Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Testing a New Hanging System

I'm trying to work on my studio/gallery to make things easier to change around the painting display, so I can have mini-shows in my gallery space every month or two. The bane of my existence when it comes to hanging pictures is the hangers you nail into the wall. It's a pain in the butt and takes way too much time to get things right.

There are hanging systems out there that would be perfect for me, but I just don't have the jack. You know... money. These systems can be quite expensive. So I thought I'd see if I could rig up a system of my own at a much lower cost.

In the pics below you can see some of the components I've used in my effort.

Here's what I used:

Metal carpet strip. The kind that has all the sharp little points to grab the carpet, but it has to be the kind that is used to end the carpet at a point like a doorway, or where the carpet would end at the edge of an open room and transition to wood or tiles, etc. The strip has an angled lip that sticks up that works perfect for me to hang an "S" hook on. (In real carpet circumstances that lip would be hammered down flat trapping the edge of the carpet.)

The hanging wire is 3/16 wire rope made into a loop at each end with the use of a grommet. I measured my wall and determined two lengths (one for upper paintings and one for lower) of 2' and 4' respectively. Both are actually longer than I need.

I use a small cable clamp to shorten the wire rope to the length I need for the specific painting, by simply folding the wire at the length I need and inserting the fold through the clamp and tightening the nuts. I then hang an "S" hook from this loop made with the clamp.

This works very well. EXCEPT for one problem I encountered. Since I attached the carpet strip to a 1"x4" located at the top of my wall, the wire was hanging to far from the wall itself for the paintings to hang flat and steady. To remedy this I installed a line of wooden dowels under the 1x4 on the wall itself. I did this by installing eye screws every foot and sliding the dowels through the holes. When hanging I simply put the wire behind the dowel rods and hook them to the strip above. The dowel now holds the wire close to the wall and let's the paintings hang as they should.

I'll paint the paintable parts of the system so that it blends with the wall color to make it less conspicuous. All that will really be noticeable should be the wire, and not that much.

Total cost for 36 feet of system, able to hang at least two paintings high, is about $90 - $100.

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