I have basically lived alone for about nine years and because of that, I have considered myself fairly capable of many household tasks.
- Fixing a toilet – done that
- Putting together an Ikea table and four chairs – handled like a champ
- Building a bed frame and moving a queen size bed by myself – completed after a few choice words and a bruise or two, but the point here is that I got it done! Wha whaaaa!
But a recent experience buying a wine rack from Amazon taught me one thing for sure – I know nothing of hanging heavy crap on walls. When the box with the smiley Amazon logo arrived on my doorstep, I quickly tore it open to reveal a beautiful wire wine rack. Once I pulled it out, a bag of ‘stuff’ came falling out containing a couple of screws and…and….shoot, what are those weird plastic thingies called again?
That pull thingy. Yeah, that…it’s actually called an ANCHOR. Do you know what it’s used for? I actually did have an answer for its intended use – It helps hang heavy things so the item won’t fall off the wall or pull out large chunks of the wall.
ANCHOR: A wall plug or screw anchor, commonly called a dowel in US English, is a fiber or plastic dowel used to enable the attachment of a screw in material that is porous or brittle or that would otherwise not support the weight of the object attached with the screw.
Great. I have a wine rack. I have some screws and anchors. Now what do I do? I call Bryce – that’s what I do. She gets pretty excited about helping a sista out. She has power tools, folks. Bryce quickly listed the supplies she would be bringing to finish the job:
- A power drill
- A stud finder (totally impressed when she mentioned this)
- A level
So here’s what Bryce the tool woman taught me.
1 – Before you hang anything heavy on your wall, you need to find studs. (Great – what does she think I’ve been doing on Match.com?)
WALL STUD: A wall stud is a vertical framing member in a building’s wall of smaller cross section than a post. They are a fundamental element in building framing.
STUD FINDER: A stud finder (also stud detector or stud sensor) is a handheld device used to determine the location of wood and metal framing studs used in light-frame construction after the walling surface has been installed. There are two main types of these devices: magnetic stud detectors and internal capacitor stud finders.
It’s important to find studs when hanging a heavy item on the wall (especially when you’re living in earthquake country like we are). Since my wine rack would be holding at least six full bottles of wine, several wine glasses, and decorative pieces – it was important that that sucker stayed put on the wall. The wall studs will dictate where you hang certain items. We had to hang my wine rack a little further right on the wall than what I really wanted, but what’s more important – having it where you want it or having your wine stay on the wall and not crashing to the floor?
2. Mark where the studs are with a pencil.
3. Hold the item up on the wall and line up the screw holes and the studs. Again, mark that spot with a pencil.
4. Use a level to make sure your holes are…level.
5. Find a drill bit that is the same size as your anchors. You don’t want the hole bigger than the anchor or it could pull out of the wall.
6. Then drill a hole where you have placed your wall markings.
7. Place your anchors in the drilled holes and hammer them into the holes. Now you’re ready to hang and screw.
8. Hold the item up to the wall and screw the screw (?) into the anchor using your power drill.
And viola! You have a hanging wine rack!
A big shout out to Bryce for her knowledge and tools! She was amazing to watch! And thanks to her, I not only have a pretty place to display my wine and wine glasses, you all now know how to hang a rack yourself! Yay for handy women!