Monday, September 20, 2010
Using the right tool for the job
As you probably know, our landlord is nominally responsible for fixtures and fittings in the house the LA and I rent. That said, it's usually quicker, easier, and gets better results, if we just take care of things ourselves. For instance, the curtains provided by our landlord are three for three on "breaking", since they were never properly done in the first place. If you're screwing into sheetrock, you need to drill a pilot hole and use a proper anchor, because otherwise you're asking plaster to hold against screw threads. That's not something plaster does well, to say the least. As a result, today I bought a box of Drive Wall Anchors, which are ever so clever, and ever so cheap at $10 for 50 of the blighters. For your 20 cents, you get a screw-headed bolt (fine pitch engineered thread, to mate with a matching thread, driven by a screwdriver), with a sharpened tip, and a clever metal contraption designed to slip through behind the sharp tip (and a plastic insert provided to bridge the gap) until its final plate reaches the surface, at which point it bites in and prevents the metal thing from turning. You then tighten the screw, which causes this clever metal wossname to expand outwards, ensuring it'll never come back through the hole. Then you loosen the screw (or remove it, if necessary; the anchor being an integral part of the wall by this point) and put the thing you needed screwed to the wall on, then tighten up again. Simple, easy, and it actually works. Of course, it does cost about 20 cents per hole more than "that'll hold until I've left the building", which just goes to show that the most important tool is the one between your ears!