Best way to hang a heavy flag/medal display case?


True Grumbler
Jan 28, 2005
Papillion Nebraska
I'm going to try to explain this as best I can but I'm not going to guarantee you will understand what I am saying. A customer brought in an oak display case and wants to hang it on her wall. The thing weighs a ton and there is no real good place to screw anything to the back to hang it from. I thought about z-bar but the screws would come through the back of the inside display area. I thought about wall buddies but again there isn't any place to put the screws as the back is just a quarter inch piece of luan. The oak sides are less than a half inch thick, if I drilled first I could probably get a screw in there but I am unsure what to use for a hanger. I don't think d-rings and wire would be strong enough. Is there something out there that I don't know about?

Thanks for your help!

Maybe look at a way to support it from the bottom...install a shelf on the wall for it to sit on, then d-rings as you mentioned just to keep it from falling over.
Thanks Doug and Jim. I don't think I can put a matching frame around it as it is rounded on the bottom and triangular on the top, the same goes for the support shelf. I have had several people look at the thing and they didn't have any asnwers either.

Like a picture, if hung there is going to be at least SOME tilt, this cabinet needs screwing to the wall so that everything on display doesn't slide forward and the doors don't fly open when you un-latch them. Would large mirror plates be any good? - This way you could have many more than just two securing points.
If a shelf won't work for the bottom (rounded you said) how about a simple L bracket mounted to the wall dead centre. The cabinet would cover the portion on the wall and perhaps a screw to hold the bottom in on the horizontal leg of the bracket. Depending on the visuals there may be a way of putting the same brackets near the top to hold the top in. Or look for some clips that are like a Z. One on the wall and one on the back of the cabinet so they slide together. In drywalling ceilings there is something called z-bar (pronounced the american way . ...zee bar). By itself it may not be strong enough but with the L bracket on the bottom?

Good luck
Assuming a flat back ... Cut ply or possibly MDF 1/8" ATWA smaller than cabinet ... stain edge of ply to match cabinet ... attach French cleat to ply towards top ... attach corresponding spacer to ply towards bottom ... screw ply to oak sides using thin screws that are as long as possible ... screw mating part of French cleat to wall ... hang. Many kitchen cabinets are hung using French cleats ... no tilt, no fuss, no muss, and very strong. Your local woodworking shop can cut the ply and cleats.
Okay, you caught me, it doesn't technically weigh a ton but it is heavy. I'd guess around 40 lbs. Size is 20 x 34 and it's approx. 4" deep
The French cleat thing sounds doable but I will have to check with the customer, being military I am not sure if that is an option they will like. Might be their only one though.
Thanks for all the advice!

Take another look at the WallBuddies. The mounting holes are only about 1/4" from the edge. If your frame is actually 1/2" wide you may be able to mount them. I would probably use 1" long #6 screws and predrill the holes. Another choice may be HookUps available from United. They work well for a lot of things.

On some of these weird cabinets I've been known to screw right through the backing into studs. then I'll color the head of the screw to match (somewhat) the backing board. Truss (wafer/lath) head screws work well for this as the large flat head doesn't pull through the backing as easily. If there is a removable shelf you could put the screws behind it.

Then again, sometimes you just have to say no.
I only asked about the ton because often the object doesn't weigh as much as we think it does.
That is a good size. We have used the larger and stronger D rings from the hardware store.