How in the heck do I hang things in a 1920's building?!?


Hello there! I am a young female that is NOT anything close to a handyman, my man is a computer geek (even LESS handy), and I need help! I want to hang pictures as well as heavy curtains/rods and surround speakers in my place but everytime I try I make a huge hole. I have some anchors that the maitenence man gave to me, a decent drill and an wide array of different screw/nails/etc. and a hammer. HOW IN THE HECK DO I HANG THIS CRAP? Please-HELP ME!
Thanks! Krissy
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If you do a lot of re-arranging, you might get a "pro" (or do some homework) and install a "picture rail" around the perimeter of the room. Once installed, you can hand "stuff" from it without worrying about the walls.
For curtains: If the existing trim doesn't provide a sufficient base, extend that trim with properly installed boards which are fastened directly into the wall framing. You can paint the board the same color as the wall or finish them to match the existing trim. But you then have a good base to install curtain hardware without fear of destroying your wall.
Modern "wall board" is pretty forgiving and can often hold 20 to 40 lbs with just a plastic anchor. But OLD "old style" lath and plaster is a problem as often the lath has pulled away from the plaster. When you drill this stuff you have to be VERY careful and SLOW.

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missykrissy66 wrote:

How would you have your car engine replaced? An appendix removed? Fly to Albuquerque? Build a pyramid?
Answer to the above and your question: Hire an expert.
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are you hot?
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longshot wrote:

"my man is a computer geek"
<ducking>
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If you are a hot babe, have the neighbor man next door come over to help.
Otherwise, anchors and toggle bolts are best in plaster wall. You have to drill a hole first, insert the anchor, then put in a screw. Put a piece of tape over the place you want to drill and it helps prevent chipping.
Very light things can often be hung with just a hook nailed into the lath.
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1 - You do not hang crap, you flush it down the toilet. 2 - The walls may be strong enough to hold a light picture frame but not strong enough to hold a surround sound speakers. 3 - Your best holding power is to find the studs in the walls, use a stud finder. Remember that outside walls may not have studs they may be plaster directly on masonry or plaster on wood lath on small strips of wood called strapping. 4 - Ask the maintenance man how to do it.
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Have you checked the size and weight of surround sound speakers these days? If the wall can't carry them you'd better get out of the house as it will collapse. Most speakers weigh about 2 pounds.
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wrote in message

1 - I was talking about hanging them on old plaster, as it may not hold the weight. One would need to find a stud if there is one.
2 - Yes, I have checked out the size and weight of surround sound speakers. I just hung a bunch. The cheap junk can be quite small, but close to useless for real good surround sound. Some, such as I was hanging, weigh about 8 to 12 pounds and need to be mounted solidly to prevent the weight and vibration from pulling them down.
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missykrissy66 wrote:

If the maintenance man gave you anchors, have him show you how to install one since presumably he is familiar with the construction of the place.
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">> Hello there! I am a young female that is NOT anything close to a

I got onto this thread a little late. If you still need help,
Am I correct that this is plaster over lathe construction?
You may not have the right anchors. With the right ones it is a piece of cake. Even a geek can do it.
Colbyt
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On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 20:46:52 -0400, "Colbyt"

What would be the right anchors to use on Plastered Lathe walls (if a vertical stud is not in the vicinity of where you want to hang something)?
The reason I ask is that I also came across this a while back when asked to hang a 4lb wind-up pendulum clock on a Plastered Lathe wall. I was able to deep scan the wall for studs with my Zircon but found none in the location where she wanted the clock hung. I wasn't about to drive a nail in the wall for fear of damaging the surrounding plaster and wasn't ready to trust a screw for 3 reasons, 1) would the lathe slat support a 4lb hanging object and 2) I wasn't sure I would be able to get the screw to hit the "meat" part of a slat and not hit the space between slats or get too close to the edge of a slat and 3) the possibility of the old dried, hard slats splitting when invaded by a screw.
Regards, Stan
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wrote:

I hang draperies, mirrors and assorted stuff all the time. If you use a 2" #6 or 8 hex head screw and the proper hanger it is not going to fall down. Most times you will hit the lathe behind the plaster. That is all you need. The heaviest load is there to stay unless there is a moisture problem inside the wall in which case nothing is going to last long.
If you hit the edge and it splinters, you will feel the screw not snug down tight. Set your clutch using a scrap of wood if you fear you can't feel it.
Failing to hit the lathe, then a 3" (1/8 x 3) toggle bolt is the next best option. A long range molly would be the distant third choice. Distant third because of the uneven surface inside the walls for the grip point. All the rest of the quick and easy stuff they sell at the borg is crap.
Here is one more tip. Use a 1/2" #8 TEK screw to cut though the hard coat of the plaster before you drive the big screw home. This greatly minimizes the potential for a crack or fracture of the plaster. One TEK is good for 1-2 holes before trashing, is cheaper and less messy than drill bits.
People greatly under estimate the holding power of secure plaster. Over the years I have taken down many draperies that hung for years and the screws holding them up were screwed into nothing but the plaster wall. Never making contact with any wood at all.
Colbyt
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On Mon, 30 Apr 2007 12:16:42 -0700, missykrissy66 wrote:

Call a pro and have them reinforce the walls where you want to hang things.
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