Do it yourself: Drilling a hole in the wall

Do it yourself: Drilling a hole in the wall

IF you've ever tried to pound a nail into your wall to hang a picture, you probably know that it doesn't work very well. Special cement nails work for very light things, but when hanging anything heavy, especially pictures with glass, cement walls should be drilled into.

When purchasing a drill make sure to buy one that has a hammer function as well as a standard drill function. There will be a switch on the top of the drill indicating which mode it is in, and most hardware stores around town carry them. While there, pick up plastic screw anchors and screws. (A few more than necessary is always a good idea.) The length and gauge of screws and anchors depends on the weight of what you are hanging - long thick gauge screws for heavy things like shelves, and shorter screws for pictures. When you have your screws picked out, purchase a masonry bit. This dull-looking bit will be more expensive than a wood drill bit and will be sold as a single piece. The bit should be measured according to the diametre of the plastic anchor and not the screw.

Set the drill to its hammer function and begin drilling. Depending on your wall, drilling could take anywhere from thirty seconds to over a minute. There will be a lot of noise and the drill will bounce around, but hold it steady without pushing too hard - let the drill do the work. It is a common error to push too hard which can damage the drill or the bit.

Once you have a hole, use a hammer to pound the plastic anchor into the wall. Because the anchor relies on pressure in order to keep the screw in place, it needs to be pounded in all the way so that it is flush against the wall. If it does not go all the way in, you have either not drilled far enough, or the bit is too small. When the anchor is flat against the wall, screw in the screw and hang your picture with the confidence that it won't fall down.

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