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Screw Eye Problems

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by BatesMotel, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. BatesMotel

    BatesMotel MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I have been having problems with the eye breaking off from the shaft of the screw eyes. We always predrill the hole and no matter the hardness of the wood the eye breaks off. First the problem was just with the 1056 but now we just got a new batch of 1057 and they are doing the same thing. This new batch looks like a different metal content and also has a smaller size eye. I brought the problem to the attention of my distributor and he contacted the manufacture and was told that nothing has changed. Anybody else having these problems?
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  2. Thedra

    Thedra CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Not having the problem because I threw out the scew eyes years ago. Don't like the physics of them. Use d ring straps.
  3. CAframer

    CAframer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Why use screw eyes? There are so many better options.
  4. Bron

    Bron SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The recipe for the steel probably got messed up, making them either too soft or hard ... but d-rings are really superior.
  5. BatesMotel

    BatesMotel MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    In this case the frames are very small and narrow so D-Rings wouldn't work as they would show on the sides.
  6. alice allman

    alice allman Grumbler in Training

    screw-eyes are screwy

    Sorry, BatesMotel (nice avatar, by the way), but I agree with getting the d-rings. You'll not miss those nasty screweyes.;)
  7. alice allman

    alice allman Grumbler in Training

    screwy screweyes

    Ok. Copy that. That's a problem. If you have heavy duty metal shears, try trimming as much of the plate as you can, like cutting your cuticles.
  8. CAframer

    CAframer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Use Flangers.

    Or small Wallbuddies.

    Or maybe SuperSteel.

    Or maybe Beehive

    Or ... there are many, many options ... all better than screweyes!
  9. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    For narrow frames you have two other choices.

    For small frames I sometimes use screw-in sawtooth hangers. Or I use Flangers.



    I have used Flangers on 1/2" moulding. Far superior to screw eyes. Some folks don't like Flangers because you have to slit the backing to install them, but they can support up to 70lbs.
  10. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I took to long to type mine :icon9: You got your plug for Flangers in first.
  11. MabSadie2

    MabSadie2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    A couple of spins on the disc sander (with an old disc) has shaved those down enough to use on small frames.
  12. Greg Fremstad

    Greg Fremstad MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Hey, What about those teeeny Infinity hangers? Work on really narrow mouldings. I don't know who is selling them these days. Anyone know?
  13. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Greg, I think UMS is still selling them. One of the two colors has been discontinued if memory serves me, but the Infinity Hangers are still available.

    Consider this a plug for Infinity Hangers on narrow frames.
  14. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Possibly your pilot hole isn't big enough and/or deep enough.. If it is too small, you are still trying to move wood out of the way instead of the threads digging in. The extra resistance is causing the screw eyes to break.
    A pilot drill needs to be no thicker than the root of the screw threads.

    Also, look on page 1 of UMS catalog. See the screw eye driver at the bottom. That is what I use to install screw eyes. Great tool!!

    Screw eyes DO have a place in framing no matter what the others say.
    Having said that, I might try a box of flangers some day.
  15. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I would send back that batch of screw eyes to the place you got 'em and buy a new batch from someone else.

    Flangers are wayyyy overkill on tiny narrow frames.

    Use candle wax to grease the screw eye after you pre-drill the holes. That's what I do if they are breaking off in hard woods.

    I love the concept of Flangers but in frames 8x10 or less they are simply silly.

  16. Bill Henry-

    Bill Henry- SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I’ll swim against the current and proclaim to the world that I still use screw eyes frequently: They are less expensive, and easier (less time consuming) to attach than D-rings.

    The metal that they use in screw eyes is very sensitive to heat, however. If you screw them in too quickly, the eye gets hot (try it), gets brittle and can break.

    Drill a pilot hole, dip the threads into a lubricant like beeswax (I use a tiny jar filled with liquid hand soap – even when it dries it remains soft), and turn the screws slowly. You shouldn’t have any problems.
  17. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I have seen the problem for many years, that's why I only use them on small frames that I can't even use small Flangers on.
  18. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    I stopped carrying those super emaciated, ultra thin frames just because of the those cursed Screw Eyes.

    Flangers or Saw Tooth.
  19. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Problem is that people keep bringing in their great old frames which are all tiny and thin. And I love being able to fix old frames - because sometimes they are so perfect! (Yeah, and I like using antique glass also!)
  20. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    If the frame was too skinny for d-rings, I would throw out the sample. Too much trouble on soooo many different levels, just because the customer thinks it's cheaper.
  21. wendy lang

    wendy lang CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    "If the frame was too skinny for d-rings, I would throw out the sample. Too much trouble on soooo many different levels, just because the customer thinks it's cheaper."

    Me, too, Paul! Isn't worth the trouble! I also order AMPF's Petite Elite line (mostly!) as "joins" because our joining set-up crushes those ultra-thin mouldings. They are priced accordingly, of course. When the customer complains about the price, we tell them about the "extra mile" we go BECAUSE the moulding is so tiny. They think "smaller is cheaper;" we know that it is more of a hassle and thus costs more. A very few moments lost in quick, rough explanation usually gives them a good idea of why. Sometimes they blink back at you because they can't comprehend. That's when you pat them on the back of the hand and say: "Framer Knows Best, deary." And leave it at that.

    The Art Corner
    Salem, MA
  22. Hired Help

    Hired Help SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  23. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    I grab the smalest d-ring with a pair of plyers and make a quick pass on the bench grinder to remove most of the wing right up to the hole and this works great on skinny frames...I hate screweyes, and tossed them years ago.
  24. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yes, indeed. The place for screw eyes in my framing is in a box under the bench. I have several thousand in various sizes, purchased more than a decade ago.

    Infinity hangers are better.
    D-rings are better.
    Any two-point hanging system is much better.
  25. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Ah but when you put D-rings on a frame with no wire and even if you write a note or put big black letters on the dust cover "NO WIRE!" someone always thinks that means "No wire" so they attach a shoe lace or a ribbon or some thread or monofiliment and then you are back to a one point hanging system - you will have to pry screw eyes out of my cold dead hands.

    For a frame under 16x20 anything else is overkill - and for an 8x10 - yeesh!

  26. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I concur with the get rid of screw eyes crowd. If the frame is too thin for a d-ring then the frame risks cracking apart when you put in the screw eye. Or you have to use a screw eye that is too thin and you risk snapping it, or the weakened thin scrwe eye will fail in a couple of years and then the skinny frame will break....

    If you have to have thin moulding then look at the neilsen metals. the 33 profile or the 120 profiles.
  27. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    So riddle me this, all of you anti-screw eye folk - what exactly makes a screw eye screwed into wood securely so very wrong and yet a screw (to attach said D-ring), screwed into the self same wood, so right and so sturdy?

    OK - I know , I know: :bdh:
  28. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Professional Custom Framing should use the best...

    I agree with Jim Miller and others. We still have inventory but will use one of many other hanging options (mechanically superior = professional) over screw eyes.

    Framed pictures will sometimes show up on our design counter that we framed twenty-plus years ago with screw eyes and standard oxidized black picture wire (Also an item that we no longer use) :D If they are being cleaned and or rematted, we will always upgrade the hardware to what we use today....

    We use AMS nickel plated premium D-Rings along with stainless steel screw today, complimented by Softstrand stainless steel wire. (Two versions)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Depending upon the situation, we also will opt for Hook-ups or HangMan when the job calls for it.

  29. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Framar, leverage.

    You know all those old frames with screweyes and the screw eyes no longer face the back of the frame but instead are bent over and face each other? That is because the screw eyes are tall and pull using the frame surface as a fulcrum. They are either bent and about to break or have pushed the wood aside and are hanging on by a few wood fibers.

    Screws into Drings are flush with the surface of the frame. Neither the frame nor would any wire be strong enough to withstand the shear force that would be required to pull a screw out at 90 degrees into d-rings.

    I also fail to see how it's any faster at all. My hands and tools are too big and clumsy to handle those small things. I can nail down and wire 5 frames with d-rings to one with screw eyes.

    For very narrow frames, just nip off a bit around the hole with linemans pliers.
  30. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Just got a box of 1000 from LJ #24002 (212 1/2 ") - strongest steel I've encountered yet. Contrary to all the other advice, I do find them useful for many frames.
  31. hangupsgallery

    hangupsgallery MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    The D-ring lays flat against the back of the frame and thus minimizes the side torque applied to the screw. The eye screw acts more like a lever and thus, there is more twisting or bending moment on the screw resulting in more tearing action at the surface of the wood.

    By laying flat against the frame, the D-ring also keeps the frame closer to the wall and looks better.

    Eye screws scratch the wall, scratch the counter, tear the wrapping paper, scratch other finished pieces if not stored properly and are just a pain.

    We sent screw eyes to the dumpster about 15 years ago and have never allowed them back in the shop.
  32. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Pat for me if the frame can take a 212 screw eye then it gets a d-ring. For the reason Jay mentioned.

    The screw eyes I still use are 214 and 216s. For the thin frames. I still use screw eyes, just now I use then only when I "have to". The 216s almost always snap on me, the 214s are better but can split the thin frames apart.
  33. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Bob, 212 is good if entry is predrilled. I use a slow rotating little cordless screw driver for drilling to easily control depth.
  34. mrdeck

    mrdeck Grumbler

    Screw eyes put unneeded stress on a frame. Thin mouldings should never have screw eyes. I never used screw eyes,but took in over 100 jobs over the years, of others work that ripped out of the frame and fell off the wall.
  35. susang

    susang SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I volunteer to go to visit Bates Motel's shop to throw out her screw eyes and skinny moulding. We need to bring her into the 21st century. She's about 45 minutes away so it isn't too far. Maybe she'll give me some tomatoes?

  36. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ok... screw eyes will not scratch the wall as the surface is rounded so there is nothing sharp to scratch anything. A screw head is more likely to scratch something because of the sharp edges on the slots in the screw head.

    You all seem to think that we are using screw eyes for large pieces. Not so!! At least those of us who know when and when not to use them. When a piece comes in with the eye bent or the wood is torn out, it isn't because the eye was bad, it was because the framer was an idiot.

    If the piece is too big for a screw eye to hold it then the frame is too thin as well and should not be used. If the frame is thick enough then by all means use D-rings.

    Don't forget that screw eyes come with longer screw shanks so they can get more grab of the wood. They don't all need to be the short shanks ones.

    They do not hold a frame any further from the wall than a D-ring if you have set the wire size properly so it isn't tight against the wall. If you make the wire so taut that a screw eye would hold it out from the wall, then the customer won't be able to hang it onto the wall hook and they will curse you for doing a lousy job of framing because that they can't even hang it.

    Thin frames have a place and for small pieces, they are fine and screw eyes are fine as well.
    The largest I will use a thin frame is about 12x16. There isn't enough weight to bend a screw eye from that size package.

    At least Mar and I know how to do it right, eh Mar?:thumbsup:
  37. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If you run the wire into the eye then back inward around the base under the first entry then back out on top of the wrap and then into the sleeve, reverse back to the sleeve and crimp, I challenge you to show me the physics as to why a d-ring is any better, especially with the screw eye's thinner screw. :p
  38. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Pat, overall I think this is minor but can be an issue in rare cases. The eyes stick out further and on very narrow frames and can torque the frame into a circle-ish direction (does that make any sense?). The wire on a d-ring will pull a little more straight toward the wire because it's not elevated at all past the back edge of a frame.

    Now I do not think this is a big deal. I do not think it's likely to damage the frame except for very thin mouldings. But that is the reason we see them bent, broke, or about to pull out of a frame. I've seen them pulling out of the frame maybe 20 times in 7 years. I've never seen a screw show any indication that it was about to pull out of the frame or damage the d-ring.
  39. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Pat, when it leaves your shop it may be done right, but how much control do you have afterwards?

    I have had customers bring back frames with the hanger still stapled to the wire. even though they were told to use the hanger they used a drywall screw or an anyoldnail they had kicking around.

    I have had customers take the wiring apart and pull it tighter, because it was too "floppy". Then when I used screw eyes they wrapped it in the customerapprovedandchecked anyoldwayican method. At least with a d-ring their wiring technique doesn't change the physics of the hanging system.

    212s are good and I do use them still. as are the 208s and 211s. but my goto screw eye size is 214. Just personal preference on my part.
  40. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Seems Pat and I both use the swaging sleeves and crimp the sleeve so the wire can't move or be undone.

    Another reason a screw eye or even a D-ring will fail and pull out is when the wood grain has a hinky spot in it and the grain splits. Drilling helps minimize this.
  41. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer






    The above comments are my opinions and I'm entitled to correct opinions!
  42. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well said as always, Ormond!
  43. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Such language!!!

    My Ears!!!:faintthud:

    ..and a rousing "Stultiloquence!" to you, sir!

    Yes, you are entitled to them... not saying that you actually HAVE them, but you are entitled to them none the less.
  44. Bill Henry-

    Bill Henry- SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Don't hold back, Ormond, tell us what you really think. :p
  45. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    He's right though. ;)
  46. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Oh puhlease!

    Clipping off the edge of the world's smallest D-ring would be an exercise in frustration for an antique 8x10 frame with a less than 1/4" wide back.

    Flangers would split it in twain.

    Screw eyes and nice COATED wire are the only option.

  47. CAframer

    CAframer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Yes the smallest Flangers need 1/4" of moulding width ... but nope ... screw eyes are not the only option for very thin antique mouldings ...

    Here is an example:

    Moulding is 3/16" wide and only 1/4" deep. Overall frame size is 19" x 14.3/8"



    It seems to me that it is preferable in this kind of situation to attach the hanger to an auxiliary support rather than to the frame. So a thin piece of aluminum can be folded around the margin of a stiff backing board with an elevated cutout to create a loop for the wire. The backing board can be stapled into the frame, tape applied over the staples, a dustcover applied, and finally slits cut to permit the aluminum loop to pop thru the dustcover. The end result is sturdy, and adds considerable strength to what is otherwise a fragile frame.

  48. Bron

    Bron SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Andrew, that was neat! Even though I think on very small, minimal frames, screw eyes are fine. I'll second your "harumph" Mar. (Blazing Saddles, "who didn't give me a harumph")
  49. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Cool idea on the aluminum, Andrew - even some flashing would work without wrapping around anything.

    One could actually simply drill two tiny holes for the wire to snake thru on each side.

  50. imaluma

    imaluma SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I know I am coming into this late but my two cents anyway.

    I had this problem ages ago. The remedy was always predrill and wax the threads of the screw eyes.

    Now I use flangers and save the screw eyes for when I have a tricky canvas or stacked frame to put together.

    I heart flangers.
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