View Full Version : Boring advice...

6th Dec 2013, 09:13
The missus tells me I have to hang pictures....

Living in a solid block house (breeze block back filled, then plastered on top) I'm struggling to find the right tool to bore 4-5-6 mm holes to fit the raw plugs' into said bores.
My little 9.6V drill is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Any advice regarding a suitable drill? I have the concrete drill bits so no worries there.

All boring advice accepted.

6th Dec 2013, 09:17
You need a mains -powered drill with hammer function. Even then, it depends on the type of block. Good luck.

Lon More
6th Dec 2013, 09:18
hang pictures
sod photographs
Bugger portraits

Seriously, you need hammer drill. Is there a tool-hire shop near you if you don't wish to buy?

6th Dec 2013, 09:20
I have a little thing made by Rawlplug many years ago.

You hold it against the wall where you want a hole, and you bash the other end of it with a hammer, turning it a bit between bashes. It's more effort than a leccy drill, but it makes nice neat holes and can cope with most walls.

Ancient Mariner
6th Dec 2013, 09:32
Do you really need to bore holes to hang pictures? I've used some plastic hooks with fours short and and one long central hardenerd steel nail, just hammer them in. Worked a charm even for fairly large, framed paintings and framed and glassed pictures. Check your local DIY-asylum.

6th Dec 2013, 09:39
Yep AM, a lot of these things are those bloody rustic "home is where the heart is" fake antique looking Shite that the missus loves to look at, as such using hooks isn't an option as they are heavy, and not overly stable, most have recessed notches for screws to attach onto the wall.
It's a right bloody pain, but then she does cook and look after the kids....except on days ending in the letter "y"

6th Dec 2013, 09:49
AS Ancient Mariner has said, the plastic hooks with hardened pins through are the way to go. One can purchase them in at least two sizes to cope with varying weight of picture.
I have approximately 200 pictures in my house (I know, .....!!) all hung on these devices.

They can even be removed without causing too much damage, if you are careful and lucky!

A A Gruntpuddock
6th Dec 2013, 09:51
I found it best to drill a small hole with a masonry drill first then widen it out to the full size with the correct bit.

Don't usually need a hammer drill.

6th Dec 2013, 10:02
This might help: drill holes into rocks for dynamite and detonator tube - YouTube

tony draper
6th Dec 2013, 10:03
6 mm seems a bit generous just to hang a picture :uhoh:

6th Dec 2013, 10:12
Drapes that's the raw plug size (inner diameter is 4mm), but yes, however supplies of sensible sized screws are a bit thin on the ground where I live.

cockney steve
6th Dec 2013, 10:13
the voltage of the battery drill is more or less irrelevant...more important is it should have a hammer action..... you can normally drill aerated concrete blocks and soft bricks without impact, but bits of hard stuff can throw the drill off-course...hence the impact-hammer to smash those bits.smaller drill is just a slower operation.

@Keef....yes! the Rawlplug device was called a "Jumper"...pointed tip and 3 flutes on the disposable tip. The smitey bit was hexagonal or octagonal , smite-turn-smite-turn was the method and a wrench could usually free a stuck one...as a pimply youth, I learned that hitting sideways to free one, was NOT a good idea:O once sufficient depth had been mined, one used a plug made of a cylinder of parallel pieces of string impregnated with some sort of resin or plastic...not only do I still have a jumper (somewhere!) but also some of said ancient fibrous plugs!...bet the kids will puzzle over them, when i croak.

In UK we get brassed-steel picture-hooks which come with hardened pins and guide-holes at the correct angle....as usual, they only penetrate the plaster and screed....for a heavy item, that's a bad idea....plugs should always be imbedded below the surface, into the substrate which is load-bearing.
me-ijust hang light stuff....blu tack, drawing pins or a panel-pin suffice....anything bigger doesn't get hung!

Dont Hang Up
6th Dec 2013, 10:27
Do you really need to bore holes to hang pictures? I've used some plastic hooks with fours short and and one long central hardenerd steel nail, just hammer them in. Worked a charm even for fairly large, framed paintings and framed and glassed pictures. Check your local DIY-asylum.

In my experience of hard walls the do not yield to a low power drill then picture nails will invariable bend when you hammer them in. They seem to go in fine until the depth of the plaster is reached - then the swearing starts.

A hammer action drill is needed. Also the other usual tips: - make sure your bit is sharp and is a definitely a masonry drill (worth buying a new one if you have a lot of holes to make). And do not lean your weight into the job. Gentle pressure and let the power tool do the work. (Too much pressure means too much friction heat and you bit is blunt in no time).

6th Dec 2013, 10:30
I've used some plastic hooks with fours short and and one long central hardenerd steel nail, just hammer them in.

I've tried these before. Depending on the type of plaster on your walls, They either work moderately well, or in this house, where the plaster surface over breeze block has a rock-hard crust, the pins bend and cause a great chunk of plaster to spall off.

Then you have two jobs to do, not one. Or hang a bigger picture to cover the damage...

Bosch hammer drill, small diameter masonry bit, and plastic "Rawlplug" work for me, every time.

Lon More
6th Dec 2013, 10:33
In an older house there's a chance the plaster will come away in chunks when you hammer hooks in, especially if there's ever been any damp in the walls. Also there's a low weight those hooks are designed to carry.

Useful tip - tape an open envelope a couple of centimetres below where you're going to drill. This will catch most of the dust out the hole; less clean up time required.

6th Dec 2013, 10:44
I've recently used these, having seen them on the box. 3M Command Picture Strips. They do a good job. (Not cheap though.)

Command Picture Hanging Strips Large - Fasteners - Ryman (http://www.ryman.co.uk/0601165149/Command-Picture-Hanging-Strips-Large/Product?extcam=agg_gps_prod_feed_pf&istCompanyId=724692e0-2f99-4874-9565-6fc82074fe86&istItemId=xtlwpmqrr&istBid=tzxp&utm_source=google&utm_term=&utm_campaign=Product+Listing+Ads+JM&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=LPjudtB0|27873271140|||&gclid=CNKt4OzBm7sCFSoewwoduREA2g)

Sorry about that!

They work well, hang a helluva frame, and have a good levelling tolerance too. How they peel off in 20 years.... who cares!


PS Stupidly large link that doesen't seem to work- Giggle them.

6th Dec 2013, 10:53
Consider hiring a good hammer drill for the day. Hilti is the brand name to go for. I have a Bosch hammer drill which struggled on a recent job. The Hilti my neighbour 'borrowed' from his workplace did it in seconds, like magic. I was surprised at the difference.

6th Dec 2013, 10:55
Since when have Breeze blocks been really hard ?

They always used to be a damn sight softer than bricks.

6 mm does seem a bit large, even for raw plugs.

6th Dec 2013, 11:25
Since when have Breeze blocks been really hard ?
There are several types referred-to as 'breeze blocks' - some are, as you suggest, softer than brick whilst others are really, really hard, being formed from concrete-like material.
Then there's Thermalite.

6th Dec 2013, 11:30
The breeze blocks are much softer than the plaster. The pins on the plastic hangers aren't long enough to reach the breeze block.

6th Dec 2013, 12:09
1 Leave the feckin wall alone... :ugh:

2 Change the Missus :ok:

Hardly rocket-science :D

6th Dec 2013, 12:38
Can't say for over there, but in the US you can get "Stub Nails" (google "concrete stub nails") that drive straight into masonry and hold very well. The main problem is that they are very short, requiring a punch with a magnetic tip to hold them while you drive them, and that tool isn't cheap! I'd send you a handful but I'm all out, not having needed any for several years, and having used up my own stock of them long ago.

If you can find someone locally who hangs plaster or stucco mesh, they may be able to help you out. And plus one for the "Command" hangers- so long as the surface is clean and sound they hold very well. Pull the tab slowly for removal, pulled too fast it may come apart which makes it very hard to deal with without damaging the wall!

Windy Militant
6th Dec 2013, 12:50
You can do as suggested and get a Hilti SDS drill with pneumatic hammer action.
But the thing with that is SWMBO will decide in a few months or years if you're lucky that said Daubs are in the wrong place. Then there will be period of filling redrilling painting etc.

Far easier to get some picture rails you can then use hooks and string or fine chains to position said daubs wherever you like in future with comparative ease.

You can fix aforementioned rail in place with either a decent construction adhesive like Sticks like S:mad:t
Or hire a Hilti Gun and shoot the bugger onto the wall. :}
PS don't use the red cartridges or you may end up shooting the neighbours!:uhoh:

6th Dec 2013, 13:01
Thanks one and all, excellent advice, I used the ever expanding drill bit...i.e. drilled a 2mm hole..then a 3mm 4mm up to 6mm, made easier work of the block and the concrete.
Thinks are now hung, but plaster will need replacing and painting in parts, fortunately we are in company provided villa's so a little chap from the sub-continent will be along in a day or two to carry out the remedial works. Next time I'm just gonna burn the pictures...:E

6th Dec 2013, 13:16
Useful tip - tape an open envelope a couple of centimetres below where you're going to drill. This will catch most of the dust out the hole; less clean up time required.A vacuum cleaner nozzle placed immediately below the drill bit will suck up the dust as you drill. Obviously requires a helper and good team work. Flat nozzle is best, and can also be used to clean out the hole once drilled.

6th Dec 2013, 13:26
Both Lon More's and spekesoftly's contributions above must IMHO, be taken into consideration as the "joint prize-winners" so far as the most boring advice posted so far...?! :ok:

PS. Lon More, where would you suggest haughtney1 adresses the envelope afterwards... ;)

6th Dec 2013, 22:52
Since when has a 6" nail and a big hammer not been the preferred choice?