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Screw Eye Problems

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
About 30 min. before close a lady walks in with a 16x20 ish painting on canvas board. She said that last night it fell from the wall. It not only scared them to death thinking somebody was in the house but fell onto a desk with several keepsakes. Many were damaged.

This was what was left of the side still stuck to the frame. We pulled it out with about the same force that it takes to pull keys from a door knob.

The piece now has D rings and a properly installed wire. It will last longer than all of us. The wire looks fairly modern. I wonder why she didn't take it to the shop that installed it? I should have asked if I thought about it.

David N Waldmann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
This was what was left of the side still stuck to the frame. We pulled it out with about the same force that it takes to pull keys from a door knob.
A fine story, Jay. But you do realize it has no bearing on the Screw Eye vs. The World debate, right? A properly installed screw eye (whether for hanging a picture or to catch a door latch) would never loosen to the point where one could pull it out "with about the same force that it takes to pull keys from a door knob". That eye was obviously put in a hole that was way too big for it. If the customer had put on a D-ring with screws of similar tolerance it may have lasted another night, or even a year or two, but it too would eventually fail.

Two things are required for a successful mechanical concept of any type: engineering and execution. It has been pretty well beat to death on this thread that just about anything is better engineered than a screw eye, and I agree (however, that does not mean that a screw eye is insufficient for any application, any more than saying that anything less than a Cray supercomputer is insufficient for any computer job), but in this case we are looking at inadequate execution.

Baer Charlton

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Thank you David.

I though about addressing the oversized hole and what appears to be snotwood condition in the picture.... but thought better about it. I wasn't up to being accused of beating up on an exframer who will remain nameless.

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
David you overlook one fact. We've all, rather we admit it or not, have seen screw eyes bent, wallowed out, and fail. Over the last 7 years I've seen maybe a dozen fail and probably a dozen more than were held in by the grace of God. I've never seen a single D ring fail because the physics are far superior.

Who ever installed the one pictured was gambling and lost. You make the leap, that I don't think is accurate, that the screweye was put into a hole to large. If your right, I agree. But what if not? What if there was no hole, the screw eye was driven in, and failed. Would that totally alter your arugment? I think the tearing in the wood we see, is from the screw being driven in until the eye dug into the wood. If the hole was to large, the screw wouldn't have bent but pulled right out. The threads were originally buried into fresh wood (I think). Well that is until the screw eye bent and pried out of the wood.

I felt it a little odd asking to photograph the piece, and certianly didn't spend much time examining the hole. I'm not sure if I had, it would change anybody's mind anyway.

There is no doubt that what we see is not the end result of every screw eye ever installed. Maybe the next size up would have held. Maybe not? Maybe two more sizes? Maybe more slack in the wire would have held better? Maybe not? Even a properly sized screw eye dances around the margins of failure.

I have d-rings holding a sidewalk sign outside. After a few years of wind abuse the stainless wire broke. The d-ring was horribly mutated but still held. For that size frame above, I'm certain that the smallest d-ring widely available would have held immeasurably better.

Anyway, I'm not a d-ring activist. I'm content with those who wish to disregard a real life occurrence. I really had no desire to post in this thread until yesterday. I thought the timing of the customers request was timely. Sharing it will probably only serve to distress some and confirm for others. Either way I'm cool with it.

Larry Peterson

PFG, Picture Framing God
:popc:This thread just about qualified for warped by now. Moderators - feel free to move it and rename it to FrankenScrewed. :popc:

Wanta B.Framer

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
you might be a picture frame junkie when you:

A) debate on an internet forum over the practical application of screw-eyes.
B) read said debate in its entirety.
C) decide to post pictures illustrating the points made in your argument.
D) all of the above.



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.
Oops, now it's twelve pages and I'm quoting myself. I'm getting dizzy.
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