Intro: French Cleat for Dummies
How to make a French Cleat when you don't have a table saw.
Step 1: Got Wood...
so you need wood, sounds like a personal problem...he he.
I chose 1"x6"x8'.
I rip them at 45° down the middle-ish to make 2 cleats at a time.
I don't have a pick up so I had the store cut them to 4' to make them easier to handle.
1"x6" isn't the only size you can go for, 3" just seemed about right for what I was looking for.
Step 2: So, Where Is Half When You're Cutting at 45°?
ok, so I know that there is probably some really easy math to figure this out. Fourtunatly, there is also some easy lines I can draw to find this also.
I started by using a straight edge to make an X on the end. I then used my square to put a line through center. then I used the 45° side of the square to make a smaller X in the center. then I extended the lines to one of the faces of the board to align my guide.
Step 3: Set Up
so, I used my battery powered Ryobi cause it's what I got, and it is way underpowered for the job and eats through batteries, but it worked. I purchased a generic guide kit for it to allow me to attempt a strait line.
you gatta secure this board some how.
I used one of those Black & Decker work benches that cranks open and closed. also used some worthless Harbor Freight clamps...almost worthless, they kinda hold.
You need to align your guide to cut on one of the diagonal lines you drew earlier.
Step 4: Cut..it..up!
ok, so now you can cut. if you lined your guide up correctly, you will be cutting down the middle, or close enough to it, at 45°.
I clamped one end in the bench, cut til the guide hit the peg holding my wood. Then stopped the saw, backed it out, the. slid the board to hold on my cut end. this is where the clamps helped, just to hold the board from slipping.
Then you insert the blade black in and finish the cut.
not pretty, but it gets the job done.
Step 5: Other Info
so some thoughts...
perfect is the enemy of good.
I am using cheap wood,
with a cheap saw,
with a cheap guide.
to say I was successful in going down the middle at 45° would be a joke. but my lines were strait-ish.
it might be good to check your guide after every board. I didn't but I got out of center after a few boards.
I found that some of the lumber I picked was cracked down the middle. not good, cant hang from that.
wear safety glasses. it's just smart.