Intro: Improved Hangers for French Cleat Garage Storage System
This is an update to the instructable I posted last week. Using some ideas I'd already come up with, as well as some feedback in the comments I received, I've come up with some improved hangers to get bulkier items even more out of the way. I was very tempted to let my imagination run wild and really over-engineer these, but in the end simplicity and functionality won out, so I've kept everything very low-tech. It's also worth mentioning that I designed this system with bulky but light-weight kid's toys in mind. I think it's probably pretty strong, but I'm not planning to store, say, an anvil on it*.
-Eye Screws (or pulleys)
-S-hooks (or carabiners)
-Hangers (explained in Step 3 of the instructable linked above)
*I just chuckled to myself because I remembered one of the funniest parts in "Drag Me to Hell," where she's in the shed and drops an anvil on the ghost/monster's head, and my first thought was "Who the hell would suspend an ANVIL high in the air on an old frayed rope?!" Thanks for joining me for this pointless jaunt down memory lane; now back to regularly scheduled programming.
Step 1: Add an Eye Bolt to the Top of the Hanger
Drill an appropriately sized pilot hole for your eye screw and screw it in.
Overbuild Option: you could use a pulley, but it'll be more expensive and more than is necessary for the light-weight things I'm hanging.
Step 2: Tie a Hook Into Your Paracord
I had some s-hooks in the shop that weren't being used for anything, so I tied them onto the paracord about a foot from the end, then tied a small loop onto the very end. This will loop around whatever object I'm hanging and then hook onto the free end of the s-hook. The knot I used to tie the hook onto the cord was two back-to-back clove hitches. There's probably a more ideal knot for this, but once tightened it seemed plenty solid to me.
Overbuild Option: A carabiner would be a much more secure option (I'm a huge fan of these for non-climbing purposes), but again, is more expensive and not absolutely necessary for my light-weight payloads.
Underbuild Option: You could just as easily use a trucker's hitch to attach your payload, and it should be at least as secure as the s-hook option.
Step 3: Thread the Paracord Through Eye Screw and Tie an Anchor Loop
Thread the paracord through the eye screw from the opposite end of the hook, and pull through until the hook is just below the eye screw. Then tie a loop at in the cord that is just long enough to loop over the hook at the bottom of the hanger. I used one of the hangers I'd already made before implementing the paracord suspension idea, so I just used the storage hook that was already on there as my anchor. If you're making these from scratch, you may decide to just use an angled decking screw or nail to anchor that loop. But I think I like the storage hook there, as it gives me the option to hang something below whatever I have suspended at the top.
Overbuild Option: If you've got a smallish marine-style rope cleat, that would do a great job of holding the cord and would give you a neat option to manage the extra cord you'll have dangling.
Step 4: Attach and Hoist
Loop the hook-end of the paracord around whatever object you're hoisting (here a plastic wagon), and attach the loop at the end to the s-hook. Then pull the other end of your paracord with one hand while guiding the hoisted object with the other, and hook the anchor loop to your anchor.
You'll end up having a good bit of paracord hanging down once everything is hung, which would be very tempting for a small child or pet to play with and potentially unhook. So I tied a couple extra loops in the cord to hang it out of the way.
That's it! I've been really happy with this entire system since implementing it; it has proved to be very flexible in what you can hang and how you can go about hanging it, and is very easy to go back and tweak parts of it according to changing storage needs. I still need to paint everything white so that it looks a little more presentable, but the function is already there in spades.