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So my wall mount teleco rack arrived. However my studs are 15" apart, not 16" so I can't put lag screws into more than one stud.

I don't want to drill into the metal so close to the opening already.

If I put plywood against the wall, secured to 3 studs (2 are next to each other about 5" apart)

Would that hold a rack supporting 200lbs? Would 1" plywood be enough?

Putting a stud next to the other is an option however it would involve removing Sheetrock.

  • can you use dimensional lumber instead of plywood, like one or more 2" x 6" or 2" x 8" boards? Plywood does not have much strength to support a large fastener or lag bolt. – Jimmy Fix-it Oct 30 '14 at 3:12
  • I guess I can use 2x6's and put them up verticaly. Then use 4" lag screws for the 2x6 into the 2x4 and 3" lag bolts for the rack ? – user1052448 Oct 30 '14 at 3:34
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Even if your studs are 15" apart, and the holes are 16" apart, there will be a portion of the stud behind the mounting holes, just not the center of the studs.

Angling the lag screws a little, and using washers to buffer the head of the lags against the metal of the rack will aid in tightening.

Beyond that, I would not hesitate to elongate the existing hole to allow it to get a better centering on the studs, or even abandoning using lags, and drilling a series of 3/16" holes, maybe 4 or 5 or more and using drywall screws on each side instead. There has been mention that drywall screws don't hold a lot, since they are brittle, but if there is enough used, brittle don't matter. In a pinch, in my opinion, 4 drywall screws would hold 200 lbs. but I would not stop there, I would use at least that many on just one side, if I used the screws.

The screws would not have a tendency so much as to split out the side of the stud, compared to lags. But a properly sized pilot hole will allow the lags to perform in this "tight" situation.

Angling any of these fasteners will help deter the splitting out at the side of the stud.

  • I may look at elongating the rack. Not sure if I have any tools to do so. Would a Dremel work? Which bit would you recommend? – user1052448 Oct 30 '14 at 3:44
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    Yes a Dremel is a good tool for that, although it will take a while. I have used my drill with the size metal bit chucked into it that matched the hole already in it and forced it to one side to elongate. Barbaric, but effective. The washer will cover any "uglies" created but the procedure. If you go that route, the drill wants to walk in the direction of rotation, so you need to compensate with pressure to force it in the proper direction. I truly think angling with a proper sized pilot hole is your best bet.... – Jack Oct 30 '14 at 3:56
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    +1, I agree with everything except drywall screws; use deck screws -I prefer Deck Mates (or a knock-off equivalent). – Mazura Oct 30 '14 at 4:18
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    I have a box of deck screws. I think 3" in length. Might use that as a second option. – user1052448 Oct 30 '14 at 4:20
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    Careful on the length of your screws. An 1 1/4" into the framing, not including the drywall and metal thickness is good for holding a lot. Go past that and you may risk screwing into something (wires) in the wall. Small chance but possible (murphy's law). – Jack Oct 30 '14 at 4:25

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