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Author: Subject: Any handymen or women out there?

Zen Peach





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  posted on 9/18/2008 at 08:26 PM
I am pretty much a moron when it comes to maintenance. It's probably a good thing I live in an apt. and can just make a phone call to get stuff fixed. Anyway, I need to hang a rather heavy mirror/jewely armoir that I just bought. The directions say to drill to holes in the wall and insert the plastic anchors that came with the mirror/armoire, then use the wood screws.

My question: I need to go and buy a drill. I'll only need it for small projects like this, so I don't need anything real powerful or with lots of bells and whistles. Also, I am cheap Any recommendations? Do drills come with a bunch of drill bits or are they separate? How do I know what size drill bit to use? Are drill bits easy to change? The walls in my apt. are plaster rather than drywall. Is this going to make a difference with anything?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

[Edited on 9/19/2008 by TerriB]

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/18/2008 at 08:48 PM
You can get a decent drill most anywhere for $30-$35. In most cases you need to buy a set of bits, just a basic set, that might cost $10. The bits are very easy to change. There will either be a "chuck", a little screw type device that loosens the drill head where the bits go, or it will be "chuckless", in which case you just hold the drill head and engage it one way or the other to tighten or loosen around the bits. Nothing to it at all. Most sets of anchors have the size printed on the package, just use that size drill bit. Go to Hopme Depot or Lowe's or one of those type places and they will explain it all to you and show you how it's done. TerryB with an electirc drill. Yikes!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/18/2008 at 08:51 PM
the dry wall anchors prolly won't hold in plaster. it tends to chip.

drills generally don't come with drill bits.

you need a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw you are using.

go to Sears and just buy their cheapest corded drill and ask for some anchors for plaster.



 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/18/2008 at 08:56 PM
found this

quote:
How to Put Anchor Screws in a Wall

You want to hang a heavy picture, you don't want it to pull a nail from the wall, so you use anchors. But how do you install the anchors?
[edit] Steps

1. Different anchors for different walls. Determine the type of wall you're hanging on.

* Plaster wall: Has lathe boards behind it and has been plastered over the boards. This was a common practice in very old homes. For these you will need to use metal anchors. The metal anchors can also be used on concrete.
* Drywall wall: Also known as sheetrock, gyprock or plasterboard. This is a plaster sheet that has paper on both sides. It is then screwed or nailed to the studs of the wall. These wall boards are used in most houses built from the 1970's on. With these types of walls, you need to use plastic anchors.
2. Determine where you want to hang your picture. On a plaster wall, it is best if you hang directly into a stud. On drywall you can hang anywhere (but if going into the stud, just use the screw, don't anchor). In concrete you can place it anywhere, except on the seams of concrete blocks. You can determine where the stud is by finding the nails in your baseboard trim, and following them up.
3. Make a small pencil mark where the center of your screw will go. If you're hanging an object like a shadow box, you need to measure the distance between the center of the hooks, and add an extra anchor.
4. The size of your anchor should be determined by the size of your screw, your screw should be at least 1 1/4 inches(6.9 cm) long if you are going into a stud. If you're not going into a stud, then the size isn't so vital but should be determined by the dimensions of the object that you are hanging. If you tell your hardware store clerk what you plan to hang, they will usually set you up with the ideal screw and anchor. The tip edge of the screw should fit into the open end of the anchor, and it should be obvious that the body of the screw will be snug, if not slightly bigger than the inner opening of the anchor. In addition the screw should not be longer than the anchor.
5. Using a drill bit a little smaller than the closed end of the plastic anchor (the same size for metal anchors), drill a hole through the center of your mark. You only need to go as deep as the anchor. Brush off the excess sheetrock/plaster dust.
6. Place the anchor with the closed end evenly into the hole. Gently tap the open end with a hammer or rubber mallet until the anchor is almost flush with the wall.
7. Insert the screw and slowly screw it into the anchor, leaving an 1/8 (3.1 mm) to a 1/4 ( 6.3 mm) of the screw out to hang your picture on. Most of the metal anchors are made of lead, so as the screw goes into them they expand, as will plastic ones.



 

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True Peach



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  posted on 9/18/2008 at 09:03 PM
A cordless drill might see more use by you later (lighter and more compact), but then the batteries eventually build a memory and they cost more initially. In addition to ensuring you use a bit smaller than your screw, you might also want to start out with a very small bit to make yourself a guide hole for the final bit, which makes for a cleaner screw hole.

Drill baby drill!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/18/2008 at 09:06 PM
Cool, thanks Doug and Monk. Plastic anchors came with the package, but I'll ask at the Home Depot if I should use something else. I did have a full-length mirror hanging where I'll put the new one and that stayed up for years with just 2 small nails. My new mirror is smaller, but heavier. It weighs about 25 pounds.

I'll let you know how the drilling goes. Maybe I'll hit oil!

You too, B-Rock

[Edited on 9/19/2008 by TerriB]

 
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True Peach



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  posted on 9/18/2008 at 09:48 PM
Couldn't resist....

Hey girls, gather round
Listen to what I'm putting down
Hey baby, I'm your handyman

I'm not the kind to use a pencil or rule
I'm handy with love and I'm no fool
I fix broken hearts, I know that I truly can

your broken heart should need repair
Then I am the man to see
I whisper sweet things, you tell all your friends
They'll come runnin' to me

Here is the main thing that I want to say
I'm busy 24 hours a day
I fix broken hearts, I know that I truly can

Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come, come
They'll come runnin' to me

Here is the main thing I want to say
Iím busy 24 hours a day
I fix broken hearts, baby Iím your handyman

Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come, come
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Thatís me
(Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come) Iím your handyman
(Yeah, yeah, yeah) Thatís me
(Come-a, come-a, come-a, come-a, come, come) Iím your handyman
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)




Oh yeah, you got some good advice too...

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/18/2008 at 11:43 PM
As an alternative - does your apartment complex have a maintenance guy?

Instead of buying tools you might never use again, give the guy $20 to help you. If he's even remotely skilled, he might also have things like a level which you might need to make sure you hang this thing right (if you're dirlling more than one hole). It can be tricky if it's heavy and requires multiple holes. Everything's gotta be square and level to look good afterward.

And it's always easier to have some help if it's heavy.

Good luck!

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 12:11 AM
What Fujirich said. That, or either borrow the tools from a friend or relative or buy a case of beer and ask a couple handy friends with their own tools to come over and help out. If it's heavy enough to require multiple screws, then you'll also need a level b/c eyeballing it never seems to work as anticipated. Just 1/8 of an inch off level is easily noticeable to the naked eye.

If the mirror is really 25 lbs, then ideally you want to drill wood-screws directly into wood - i.e, studs. But that's harder to find in plaster walls b/c there were no accepted standards for spacing of studs back then, and the lathing board is probably petrified, so don't count on using that as an anchor. If you can't drill directly into wood, and have to use anchors, then I highly recommend beefing up your anchors and getting a Toggler anchor system (available at Home Depot for $5 or $6). And I always double the weight for anchors - so get a 50 lb. anchor for a 25 lb. mirror. Better safe than sorry, and the cost difference is negligible. The Toggler system comes with the anchors and screws you need, and the directions tell you exactly what size drill bit to use so you don't unnecessarily bore a hole in your wall that's way bigger than you need.

Oh, and with plaster walls, after marking with a pencil where you're going to drill, put a piece of scotch tape or masking tape over the wall before drilling your pilot holes. It will prevent the plaster from crumbling. I've lived in homes with plaster walls 9 of the last 11 years, and have learned some of the pitfalls of hanging crap on the walls. Plaster is a pain, and nearly impossible to discreetly patch screw-ups without it being noticeable.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 12:11 AM
Rich has a good idear Teri, but if you must do it yourself I'd purchase a wall anchor other than the ones they supply you say are the plastic capsule tyle. Depending on the thickness of your wall will determine the fastener depth. This one goes behind the lathe ( or sheetrock ) substrate that your plater has been used as the base coat and the finish coat over.


This expandable anchor is very stable. Just drill the holes to the recomended size, insert the sleeve and turn the screw until it expands the sleeve, then remove the screw and attach you mirror clips with it.

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 12:20 AM
Here's a 5-pack of toggler anchors for $2. They sell 20-pks. for $5 or $6 too, which is good for future use. Very simple to use, and they're rated for well over 100 lbs. Just make sure you get the ones designed for hollow walls.
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=1 0051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100022597

 

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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 12:27 AM
Haisija - Don't mean to argue, b/c what you suggested are generally excellent. But in my experience, the metal ones like the two in that picture don't work as well in plaster as they do in drywall. Excellent in dry-wall, but a crap-shoot in plaster. The little metal thingies that are supposed to "catch" the wall when it's flush have a tendency to just spin and not dig into the plaster, or alternatively cause the plaster to crumble leaving a large hole that's bigger than the anchor. I swear I don't work for them, and don't have a relative that does either, but those Toggler systems are fool-proof and work well with plaster, and are equally as strong as the metal ones (in my experience anyway).

Just my $0.02. But I certainly agree.....never use the cheapie anchors that are included with wall-hanging stuff. They are almost universally insufficient, and I certainly wouldn't want something (particularly with glass) hanging over my head with just those cheapie things holding it into the wall.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 12:49 AM
quote:
Haisija - Don't mean to argue, b/c what you suggested are generally excellent. But in my experience, the metal ones like the two in that picture don't work as well in plaster as they do in drywall. Excellent in dry-wall, but a crap-shoot in plaster. The little metal thingies that are supposed to "catch" the wall when it's flush have a tendency to just spin and not dig into the plaster, or alternatively cause the plaster to crumble leaving a large hole that's bigger than the anchor. I swear I don't work for them, and don't have a relative that does either, but those Toggler systems are fool-proof and work well with plaster, and are equally as strong as the metal ones (in my experience anyway).

Just my $0.02. But I certainly agree.....never use the cheapie anchors that are included with wall-hanging stuff. They are almost universally insufficient, and I certainly wouldn't want something (particularly with glass) hanging over my head with just those cheapie things holding it into the wall.


Excellent point about the "spin". More than once I had to hold the anchor stable with something while I got the expander to do its thing. Never had the larger hole problem.
The toggles are a very good choice and strong.

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 01:10 AM
Get a good electric drill with a cord. Go to the next level or two above the smallest (cheapest) horse power, though you don't have to go to the highest HP. If you ever need to do go into materials than dry wall, you will be very happy you did and you will save money in the long run. I've used cheap ones and I've used cordless and they can't go into wood easily and tend to burn out. Take care of it and you'll never have to buy another. I think mine cost about 45 dollars, though it was eight - nine years ago. I've used it for significant renovations and just to hang pictures and I never have to worry about the hardness of the wood and it goes through light metals and cement with the right bits.

Another way to do it is have a friend over who has a decent drill. If it is a heavy mirror, you'll need two people to hang it anyway. Good luck. :-)

 

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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 04:05 AM
Throw a party. Invite me and Jeanne and I'll load the tools in the sled and we'll get that baby hung before the jello sets!!


 

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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 06:30 AM
Just read that TerriB is going to have a party ...........

Will there be invitations sent and is this a BYOB event ????

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 07:39 AM
Hey Matt! How the hell are ya?

Terri, if all you need to do is make a hole big enough for a plastic insert, take a Phillips head screw driver the same size as the insert and punch a hole in the drywall with the screw driver. Use a hammer to drive the screw driver through the drywall.

BUT...an inexpensive cordless drill is a handy thing to have. I have one like this:



And this combo radio/charger.



I think I got it for $40 or $50. It works like a charm and holds a charge real well.

 

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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 08:58 AM
I gotta tell ya Terri, I was the first to respond to this last night after you posted it ~ then I deleted it...I am a 'girl', and I figured that you should have someone else step in and give advice.

But this is, in a nutshell, what I suggested.

(1) ask a friend or friendly neighbor to help you, as it is probably a hefty item you are hanging,

(2) if a friend / neighbor / relative doesn't have a drill you can borrow, get something 'kinda' decent, maybe $50 or so bucks with a battery. You will be surprised at how much that thing can come in handy for future jobs, and the battery-powered drill is much more portable ~ you don't need to be inside and near an outlet to use it. And, hey! Think about how impressed your friends will be when they see what you bring to the work party!!!!

(3) get rid of those cheapo plastic anchors and get something more heavy-duty. Any hardware store will carry what you need. That way, in the middle of the night as you are fast asleep dreaming of your next concert, you won't be rudely awakened by the sound of broken glass!! and finally...

(4) GOOD LUCK!!!

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 09:05 AM
If this mirror is going on the ceiling you definately should avoid the plastic anchors !!!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 09:09 AM
Thanks for all of the replies! I knew I could get some help here.

I'm heading to Home Depot after work or maybe over the weekend to buy a drill and some better anchors. I think I'd rather learn how to do this than pay someone. If I make too many holes in the wall, oh well...I'm overdue for a paint job and the plasterer will come in beforehand to fix the holes and the cracks.

Hey, if I get good at this, maybe I'll have something to fall back on if this paralegal thing doesn't work out and if I make a total mess of it, I WILL have a jello shot party, Johnny. Matt, you're invited along with everyone else

Thanks again!

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 09:10 AM
quote:
If this mirror is going on the ceiling you definately should avoid the plastic anchors !!!


LOL! Mirrored ceilings are saved for Gadsden, Alabama

 
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True Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 09:11 AM
One word: VELCRO!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 09:12 AM
quote:
Just read that TerriB is going to have a party ...........

Will there be invitations sent and is this a BYOB event ????


Sounds more like BYOT!

No need to send me driving directions, I already know how to get there.

I'll bring my laser level.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 09:16 AM
The guys at the Home Depot are never gonna buy your " I'm using it to hang a mirror" line.

 

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If we practice and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless. -Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 09:16 AM
Doesn't Billy Mays sell some sort of fancy, handy dandy wall hanging do dads?



http://www.infomercials-tv.com/blog/2006/09/hercules_hook_h.html

 

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