Live Spice Rack

Hmm, I'm tempted. However I already have 4 boxes of screws and once I find screws that are just right for yellow and red wall plugs, I don't know that I'll need more.. and if I do I'll buy a box. I do have one of those boxes already and I use it for odd screws for PCs - I build them from time to time, I've done watercooling etc so I've had a lot of unusual sized stuff.

The electrician will be straightforward about what needs done, he's a good guy so he'll make sure I go down the best route.

I think I need the smaller drill bit for my walls because of their composition, they turn to dust when I drill in, although there's tough black ash in parts too, I think that leads to them having a bigger hole, or the plug having less purchase. The 5mm drill bit and the red wall plug were the right combination.

A tip I was given on these boards was to fill the hole with no more nails before using it. Next time I'm doing something - I'm sure it'll be calmer - I'll do that as well. I think as long as I get the wall plug recessed into the hole so that it's not exposed in any way, and as long as I don't go too overboard with no more nails it'll work perfectly, and mean the wall plug is permanently in there...and also if I need to cover it up I won't need to dig into the hole to get rid of the plug, I can just fill it and sand it.
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If it's of any interest....


Electrician is coming in half an hour. From what I described on the phone he thinks it'll be ok, but he wants to test the RCD.
So... it was the live wire.

It's been re-insulated, so no extra work required on the wall other than a plastering patch, which I can manage.

However he tested my RCD. Unresponsive..... it turns out the RCD is faulty (although the test button works) and had I been properly earthed... well, there would have been nothing stopping the current.

I think that counts as a near death experience! :p
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Well, the cable is patched, I've plastered it a few times until it's smooth and I've just painted over the top of it. In an hour it'll be invisible.

However I'm still left with a spice rack I've now failed twice to put on a wall.

It shouldn't be as difficult as I'm finding it, however I know the reason why now.

The rack itself extends back further than the screw holes. This means if I tighten up a screw then it contorts the rack.

I think this explains why (excluding the electrocution) I can't get it on straight.


I am trying to think of ways to cope with this. I have a couple of thoughts.

- Don't screw all the way in, leave the screws hanging out. The rack will still be pushed up against the wall so it won't move, and the screws can stay out.

- Apply all 4 screws but not all the way in. Once the rack is in place and level screw all 4 screws all of the way in.

- Try and get hold of some kind of rubber washer so that i can screw in and screw tight without the rack moving.

At the moment my understanding of how to measure the best place for the holes is to drill one hole, and screw the rack to the wall using that and then put a spirit level on the shelf of the rack, and judge when it both looks level and the spirit level says it's level and mark through the holes in pencil. Take off the rack, drill them and then put it up.

I think the reason it didn't work right this time is because I screwed the first screw all of the way in, then marked the holes.

The other way I can think of doing this is measuring exactly where the holes should be using a ruler, checking the line is level on the spirit level, measuring the spice rack for the holes on it and doing it that way. That doesn't sound like the best way to me - but I'm very amateur.

What do you think folks?
First of all dont let these things get you down - we all screw up and in a couple of years time you will be doing jobs for your mates because they are too scared to even start them and they know your the DIY hero.

This often means free beer :)

For the spice rack I would use a few washers to space it out if needed.

For the cable drilling you were lucky but its the best way to learn! Get a cable / joist finder. Make sure sockets are on and drawing power to to find them with the cable detector. I guess you know about safe zones now as well ;)

For the rawl plugs the walls in my house are the same - thick crumbly plaster thats deep over crumbly bricks. I find I sometimes need to use longer plugs to make sure they are into the brick (they grip the brick not the plaster) or if I need to (and this is a bit cowboyish so for light loads only) drill with a 5.5mm masonry bit to a depth where the plug is totally within the brick and use longer screws into the red plugs - try and "ignore" the plaster as much as I can basically.

I've plastered it a few times until it's smooth and I've just painted over the top of it. In an hour it'll be invisible.

And take pride in that! Thats enough to earn you a cup of tea and biscuit before bed tonight!
Any ideas on how to find the washers I'm after? Searching online for them is like a needle in a haystack - is there a particular word for what I'm after?
I would wander into B&Q with the screw and see what fits... Do the whole poke it through the plastic bag to find the right one thing. That will make sense once your in the aisle!

Also last time I was in a B&Q I got small washers up by the rivet guns rather than with the washers - dunno why they were there - it might just be my local one being funny.
or if I need to (and this is a bit cowboyish so for light loads only) drill with a 5.5mm masonry bit to a depth where the plug is totally within the brick and use longer screws into the red plugs - try and "ignore" the plaster as much as I can basically.

That's not cowboyish, that's the right way to use them.
you must make sure any plug is in the wall AND not just the plaster.
I still don't think I've got the solution to this spice rack.

I refuse to fail a third time so I want to do as much as I can to control any problems before I go near it.

First of all I'm going to wait until the RCD has been replaced. Just in case.

Secondly I have a new drill coming tomorrow, a corded Makita percussion drill. I'm not very good at drilling at the best of times, never mind with either an SDS drill which seems to have Parkinson's or my old Worx cordless drill which is anaemic and loves travelling around in any holes I try to make.

Third I need some kind of rubber washer which means a trip to the DIY store to see what I can find.

Fourth I'm going to have someone else with me who can hold the thing and get it absolutely level and continue to check as I do it.

I can't think of anything else I could or should do... and I'm aware that these steps would not be required for anyone who was good at DIY. But it seems I'm not very good and at least until I get some kind of sense about it all then I need to take elaborate steps to mitigate problems.
Elaborate steps are perfectly normal and acceptable when doing something new mate. No one is different.

The reason however, your spice rack isnt straight is because your holes aren't level. Put a spirit level against them and you'll see. Patch up those holes and start again obviously avoiding cables this time. Here's how you do it. Measure the distance between the bottom two holes on your rack (measure to the middle of each hole). Then take a spirit level and mark a pencil line on the wall across where the bottom holes will go. Tape measure, mark your holes with crosses the correct distance apart and drill to the correct depth. insert rawl plugs. Line your rack up with these two holes and put a pencil through the top two. Drill both and screw them all in. you should now be the owner of a perfectly mounted spice rack.
dmiller, the small washers are with the rivet guns because they are pop rivet washers.

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