the cabinet part of the rail, use a wide strip, maybe 3 or 4 inches wide to spread the screws around. My idea with plywood was just taking that to extreme. Not necessarily better than a rail.
    – jay613
    Jun 15 at 16:13
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Get a drill bit extension

Something similar to one of these:
enter image description here enter image description here
Images courtesy of Lowes.com. No recommendation intended or implied

The first one will work with any drill and bit - you insert the bit then tighten down both of the little set screws. I've got one of these and it does work, but it's a bit of a pain. (I long ago used a bit of masking tape to hold the hex key to the bit to ensure that I could find it next time I needed it - that was a long time ago.)

The second one works with quick-release hex-shank drill bits and they snap in/out of the bit holder end just like they would attach directly to the drill itself.

You don't indicate how deep your space is, but purchase one that's long enough to get the bit to the wall while keeping the body of the drill out of the recess.


Purchase a long drill bit.

My local big-box home-improvement store sells bits as long as 48" (~120cm). These are available in the electrical supply aisle, as electricians use them to drill holes through top/bottom wall plates when adding new wiring to existing walls without having to cut huge holes in the wall to fit the drill itself into.

I can't imagine you'd need something that long for your recess, but in the tool aisle, along side the "regular" short bits, they also sell bits up to 12" (~30cm) or so in length.


Drill at an angle

As an alternative, you've indicated that you're putting the new cabinet above an existing one. If the top is actually resting its weight on the bottom one, all the wall-plug/screw combination is really doing is keeping the new one from being tipped out of the recess by a careless user (including the 4-legged kind), so it's not supporting a lot of weight. In that case, I would be tempted to simply drill as straight as possible, but accept that the plug/screw won't be at a precise 90° angle to the wall and call it a day.

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  • The top cabinet needs to be elevated because there is an electrical socket getting in the way and the space is so tight that it won't fit. Depth is between 20 and 25cm on one side and 40cm on the other (thankfully the wall ends to accommodate the window). From what I understand from your answer, drilling at an angle is not a good idea. I think getting 50 cm drill bit will be the best option. Jun 15 at 11:48
  • @ReverentLapwing I'm not an expert on those wall-plugs, but I would think that they're only guaranteed to support the specified weight if installed according to instructions. I suppose that you could get oversized ones, expecting that they won't support as much weight when installed at an angle (maybe a 100Kg rated pair and expect them to only support 50Kg when not installed properly, for a very made up example), but yes, in the situation you've now identified, I would really recommend just getting a longer drill bit.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 15 at 12:19
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those plugs will probably be stronger at an angle.

If you're drilling into brick or concrete a drill extension is not going to work well, you'll need to use a long drill bit if you want to reduce the angle.

If the cupboard exactly fits the alcove you can drill and screw through the sides of the cupboard into the end walls instead, that will be stronger than the back hooks.

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    I agree with through-the-side but can you explain how plugs are stronger when not perpendicular to the wall? If that were true, to go to extremes, they would be strongest if they are parallel to the wall and do not enter it at all :)
    – jay613
    Jun 15 at 12:58
  • they will jam against the side of the hole instead of pulling out
    – Jasen
    Jun 15 at 13:29
  • I'm not sure first part of your answer is correct, but I asked this question because I couldn't find any information on the internet myself. When plug is inserted at an angle, it pushes against a single side of the wall as opposed to all around as it should. Wouldn't the front-facing side of the wall become weaker and weaker over time from constant pulling? If you know from somewhere they could be stronger by inserting them at an angle, could you share where does that information comes from? Other than that the rest of the answer is a good advice and I'm considering drilling sideways. Jun 15 at 14:30
  • it depends on the angle how much weaker the wall becomes though the angle applications of the plug. in my experience in solid walls usually the plug pulls out instead of the wall failing, and a skew plug would resist pull out in much the same way that skew nailing resists pull-out,
    – Jasen
    Jun 16 at 5:01

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