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I have a kitchen wall which is made of wooden boards separated by U-shaped recessed channels. Rental house, so no drilling possible, but it occurs to me that if there were such a thing as an expanding fastener, something like an "inverse" clamp, it could pressure-fit into the channels and provide a movable anchor from which to hang pots and pans.

Does such a thing exist? I think it's different from slatwall in garages, as that has a lip on the upper side of each channel for the hook to grab onto. These channels don't have any lip, so it'd have to just be expansion that does the trick.

Wall with channels

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    There are expanding rubber clamp like objects, but do not think you have enough depth for them to work well. Have you thought of the glue on/sticky(peel and stick) hooks? They should work for light weight pots and pans, they are usually good for at least a few pounds.
    – crip659
    Sep 9 at 12:38
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    I think because the channel opens outward it will tend to gradually release anything installed by compression, so hanging heavy objects that way would be dangerous.
    – jay613
    Sep 9 at 16:19
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    Contact the landlord to see if this was sold as part of a particular brand of "hanging wall system". That may have been the intent, but the hangars are missing/never purchased. If you know the brand, you could get some of your own.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 9 at 16:24
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    Depending on the type of metal, you may be able to hang things using magnets. Sep 9 at 16:41
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    Is the top one slightly recessed? I have seen that where the hangers are placed in the slots and rotated 90 degrees so the combination of being stuck in the slot and the top not able to pull out my friends had all there cast cookware hanging on a similar setup but I can’t see if there is a recess on the top.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 10 at 19:53
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That might be a Slatwall and hooks are available:

enter image description here

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    This was my first throught, too, but the OP specifically mentioned that they're not Slatwall, and zooming in on the image shows that the top of the channel is closed, not open for the hook. :(
    – FreeMan
    Sep 9 at 16:23
  • I should read more carefully before posting an answer. Sep 10 at 13:47
  • No worries! I've misread my fair share of posts, especially in the last week or so...
    – FreeMan
    Sep 10 at 13:47
  • Well, at your age....that's to be expected. Sep 11 at 4:36
  • Hey! I resemble that remark!
    – FreeMan
    Sep 11 at 16:22
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Use double sided foam tape to glue plastic hooks to the back of the channel. That should be strong enough for a frying pan, and the glue can be removed from the metal channels with goo-gone if required. (I wouldn't use sticky tape on the wood).

OR

Use a dremel to cut slits in the upper rear corner of the channels, into which you can insert slatwall hooks. The slits will not be visible if you use the channel that is just below eye level.

OR

Get some nuts, bolts, and a hacksaw. Cut the bolts so they fit exactly, tightly, vertically in the channel. Insert them that way with nuts, then "loosen" the nut so it compresses against the top/bottom of the channel. One of two things will happen: A) this will work, or B) because the channel opens outwards, it will tend to bend open and release the nut and bolt. Probably B. Then, maybe if you glue the nut and bolt to the channel just before rotating, and don't over-rotate, maybe that'll work if the objects you hang aren't too heavy.

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You might be able to find some small expansion plugs that would be the right size to grab into the channel, but as they’re round, they wouldn’t have a large surface area for contact.

Whatever you find to attach to the channel, I wouldn’t recommend hooks attached to individual plugs— I would make something to span two channels, so the rotational force on the hook results in pushing the lower fastener into the wall tighter.

Even better would be to use the fasteners to attach a grid over the whole wall, and then attach the hooks to the grid. This would spread each load across multiple fasteners, and greatly reduce the pulling force that moments would create.

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