Mount me in the library for Christmas
December 24, 2021 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I have a wall mount book tree I am mounting on the back of my spouse’s home office for Christmas. I need to mount it on overlapping wood plank surface. Best way? More details inside.

The book tree and wooden wall surface are shown here

The tree has no mounting hardware or holes, and the overlapping wooden surface (it’s basically wood overlapping siding) make it slightly challenging. Looking for the best way to mount that is as invisible as possible, easy to do, and is removable in the future without drama (I know….pick any two, right?).

The tree is solid wood mostly (the lower down pieces are hollow as the “trunk” is bigger and is more like a long tube made of wood - but not hollow enough I can get into them to put a screw through the back). Obviously it’s has to be a sturdy enough mount to hold books (say 30-40 books)

I could just get some nice brass wood screws and go straight through in multiple places - but wondering how else people would do it?
posted by inflatablekiwi to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would get a couple packages of keyhole hangers and attach them to the tree, then attach the tree to the wall with screws. The tree will be secure and also removable with minimal damage to the wall.
posted by mezzanayne at 11:58 AM on December 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'd be worried about cracking the tree by using screws. Are the limbs wide enough to use those 3M velco tabs? Those things work really well and if you've got enough on, it would be super sturdy. You'll probably even think you glued it to the wall if you ever go to remove it.
posted by cocoagirl at 12:01 PM on December 24, 2021

Keyhole hangers would work. Pre-drill the screw hole before you screw in the screw and the wood shouldn't crack. I can't imagine that even the super strong velcro would hold up the weight of the shelf and 3-40 books.
posted by jonathanhughes at 12:26 PM on December 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have no suggestions but I NEED THIS TREE IN MY LIFE. Please share your source? Thanks!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 12:51 PM on December 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

You could use some small corner braces, those "L" shaped metal pieces with one or two holes on each end. One end gets screwed into the wall and the other gets screwed into the tree.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:18 PM on December 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

You're an awesome spouse!

And, yes. Keyholes are great, even if they are a PITA to install.

I think the "L" brackets could be placed so the future books or knick knacks hide any exposed part of the leg that is attached to the wall. Pre-drilling is key.

The nice thing about "L" brackets is that they can actually be attached to the wall first; then the tree rests upon the brackets and then is affixed to the brackets. The main task would be selecting a color or painting them to match.
posted by mightshould at 1:25 PM on December 24, 2021

Best answer: Is the plan to put books on the flat sections? Are the branches plywood or solid wood? If the latter you'll need to have a wall support at essentially every shelf space. Even for plywood some of those branches are pretty delicate to be supporting weight.

I think I'd glue the tree to a piece of 1/4" AC plywood. Screw into the tree from the back with #4 x 5/8" wood screws. Use a counter sink bit to both predrill the holes and allow the screws to lay flush.

Use a piece that spans the space and paint it to match the siding or cut the outline of the plywood to mimic a bushy tree and then paint it green. Or if you used a sheet of stain grade plywood you could just stain it (either lighter or darker than the tree). A sheet of 1/4" hardboard would also work but you wouldn't be able to stain it.

A concern with key hole hangers is they all need to run the same direction or you can't slide them into place. Going to be tough to do that and still get hangers on the right hand branches.
posted by Mitheral at 2:39 PM on December 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I would use d rings rather than keyhole hangers. Just cos you don’t need to be as precise with alignment for fixings. So screw the d rings onto the back of the tree. Pre- drill the tree with a little bit before you screw on the d rings. Then offer up the tree. Mark the position of the first screw to intersect with the d ring. Screw in first screw. Hang the tree. Then mark up (maybe check for level) the other positions for the d rings. Screw those in. Then go fishing to get all hooked over. Keyholes aren’t bad. Just with multiple fixing points on an irregular object you’re giving yourself a challenge to get the alignment of all the fixings.
posted by multivalent at 2:45 PM on December 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all - going to give the keyhole hooks a crack tonight. I’m a few wines in and have spent the day trying to control two young kids. What could possibly go wrong? I’ll add a photo if it works out. If no photo tomorrow night assume It went sideways in great haste

I have no suggestions but I NEED THIS TREE IN MY LIFE. Please share your source? Thanks!

From Etsy. More specifically this shop
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:17 PM on December 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If you're going the keyhole hangers route, start by screwing them into the back of the tree with a drawing pin captured under the narrow end of each keyhole so you've got little spikes sticking out from the back of the tree in the exact places where the wall screws will end up needing to be. Then you can put the tree up next to the wall and jiggle it about a bit to mark all the places where the pilot holes for your mounting screws need to go.

And make sure, when you're screwing the keyhole mounts to the tree, that the big end is downward. Don't ask me why I'm mentioning this obvious point.
posted by flabdablet at 8:13 PM on December 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Having finally persuaded imgur to show me your photos: before you attach the keyhole hangers to the tree, you'll need to sit the tree against the wall where you want it to go, then make pencil marks on the branches that will have the mounts in them, lined up with the bottoms of the siding planks.

When you're then screwing the pin-loaded mounts to the back of the tree, place them so that the narrow end of each mount slot always ends up maybe 20mm above a pencil mark.

This will ensure that the pin points will still extend far enough to scratch marks in your siding, while not requiring you to fit the screws that the keyhole slots will engage with too close to the edge of a siding plank, nor needing to have those screws projecting very far out from the surface of the siding plank.

Also, when you're drilling pilot holes into the siding planks for the mounting screws, make sure the holes are horizontal rather than normal to the planks. Otherwise you'll have trouble persuading their countersunk heads to engage properly with the keyholes.
posted by flabdablet at 11:57 PM on December 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'd be worried about cracking the tree by using screws.

Anybody who has ever been worried about this really needs to get hold of some rubbish old wood (bits from a disassembled garden trellis or wooden fruit box or pallet, that kind of thing), some screws in various sizes, a drill, and various kinds of drill bits, then spend an hour screwing in various sizes of fastener at various distances from ends and edges both with and without various sizes of pilot hole pre-drilled, to find out what splits the wood and what doesn't.

Ideally all you'd need to know is that drilling a pilot hole at least the diameter of the screw's central shank, but smaller than the outside diameter of its threads, will pretty much always yield a secure fixing with no risk of splitting as the screw goes in. But there's no substitute for hands-on experimentation.
posted by flabdablet at 1:11 AM on December 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: In which I provide an update, again a few drinks in

Today NASA launched the James Webb space telescope. They got *nothing* on me. Have you tried mounting a library tree with almost no instructions while slightly inebriated and without waking the kids….no my old mate, I didn’t think you have!

I also dropped in a new Murphy desk, new carpet, and a saddle chair I also got on Esty. Because Home Depot is open till 10pm Xmas eve y’all and who needs to sleep?

And then I told my spouse that drinks were served in the tree room. They gave me a quizzical look and I pointed to their office……where mimosa’s awaited. My Christmas gift game is on point!

So it’s mounted! See photos here I ended up using some L mounts because I’m a scrub (and would get no love from TLC). But I like it…..

Thanks all - Merry Crimbo to all and to all a good night.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:37 PM on December 25, 2021 [7 favorites]

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