How to keep my shelf from drooping?
September 7, 2012 5:22 AM   Subscribe

What would you call a telescopic rod that would help to hold up a shelf above a desk?

In my bathroom, my shower rail is help up by a telescopic rod, with rubber feet at either end, that is wedged between the walls.

Recently, I put up a shelf above my desk. It was fine to start with, but, partly I think due to the heaviness of the speakers the shelf was created to carry, it is starting to sag. I would like the equivalent telescopic contraption that would help to prop up my shelf, but I don't know the name of what I am googling for. Does it have a name?
posted by cincinnatus c to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Tension rod?
posted by lakeroon at 5:35 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

A telescoping leg?
posted by procrastination at 5:46 AM on September 7, 2012

Brace, jack, support? But, what's in a name? From your description of the problem, it sounds like a fixed length of material will maintain the shelf at its original height. What is the need to have it telescope?
posted by TDIpod at 5:58 AM on September 7, 2012

I would call it a jack. A jack is a thing you use to raise something that is too low.

It's probably not telescoping in the same way that a shower rod is. A shower rod is meant to bear very little weight, which is perpendicular to the rod. If you have sagging shelves, you want something as solid as possible. If you can't put a solid pillar under the shelves, and need to jack them up first, then you need a jack.
posted by musofire at 6:00 AM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Any large hardware store will have telescoping tubes with springs inside for exactly this purpose. I have one that runs from floor to ceiling in my shower stall to hold soap, brushes, etc. It came in several three-foot pieces, so you use as many as you need.

Another possibility is to go to a sporting goods store and get a chinning bar that fits in a doorway.
posted by KRS at 6:55 AM on September 7, 2012

Is there a reason you can't just use a sturdier shelf?
posted by mskyle at 7:20 AM on September 7, 2012

Is there a reason you can't just use a sturdier shelf?

I don't know. Just putting up a shelf was a bit of a stretch for me. It doesn't seem that the wall is sturdy enough.

The distance from the top of my desk to the bottom of this shelf is about 8 to 10 inches. Eventually I will probably find a way to get the shelf fixed properly, but for now I was basically looking for a more elegant temporary solution than just putting a stack of books underneath.
posted by cincinnatus c at 7:35 AM on September 7, 2012

Install another shelf bracket in the middle of the shelf, you installed the first two, you should be able to do another one.
posted by HuronBob at 8:29 AM on September 7, 2012

Is the shelf bending in the middle or tipping away from the wall?
If the first, a centre bracket will help.

If the second, did you use screws and the right anchors in the wall? If you haven't, you might want to redo that part
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 8:59 AM on September 7, 2012

The shelf is this Ikea one. The assembly instructions (as a PDF) are here.

The first time I put it up, it was lowering (tipping away from the wall) immediately. I took advice from a dad-like figure, and replaced the screws with thicker ones. Then it was fine, but over time (a month) with my heavy speakers sitting on it, it has begun to pull away again from the wall, which isn't terribly strong (plaster board).
posted by cincinnatus c at 10:42 AM on September 7, 2012

I mean, I could try again with even thicker screws, or I could add a supporting brace, but I was looking for a temporary fix that wouldn't involve doing more damage to the flimsy wall, if possible.
posted by cincinnatus c at 10:59 AM on September 7, 2012

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