Friday, September 6, 2013

Need help finding some hardware

I think I love shelves. Yeah, I know that's weird, but I love the way they help organize stuff. And I've got a lot of stuff. I've got books, office supplies, hobby supplies, kitchenware, and so much more. I like my stuff, but it's hard to find what you want -- or need -- when it's all lumped together in a drawer or cupboard.

I think what I like best is the way shelves maximize the use of vertical space. By putting things in neat rows, one atop the other, I can see everything at once and get it when I want it.

These handy undershelf baskets add some
much-needed storage options to any closet.
That's why I love the Container Store's annual Shelving Sale. All their shelves are 25% off. This includes some great space savers, like Undershelf Baskets, which let me add more functionality by dividing an existing shelf into smaller spaces. Like here, where I can mount the basket under a shelf in my office closet to hold paper, labels and other office supplies.

They come in a variety of sizes -- I'm fond of the 20-inch because it will hold two reams of paper, side-by-side. Unfortunately, about an inch of paper sticks out over the edge, but in the case of the cardstock in this photo, it doesn't matter because it's thick enough not to curl.

This small plastic "Camel Clip" attaches beneath
the shelf to provide the basket with
extra stability and support.
There is a problem with these baskets, though -- they are held in place only by the metal arms that slide over the top of a standard half-inch shelf. Although the baskets are metal, the fact that they are supported only in the front limits the amount of weight they can hold. To get around this, I screwed a small clip to the back railing to provide additional support and stability. The shelves don't come with the clip, but when I bought my first baskets two years ago, The Container Store had the necessary clip (the sales lady called it a Camel Clip).

Unfortunately, when I went to this year's sale, I was told by two puzzled associates that they don't carry this any more. Furthermore, they had no idea what it was. Thinking that this would not be overly difficult to find, I headed over to Home Depot and discovered that the head of the Fasteners section had no idea what I was talking about (he asked if it was like a miniature conduit clamp). He sent me over to electronics to see if any of the coaxial or ethernet clips might work for me.

To be honest, I found two that might work, but they are not exactly what I'm looking for. So I cam home and hit the Internet, but that's where I ran into a problem. I'm not sure exactly what this is called. That definitely hampered my search. And describing it doesn't make matters any easier. A 2-screw clamp? Mini conduit slip? Wire support? Is it a fastener or some other type of hardware?

After an hour online, I gave up and just drew the following diagram and decided to post it here in the hopes that someone can help me find them, either in metal or plastic. I'm not picky.

Side-view of the fastener I'm looking for.

And before someone suggests this -- yes, I know I could fabricate my own with a simple strip of metal and drilling some holes in it with my Dremel. And that may be just what I'll have to do in the end. But first, I thought I'd post it here and see if anyone has an idea of what it is and where I can get some.

Thanks in advance for your help.

---------- UPDATE from later that evening ------------

A friend over at the miniatures page suggested I go back to Lowe's or Home Depot and look carefully in their shelving sections to see if I could find the part I was looking for. And, Lowe and behold, I found it at Lowe's. They call it a "C" Clamp, and I bought a bag of 20 for about $8, You can see it here:

It's just a little bigger than I was looking for (it's a 1/2 inch tall, rather than 3/8 inches), but I think it will work out fine for what I need.

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