Common Repairs Made Easy

Common Repairs Made Easy

Tossing broken things costs money and wastes resources. Instead, you can fix them! The process is easy — if you understand fasteners!

For example, a cabinet drawer may need the glide or a screw reattached or replaced. A shirt with a button missing simply needs a button reattached. A broken dish needs the broken part reattached. Most stationary household things like these can be fixed with fasteners, either mechanical fasteners such as bolts and screws or chemical fasteners like adhesives Jennair Appliance Repair.

There is a wide variety of mechanical fasteners available for do-it-yourself repair including nails, screws, bolts, and anchors. Your home has hundreds of fasteners in it, holding walls together, binding appliance components, keeping the floor from moving underfoot, and even fastening sleeves on to clothing. All fasteners have a single function: to hold two or more things together. When they don’t, something’s broken.

Fasteners include nails, screws, bolts, nuts, adhesives, and thread. Adhesives and glues are chemicals that attach the surfaces of two or more components. Fasteners are easy to use and will help you fix hundreds of things around your home, so let’s take a closer look at them.

Nails are thin, pointed metal fasteners. Driven with a hammer, they join two pieces of wood. There are dozens of varieties of nails, depending on the specific purpose. There are special nails for masonry, roofing, finishing, and other common applications. Nails are classified by the size of the shank and the shape of the head. The most common type is called common, with large, flat heads for secure fastening. Next is finish nails with smaller heads that aren’t so obvious if flush to or below the wood’s surface. Nails are sized by length, indicated by a d or “penny.” A 4d nail is 1-1/2 inches long; an 8d nail is 2-1/2 inches long.

Screws are pointed-tip, threaded fasteners installed with a screwdriver. The type of screwdriver used depends on the type of screw head: Round- and pan (flat)-head screws require a straight-tip screwdriver; Phillips-head screws require a Phillips screwdriver; and square-head screws require a square-drive screwdriver. Wood screws fasten wood, and sheet-metal screws fasten metal. Screws are sized by length. Screws are stronger than nails and easier to remove.

Bolts are flat-tipped, threaded fasteners that use a threaded nut to attach wood or metal together. A washer may be placed under the bolt head or the nut for a firmer fasten. Bolts are classified by the type of head. Stove bolts and machine screws (actually bolts) are turned with a screwdriver. Hexagon- and square-head bolts are held in place with a wrench while the nut is turned to tighten. A carriage bolt’s head imbeds itself into the wood when the nut is turned. Bolts are sized by length and thread. Bolts are stronger than screws.

You can use many other practical fasteners. A lag bolt is a bolt head with a screw body. An anchor is an addition to a bolt or screw that helps anchor the fastener in a hollow wall or door.

Thread is a fastener for clothing and upholstered furniture. You can thread a long strand of fabric with a needle by hand or with a sewing machine. Thread is sold by fabric (cotton, nylon, polyester, etc.) and thickness (Tex or T). Cotton wrap polyester is used in making a wide variety of clothing. T-18 thread is light weight and T-50 is medium weight. Thread needles are rated by the eye size, shaft length, and purpose.

Here’s an easy fix-it tip: Velcro and other loop-and-hook fabric products can be used for quick fixes. You can use it to fasten toys, fabric, shoes, wall decorations, and many other things. Velcro is a trademark name for nylon fabric that can be fastened to itself. The back sides of the Velcro are fastened permanently to the object to be fastened, and the front sides of the Velcro adhere to each other when they touch.

Adhesives secure the surfaces of two materials together. There are many types of adhesives, most of them designed for use with specific materials and under specified conditions. Adhesives come in liquid, solid, or powder form, and some require a catalyst to activate them. Select adhesives based on their characteristics, strength, bonding method, and setting time and temperature. For example, cyanoacrylate (instant glue) is preferred for permanently bonding rigid plastic parts that don’t face temperatures over 150 degrees. Some adhesives are waterproof while others are not; some need to be held together (clamped) while drying and others don’t. Read the instructions on the label for the appropriate application and use.

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