Skip

A broken bolt and a heavy mirror
September 3, 2012 3:36 PM   Subscribe

The bolt head in my heavy hanging mirror's back snapped off and I'm trying to fix it but the particleboard backing is being a jerk.

So, the head snapped off one of the bolts holding the heavy hanging wire making it un-hangable. Trying to unscrew the bolt out of the backing has failed because it seems the bolt is connected to something behind the particleboard backing. It'll spin and wiggle freely but not come out.

The particleboard is stapled in place all around the mirror. I suppose I could take some pliers to the staples, but I don't have a heavy stapler to replace them.

There are trick to fixing this or am I going to have to find a professional or just give it up? (Where would one even take a mirror so barely broken?)
posted by jmhodges to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
 
Trying to unscrew the bolt out of the backing has failed because it seems the bolt is connected to something behind the particleboard backing. It'll spin and wiggle freely but not come out.

Try pulling up with your pliers as you try to rotate the bolt. If there's a nut holding it in place, pulling it up will hopefully jam the nut against the wood providing enough friction to keep the nut from rotating as you try to twist the bolt out.

Of course to replace the bolt, you're probably going to have to take everything apart anyway. You may be able to gently hammer the staples back into place, or barring that, use some other fastening, like wire brads or glue.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:38 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's exactly what I was going to suggest, but when replacing the bolt/screw push down to get it started and pull back out to thread it in.

If that's not working for you, just go totally DIY on it. I don't know what resources you have, but if you have a drill with a small drill bit you can drill a couple of starter/guide holes and install two new phillips screws to wind your wire on. Just make them equi-distant to the original holes, either inside or outside of them. Add a drop of elmers or wood glue in each hole before you screw in the new screws.

You want to have starter/guide holes just slightly smaller in diameter than your new screws because otherwise that particle board will just split/shred and become a mess...another reason for using a drop of glue in each hole.

Good luck, if you have or can borrow a drill, this should be a 50 cent fix!
posted by snsranch at 4:56 PM on September 3, 2012


I'd take 6 large washers, like an inch and a half outside diameter, and thread and tie the hanging wire through them in two sets of three. Then I would Gorilla glue them to particle board, on either side. Only one washer would be mainly holding it up on each side, but the other two per side would give you ample warning by tilting if the glue detached. I'd put the two inside ones close to share the load, and the third with a little slack, so the mirror would visibly tilt as a warning if the glue detached on the bearing washers.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:41 PM on September 3, 2012


« Older I switched to a wheat-based li...   |  Toronto student life filter: T... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post