Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tip of The Day - An easier way to screw in eye hooks

Lag-style screw eyes and ceiling hooks (which, out of pure laziness, I collectively refer to as "eye hooks") are great for creating a quick point for hanging stuff from.  But even after pre-drilling a properly sized pilot hole, they can be a real pain to fully embed in the base workpiece if you're dealing with larger-diameter hardware.  Doing it by hand can be a near impossibility.

Some people get around this by drilling a larger diameter pilot hole so the threads don't have to work through as much material - but this weakens the connection with the wood.  For eye hooks designed to hold heavy loads or safety-critical applications (hammocks, porch swings, punching bags, and so forth), you don't want to sacrifice strength for convenience.  The pilot hole should be no bigger than the inside shaft diameter of the eye screw.

Another workaround involves first getting the eye screw hand-tight, then inserting a screwdriver or rod into the "eye" and using that as a lever to complete the turns.  This works, but can be inconvenient in tight quarters and may require constantly removing and re-inserting the lever piece to complete the turns.  It is also difficult to get the screwdriver approach to work with "ceiling hooks", which have an open end (as shown in the video) that prevent getting proper leverage with the assist.

A small socket wrench, however, will make quick work of it:

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