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In mechanical engineering a bracket is any intermediate component for fixing one part to another, usually larger, part. What makes a bracket a bracket is that it is intermediate between the two and fixes the one to the other. Brackets vary widely in shape, but a prototypical bracket is the L-shaped metal piece that attaches a shelf (the smaller component) to a wall (the larger component). Its vertical arm is fixed to one (usually large) element, and its horizontal arm protrudes outwards and holds another (usually small) element. This shelf L bracket is effectively the same as the architectural bracket: a vertical arm mounted on the wall, and a horizontal arm projecting outwards for another element to be attached on top of it or below it. To enable the outstretched arm to support a greater weight, a bracket will often have a third arm running diagonally between the horizontal and vertical arms, or the bracket may be a solid triangle. By extension almost any object that performs this function of attaching one part to another (usually larger) component is also called a bracket, even though it may not be obviously L-shaped. Common examples that are often not really L-shaped at all but attach a smaller component to a larger and are still called brackets are the components that attach a bicycle lamp to a bicycle, and the rings that attach pipes to walls.
Shelves, whether it is in the kitchen, living space, bedroom, workshop, office or commercial space, is an essential method of storage and can be decorative whilst also functional. Supports for inside cabinets or shelf brackets for wall fixing are available. There are a wide range of options to choose from when deciding upon what type of shelf support or bracket to use.
Generally before even deciding upon what shelf supports to use you will need to consider what will be stored upon them, how you would like for them to look and how they will fit with the design and décor of the room or cabinet. It is also essential to take into account the weight capacity required of the shelf, the thickness and material of the shelf itself, the distance between the supports and finally how the shelf will need to be mounted.
Plug in supports
Plug in adjustable shelf supports are used extensively in kitchen cabinetry and wardrobe units. They are easily adjusted and offer a discreet shelving solution with easy height adjustment.
Concealed supports - floating shelves
A designer's favourite, due to their minimalistic appeal, floating shelf brackets enable a clean line and finish to be achieved upon installation. They are used to create the impression of a "floating shelf" with novisible mounting or fixing. The shelf itself should have at least 2 symmetrical channels (size and width is support dependent) into which slide the shelf brackets that are attached to the wall. Adjustments to achieve a level shelfare dependent upon the shelf brackets chosen. These are ideal for display shelving in kitchens, bedrooms and even bathrooms, and are often a desired feature in living areas where aminimalistic look is required. Due to their heavy duty performance they can also be used tosupport book shelves.
Fixed shelf supports
Attractive shelf supports and brackets to suit most wooden or glass shelves. Many of these brackets feature a clamping action to ensure that the shelf is secure. Generally the support chosen is picked based on the thickness and material of shelf it is going to be used with.
Bookcase strip systems
Adjustable bookcase strip systems will support the weight of very heavy items (dependent upon the style chosen). As they are adjustable they are ideal for use in storage, office and workshop applications where versatility and optimum weight capacity may be required. The adjustable supports that connect to the channel enable movement of the shelf position which makes them great in applications where change of use may also be desired.