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Home Improvement

Can You Fix This?2

Admittedly, I am not the handiest FixItYourself-er.  As a result, fix-it projects at my house take a long time. 

This past weekend, I got a burst of  motivation.  After all, a long-put-off -home-improvement project is still better than taxes.  And, the in-laws are coming to visit next week. 

But, it didn’t take very long before we got in over our heads. 

The black circles – that’s a picture frame.  Cool, isn’t it?   I’ve had it sitting in my closet for about two years.  It’s not easy to hang because of how it’s not symmetrical and all.  But, we did OK with that.  Of course, my husband wants to know how long it’s going to hang on the wall with no photos in it – a very valid question, indeed. 

The stick of wood hanging vertically next to the mantle – that’s part of this:

and that’s the problem. 

See, we gathered all our tools, borrowed a level and a studfinder from a neighbor, carefully measured, positioned and prepared to attach the wood piece to the wall. The floating ledge then slips onto it and gets screwed inconsicuously from the top and all is good with the world. 

But, see this very first drill hole:

the head of the screw broke off inside the pre-drilled hole while my husband (just sayin’) was drilling it into the wall. 

Now, we can’t just rotate the piece of wood in the opposite direction to unscrew it, because

rotate it clockwise from the vertical and . . . it hits the mantle before it gets once around. 

So, are we screwed? 

Do we pry the screw directly out of the wall?  It’s going to leave a nasty looking hole that will need some kind of repair before we can try again in the same place. 

I can’t think of way to hold the screw steady and pry the wood off of it.

Should we try to cut the wood so it can bypass the mantle?  But then we have to recreate the wood piece or buy another floating shelf.  We are not handy, so any complicated step beyond the initial following of the directions is going to tax our abilities – greatly.

How would YOU fix this?   Please, please, please leave your ideas in the comments below. 

by Lisa Oram  

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Comments / Discussion

  1. Katrina
    You've more than likely already fixed this(2 weeks ago and all), but depending on what you're going to put on that shelf, I don't see why not just leave it and screw the other two in? It should hold up fine. There are also screw extracting drill bits, but I think they require some kind of head to be on the screw. Final advice: don't use the screws that come with anything of this nature. Get a pound of heavy-duty ones to use instead. More often than you'd think, the included ones will break.
    April 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink
  2. editor
    Hi Katrina, You're right. We have fixed this (and I'll spare you the gory details), but you are absolutely right - we could have just screwed in the other holes and it would have been fine! NEVER thought of that and neither did others we consulted. The shelf was meant to hold some small light glass sculpture - which I wouldn't want to risk breaking - but you are absolutely right that 2.75 screws would have been plenty. And YES, we learned our lesson to stock up on better quality hardward. Thank you!!
    April 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink
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