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Some very simple jobs - how difficult can it be?

(12 Posts)
blinkinflip Sun 21-Apr-13 19:31:01

So I need to do the following:
Put up a wooden plate with 4 coat hooks on it in the hall;
Put up a short pine shelf in DD's room

I feel like a total failure - and I want my dad smile - he was a joiner and was always making stuff, putting up stuff etc. I've got the stuff and one of those stud/wire detector thingys but I know I'm going to make a right arse of it. I got a hammer drill a year ago and some masonry bits and have used it once to put up a toilet roll holder in the bathroom and it fell off and there are now 2 holes in the plaster in the toilet wall. I'm getting a new bathroom in soon so they'll fix everything up in there but surely I can put up these 2 things. They come with screws and rawlplugs but I don't know what size drill bit to use or even what my walls are made of - think it's brick covered in plaster. And how deep a hole do you drill - does it matter if you're using plugs? Help, I really want to be able to do bits about the house and if I can manage these then hopefully that'll give me the push to get on with some other niggly stuff that needs doing.

Turnipinatutu Sun 21-Apr-13 19:47:44

The rawl plug will have a size in mm on it. That is the size drill bit you need.
Drill deep enough for the screw to fit in completely. Gently push or tap the rawl plug in until its flush with the wall.
It's easy, you can do it wink

singleWhiteMale Sun 21-Apr-13 21:02:29

The colour of the rawl plug indicates what size drill to use. There's a guide on the "ultimate handyman" web site here. Despite the amateurish look of the site all the advice is spot on and there is an advice forum and a youtube channel with excellent videos too. The only thing I'd add about the rawl plugs is that I would clean the brick dust out of the hole before putting the plug in.

BTW you can fix the over-sized holes in your bathroom with these.

PigletJohn Mon 22-Apr-13 09:22:15

The two common problems are:

Hole not deep enough

Hole too wide

The hole must be deep enough to pass tgrrough the plaster and penetrate into the brick or block behind. Plaster has no strength. The plug must be tapped in so that it is in the brick. You can do it by putting the point of the screw into the plug then tapping on the head of the screw. Screws and plugs supplied with accessories are often too short to achieve it. Buy a box of 30mm screws.

If the bit is blunt or your drill ineffective, you may end up with a wide crater instead if a hole. Use the hammer action to make a hole that is deep enough for your plug and your screw to go right in. Clear out the dust with a vac or water squirt. Put the nozzle of a tube of no-more-nails or cheap equivalent deep into the hole and fill it from the back. Press the plug right in, using the screw as a handle. Smooth the surface with a wet finger. Leave it overnight to harden, then screw into the plug which will not come loose or spin.

blinkinflip Mon 22-Apr-13 19:21:24

Thank you for replies! I have spent a wee while trying to figure out what guage screws came with the thing - I thought it was the diameter of the head but it seems it's the bit just below that. It's got pre-drilled holes which are 5mm across. I have 5, 6 and 8 mm drill bits. Can I use the 5mm? The screws are 5cm long and come with white wall plugs. FFS this should be very simple I think but I'm actually getting panicky about it! What if I hammer wall plugs in and make a mess of things - how do I get them out again?

I've owned a house for about a year and half after renting for more than 20 years - and I am realising I need to be able to do stuff like this. Otherwise the place will never get anything done to it - it's already looking a bit scruffy, a couple of door handles have come off and I couldn't even find any that don't have a spindle thing - I just want a door knob that will pull a door open!

This is ridiculous - I need to man up as there's no man to do it for me (I know, I know, but like I mentioned my dad was the one to do all this for my mum and I've not needed to do any maintenance in rented places). I'm feeling woefully inadequate - I would love to sign up for some DIY classes but work full time and have virtually no childcare in the evenings so that's out at the moment. sad

The front and back doorsteps need painted and I spent ages today trying to find out if you need to take all the old paint off first and still haven't come to a conclusion about it.

PigletJohn Mon 22-Apr-13 19:49:28

white plugs - in the bin

go to the hardware store or DIY shed, get some red ones and some brown ones. The brown for big heavy things, the red for light ones. They are very cheap. Get a block of each (made of strips of plugs folded together) not a strip and not a little box or packet.

Screw sizes are measured by the shank, which you describe.

The drill must be a close fit for the plasplug. Unless you are drilling into wood, when no plug is used and the drill should be slightly smaller than the shank.

The block of plasplugs will have holes in the joining strips to show you the size of screws and drills to use, so you don't need to remember, but you soon will, because you will keep using the same one or two sizes, and they will look used.

You might like to try for advice on these little jobs.

The "bit" (what an engineer calls a drill) is different for masonry, when it has a little squareish piece of very hard material welded to the tip. For wood, it has a shallow point. Usually, masonry bits are silver and wood bits are black. You wil probably only need half a dozen or so which you can get in a set. You will break the small sizes. Draper is a budget brand but OK for light DIY use. Never buy any tool that says "Silverline" on it. Aldi and Lidl are quite good for budget tools in a restricted range, and if they break in the first year you take them back.

If you have an electric drill it probably has a hammer action which you turn on or off with rotating knob or a slide. Hammer on for masonry, off for wood. That is important.

PigletJohn Mon 22-Apr-13 19:52:25


you don't pull wall plugs out or they will bring the plaster off. Put the tip of a screw into it then tap the screw-head with a hammer. The plug will sink into the wall. Once it is below the surface, use a screwdriver to remove the screw. It's best to do this when you first plug the hole as well, it will reduce cracking of the plaster.

blinkinflip Mon 22-Apr-13 20:03:37

Thank you John smile I have a Bosch PSB 680 hammer drill which I bought about a year ago and used once for my failed toilet roll holder attempt and have just dug out a big bag of various strips of rawl plugs and they do have the drill and screw guides stamped on them - this is something I have never noticed before!!!

PigletJohn Mon 22-Apr-13 20:11:37

red hammer slide on the top like it says in the instructions.

FishfingersAreOK Mon 22-Apr-13 21:09:01

practice drilling a few holes where it doesn't matter. When my dad bought me my first drill he took me to the back of the garage and let me practice. Then got me to try on some wood. It really helped the nerves, even though my drilling can still be a bit iffy.

Also if you are doing anything into new build houses which are generally made of a lot of plasterboard walls (my first 2 houses were) then you may find these a lot easier then going near a drill...

fossil971 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:20:46

Get a DIY book! I always recommend the Collins DIY manual.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Mon 22-Apr-13 22:19:57

Forget books - 'YouTube' is your friend smile

There is nothing that isn't on YouTube

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