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Home Repair

How to use toggle bolts

To hang fixtures with a toggle bolt, you must first drill a hole slightly larger than the diameter of the unit with wings folded. The exact hole size required will be specified in the literature which accompanies the toggle bolt. The wing part is next unscrewed so that the bolt can be pushed through the fixture which is being fastened to the wall. The wing, which has a threaded nut in the center, is now screwed back onto the end of the bolt, folded, and then pushed through the hole in the wall. When the wings have been shoved all the way through into the space behind, they will spring open on the inside.

Tightening the bolt draws the wings flat against the back side of the wall to lock the fixture firmly in place. Once the

toggle bolt is in position, it cannot be removed without losing the wings inside the wall.

Expansion-type screw anchors work in much the same manner as toggle bolts. However, they do not need as large a hole a toggie bolt, and they have the added advantage in that the bolt can be removed whenever necessary while the anchor remains locked in its original position in the wall. This not only simplifies installation, it also enables you to take down fixtures whenever necessary (by simply unscrewing the bolt) and to replace them with the same anchor.

To install one of these patented screw anchors, a hole must be drilled to accept the metal tube or sleeve which forms the body of the fastener. The assembled fastener is then pushed through this hole until the small flange under the bolt contacts the face of the wall. Tightening up on the bolt causes the sleeve to split open and expand in back of the wall until it is gradually drawn up tight against the back of the plaster. This locks it firmly and permanently in position, even after the bolt is withdrawn. The bolt can now be removed, passed through the fixture being hung, then reinserted in the threaded hole in the fastener to complete the mounting job. These anchors come in various lengths to accommodate walls of various thicknesses. Very short models are also available for such jobs as hanging mirrors or other appliances on hollow-core flush doors, as well as for fastening to thin plywood and composition board.

Anchors or plugs which are designed for use with wood screws actually consist of a hollow sleeve which is inserted in a hole drilled in the wall. The hole in the center of this plug is tapered so that it is narrower at the tip than it is at the surface. Thus, when a screw is inserted, it splits the back end open to wedge it tightly inside its hole. These plugs or anchors come in various lengths and diameters to accept various size wood screws and to handle varying loads.