Types of Fixing: How to Fix Things to Walls Etc

No visible means of support

Before making a hole in any surface, first establish that it is safe to do so. Find out if there are any buried pipes, cables or other surfaces, and if you meet any obstruction, stop and relocate the position of the hole.

With few exceptions, all fixings to hard surfaces must be made by first drilling a hole to insert a fixing device. It is important to see that the drill point is sharp and in good condition. Metals and synthetic materials are, as a rule, best drilled with an ordinary engineer’s twist bit, used in a hand or power drill.

There are several basic types of fixing: masonry nails, plugs and screws (or bolts in the case of very heavy objects) are used for fixing into solid walls; and cavity-fixing devices for hollow surfaces, such as panelled walls or ceilings.

Screws and screwdrivers are main essentials in fixing. The length of screw, and its type, depends on the nature of the fixing and the load it has to carry. The intervals at which fixings are made and the load-bearing qualities of the surface have to be taken into account. If in doubt, use a larger fixing. Common sizes suitable for general use are No. 8 and No. 12 gauge screws of between 25mm, 31mm, 51mm and 64mm length.

The screwdriver is gauged or sized to the head of the screw you are turning. The best general type of screwdriver for many applications is a cabinetmaker’s.

Types of surface

Solid walls are usually made of brick, concrete aggregate or lightweight cellular blocks. There are no special problems in attaching objects to brick or concrete materials. Care must be taken in making fixings in aggregate materials, since these break up more easily and have poorer load-bearing qualities than some other materials.

With very hard materials, such as solid concrete and hard brick, it may be necessary to use a percussive device-such as a percussion power drill or a ‘jumper’ and a heavy hammer.

Interior linings and finishings differ considerably in construction, thickness and strength. Plaster board, lath and plaster, fibre board, synthetic-resin compound panels are those most frequently used. Linings are generally fixed to a timber frame-work called studding. The distances separating the members of the framework are called centres. Where possible fixings should be made into these members, consisting usually of 75mm x 75mm timber, rather than into the actual lining material.

It is necessary to locate these centres, often at regular intervals of about 380mm. The best way to do this is to make small test holes through the lining until you locate the timber supports.

Where the framing cannot be used for direct fixing, only the lightest loads should be fixed to the lining. Expanding or anchor bolts can be used, but it is best to spread the load by screwing stout ‘backing’ boards to the timber supports and making fixings directly to the board.

10. November 2011 by admin
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