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Screw Eye Problems

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

  1. shopmonkey cpf

    shopmonkey cpf CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    214 long shank ROCK!! :D
  2. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Harumph, indeed, Mar!!:beer:
  3. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God


    Any other threaded fastener could be more suitable than a screw eye, so long as its width does not protrude beyond the frame's perimeter. For example, an Infinity Hanger with a #4 screw of whatever length would be appropriate.

    The advantage of this device is that it lays flat on the back of the frame and does not protrude, as a screw eye does. D-rings lay flat, too.

    The problem with screw eyes is that the device separates the wire from the frame's back surface by 1/8" or more, depending on the diameter of the eye, which creates destructive leverage, as Jay H described earlier.

    Personally, I would not rely on anything less than 1/2" width of wood to support any frame. I would add a strainer frame or back box to any frame of less width. I discard all samples of too-narrow mouldings.
  4. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

  5. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hey ya wanna hear another of my old-fashioned wacky ideas about screw eyes?

    I keep a little box full of OLD rusty darkened screw eyes (making sure they are strong and straight) and I use them on antique frames for my antiques people - they LOVE this!

  6. Bron

    Bron SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Good one Mar,

    I have a jar full of square cut and handwrought nails just because ...

    Back in the steam era when I started framing, I was taught to wrap the wire around the shank of the screw eye; not just in the eye; makes a difference; a little common sense as to weight and size of the screw eye helps as well, so like Mar, I think there are situations where a screw eye is safe. The infinity hanger sounds just a tad better, because you can use a power screw driver to install, and there will be even less leverage.

    P.S. Dave, what are you saying ?????
  7. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Just being a little screw eyed, Bron...

    :icon9: :icon9: :icon9: :icon9: :icon9: :icon9:

    Just as in any type of construction, screw eyes are one element we have available to use or not use. To say screw eyes should never be used is just plain wrong. There is no best way to do any one thing because there are so many variables. A thinking person evaluates all the aspects of a project and decides what is appropriate.
  8. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Second that Dave, unless of course they want to use screw eyes. then they are just being wrong headed :)
  9. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    ...and you call yourself a Mainah!! Harumph!:nuts:
  10. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Ralph, aren't you and Bob 'just imports'????? :D

    As for the screw eye. I have a few in different sizes, inherited from previous shop. Won't throw them out but have never used one either.
  11. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Of course I'm a Mainer, I was being contrary :)

    And Ylva, while I am "from away" (not an "import") I am from Mass, and that state OWNED Maine. Maine was the wood lot for Mass, so I am laying a claim to be a native from way back :) The status is still being debated in Bangor....

    I use screw eyes, just not as a first choice. Other, better options, but screw eyes are an option. Up there with zig zag, saw tooth hangers.
  12. Cassetta

    Cassetta CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

  13. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    True that. Just a couple of weeks ago I used screw eyes to attach two-part stacked frames together. Put screw eyes in the sides of the inner frame, and screw through the eye into the back of the outer frame. Works well.

    We stopped using screw eyes for hanging hardware a long time ago, because in every situation, there is always something better. I can't think of a situation where screw eyes would be the best choice for hanging hardware. Can you?
  14. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Every time I see the title of this thread,
    I think 'You can say that again!' :)
  15. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Guess what Jim - Baer put screw eyes on the back of this!!!!! :)

  16. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    We've seen that photo several times before, and I love it -- the vigilant lookout standing at the window, gun ready, guarding the homestead. Nice frame, too.

    If you are suggesting that screw eyes were the best choice for hanging hardware, would you explain why? How are screw eyes better than, say, Infinity Hangers or D-rings for wire?

    The leverage issue is the main problem with screw eyes, but that's not the only issue. Being able to remove and re-install the hanging system by its original screws is an advantage. Have you figured out an easy way to avoid cutting the wire to remove screw eyes?
  17. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim, Jim, Jim....

    The frame measures 10 3/8" (not counting the 1/4" sticky-outy things) on the base and 12" high. Brother Baer used stainless steel wire.

    The wire merely unwraps to remove. That's what calluses on my fingers are for! Wrapping and unwrapping wire (among other things).

    The frames weight 1.75 pounds.

    I think we're safe here.

    Baer - a little help....... ;)
  18. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No one has shown me where my installation method has a "leverage" problem. Screw eyes don't damage even the smallest frame any more than any other screw if properly pre-drilled (and they tend to be thinner than other screw options). I don't normally use them over 16x20 except if the frame is light - judgement call. I'll use D-rings on smaller heavy frames. I don't care about reinstallation - wire is cheap.
  19. Bron

    Bron SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    99.9 % of problems I've seen with screw eyes are operator induced. Too small, or improper technique. Even with awl punched holes, that also gave you the advantage of a tool to turn the screw eye in, not a problem if your sense of size is accurate. Proper technique is the wire goes through the eye, around the shank, and back out the eye to be wrapped, and where the eye is up against the back of the frame.

    However, there are clear advantages to d-rings and infinity type hangers; you can use a magnetic tipped, power screw driver, making it a very fast and efficient operation.

    If you have some reason you need to repeatedly remove the wire, I wouldn't do it with wood and a wood screw; I'd spend the time to put one of the brass inserts that has a machine thread inside.
  20. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    If I had it on my laptop I could show you an example of a frame, in the same size or or even a little smaller, on which Baer used Super Steel hangers.

    Physics is physics...
  21. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Mar, Mar, Mar...

    Safe? Sure. But other hanging systems might have been safer, as well as easier and faster to install.

    Installed cost of a hanging system includes the materials plus labor. Installing a screw eye takes longer than installing a phillips-head screw using a magnetic screwdriver, unless you have a special drill attachment for screw eyes.
  22. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Oh Baer - where are you????

    You got some 'splaining to do!
  23. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If I were to be in a frame shop where I was forced to fit a hundred frames a day then I might worry about the length of time it would take to install hanging hardware.

    As it is now and has always been in my career, if I fit ten frames a day it is a UNUSUALLY BUSY DAY - and one minute here and there just does not bother me at all. Ten frames a week is about average I think.

    Baer - where are you!!! Rise and shine! :)
  24. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    It's all about using the right hardware for the frame at hand:


    Notice how the screw eye is big enough to hold the frame without the possibility of bending.
  25. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I don't have to explain anything Mar.
    You got what you got because you can appreciate the traditional use
    of the time honored methods that have served this industry and the
    art work since the threaded screw was invented in 1412.

    Mr. Lantrip got the heavy duty 10 guage galvanized four screw
    hardware and 1/8" thick industrial tension wired hanging system he got,
    because that would be the only suitable and acceptable hardware that he
    would feel he got his money's worth from;

    even though both of you paid the same price.

    But if you really want explaining, (and I'm guessing because you
    PMed me to specifically address this issue I have had on my
    "totally ignore" list of serious things to NOT do.....) here goes.

    1) I'm old school. I don't give a rats pa-tootie about 60degrees,
    20 degrees or any other degree of argument requiring my customers
    to be so anal retentive their eyes are screwed in backwards.

    I find the entire structure of the discussion to be tedious, grating,
    and egotistically elitist in nature, origin and implementation.
    Kramer the Framer, Ken Taylor, Paul Fredricks, you and I all have
    found the screw eye to be as satisfactory in it's use as the thousands of framers before us.

    Yes there have been some improvements on the theme for very
    heavy frames such as stir-up hangers, D-ring strap hangers and in-line strap hangers.

    All have their place, just as the sawtooth hanger has it's place.
    But in my toolbox, over priced pieces of tin have no place just
    because I'm told that they are faster, easier, more effective.

    Bunk! Hang it.

    2) Mar, it's a new day. It is time for our beliefs, understandings,
    and knowledge to be put away on the shelf along with Vivian,
    Paul, Duane, Leonardo, Eli and the rest of us old farts.

    You can rail against the storm if you want, or you can peacefully just close the door and let the kids have their day.

    Lantrip and Miller and the rest are the new order, the new pair of dimes,
    the shiny pennies in the sun, the go to peoples, the top of the heap the
    Masters of the universe and all they survey; the industry has voted and they won.

    We now can relax and look to the FACTS for guidance or what ever
    the MCPF say is the only way to do things. When in doubt WWTMR.
    [what would the masters require]. No opinions or learning needed any more.
    No more hands on classes required. Mentors need not apply, too old school.
    This is the 21st century and anything we did in the 1970s is like sooo wrong.

    3) The blueberrys have been washed, and I need to get them in the oven so the cobbler is ready by noon.

    Hope this the what you truly wanted, because you really weren't totally clear and directive when you asked. :thumbsup:
  26. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:Common Baer, tell us what you really think. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
  27. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Oh Baer - I love you!

    And if anyone finds screw eyes so oppressive and offensive just send 'em to me - I have about ten more years of framing left in me so I would be happy to not have to buy any more.

    I have plenty of D-rings and two boxes of Flangers that I won back in the "Nightmare on Framestreet" days.....
  28. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Topic title would look great in an opticians window tho'
  29. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    How about "Eyes Examined While You Wait."
  30. Bron

    Bron SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Good one Baer! :D

    :icon9: and what Dave said.

    Mar, I would send you some screw eyes, but I still use them.
  31. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That's OK, Bron - I make sure to never run out! ;)
  32. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    If you can't attack the argument you can always attack the arguer.
  33. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    9 pages about screw eyes. Those of you that like 'em use 'em, those of you that don't, don't use 'em. Problem solved.
  34. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Indeed...agreed....moving on....

    Actually Baer,

    Not everything we did in the 1970's...just some of the things! :D

  35. Bron

    Bron SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I, personally enjoyed the discussion, and for the old folks I offer this, hand forged by a black smith:


    Just another hanger, for those little frames.

    Attached Files:

  36. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    One more example:

    Here is a framed etching, given to me by my dad's dear old Auntie Eva from Devonshire, upon the occasion of my first wedding back in 1966. This had been in her possession since the twenties (or mayhap even before that).

    So, all in all it has been hanging successfully on the wall for over eight decades on two continents and in three countries.

    The entire frame face is 3/8" wide - here it is from the front:


    And here is what the screw eyes look like on the verso:


    The screw eyes are solidly anchored into the still-solid wood of this tiny frame. The image is glued onto backing board which, with the mat I added, brings the height of the glass/mat/backing package right up to the back of the frame.

    The frame has been inverted once in its history and the screw eyes reinserted for strength - who knows - maybe I did that - I do not recall.

    Wall buddies? Flangers? D-rings? Not on this puppy!

    I USE D-RINGS!!!! Just not on stuff like this!

    I rest my case. I would never have dreamed I would be getting PMs over screw eyes! LOL.
  37. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    What a tempest in a teapot. We use screw eyes or sawtooths for tiny mouldings and D rings for the rest. We like the way D rings lay flat on the back of the frame, among other considerations. We switched to covered wire quite a while ago.

    We don't stock as many very thin woods as we used to because our staff doesn't like working with them. This is understandable, but I do see the occasional 1/4" walnut stem come in that needs a match. This style was so popular a few decades ago that I am thinking of adding a similar moulding back into stock. We used to fit these with a strainer bar support. A bit more expense for the customer, but fewer structural worries.

    We have not had problems with screw eyes breaking.
  38. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God


    Stop with the tease Bron, where did you find them?

    David... if the shoe fits.
  39. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Jeez Louise, this is a snarky thread. :faintthud:

    Back to Warped....
  40. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    This was a #217½ screw eye - I was gonna mention that - smallest threaded screw eye I have ever found! (although I can find unthreaded miniature eyes at Micro Mark).

  41. Bron

    Bron SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Not sure what they came off of; probably from this stack in the basement. Too interesting to throw out, but too much work to salvage. Someday projects ...


    Attached Files:

  42. ann e sellers

    ann e sellers Grumbler

    I have found that really slowing down the rotation of the screweye will help keep them from breaking.

    Just do it veeerry slowly. The heat generated from friction as it enters the wood makes them break much quicker.
  43. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Pre drill with a micro drill bit from FrameTek and you will get a perfect seat, without destroying the fibers and generating the heat that micro anneals the metal causing it to break. And, stop buying cheap screw eyes.
  44. fourmdev

    fourmdev Grumbler in Training

    Dear Batesmotel,

    You can try narrow hanger 5718 or 5794
    of LION UK.

  45. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I just want to ask any of our "Down Under" framers one last question...

    Are screw eyes in your neck of the woods reverse threaded???

  46. Bron

    Bron SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer



    That's a good un Dave.

  47. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Dave, the term is not "reverse threaded", it is left thread, and the answer is yes. They are.

    So are yours. Lower thread(leading) thread is on the left.

    Now, if we could just teach them what side to drive on then the toilet water wouldn't be so confusing.
  48. osgood

    osgood SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Haven't seen one since 1985 when I gave them up for good, so I don't know!
  49. BatesMotel

    BatesMotel MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I had no idea there was such a screw controversy in the framing industry! Boy did I open a can of screw eyes!
    I don't use them a whole lot but when a frame is to thin or a customer wants wire put on their Home Goods Art that is typically what I use. I pre drill, I turn slowly, I've tried soap you've said it, I've done it. I think the manufacture is using a lest costly metal and that is the reason they break on even the softest woods. I'm going to give the recommendations of the screw eyes from Larson a try for these kind of projects.
    I just visited The Barnes Foundation outside of Philadelphia just recently and was surprised that most of the paintings were hung with screw eyes. I mean we are talking millions of dollars worth of Renoir, Van Gogh, Manet, Picasso, ect and they were all hanging with screw eyes. If they are so inferior then why haven't these painting fell of the wall a long time ago. Now don't get me wrong we have much better methods for hanging artwork these days but obviously they have done the trick for a long time. As with anything, there is a time and a place for everything.
    Thanks to all of you for input on this subject. I learned alot, got turned on to some new products and really enjoyed reading what everybody's thoughts were on the matter. I will return the ones I have, order some of the recommended products and try to do away with some of my old habits. Thanks!
  50. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Nobody is saying screw eyes will not work. A century ago, framers probably had nothing better for hanging hardware. Today, we do.

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