The Bad and the Good

The bad?  Cheap lag screws from Home Depot.  That’s just a half inch of what was a 3-1/2″ screw.  Story below.  

Our tv died.  It was an 18 year old Sony picture tube tv.  I’ve had those fixed in the past (I’m still using my small Sony from 1980 after just one repair), but this time I didn’t have it in me.  This one is just too big and heavy, so it is going to the recycler.  Our new TV is flat, so I wanted to hang it on the wall.  I ordered a really nice bracket from Sony and installed it this morning.  They do a great job of putting the fear of disaster in you.  They directed me to use screws of at least 11/32″ in diameter.  That is HUGE!  If such a screw were long enough, you could use it hang a deck from your home.  I went to Home Depot to see what I could get.  Ended up with four 5/16″ lag screws, each 3″ long.  After the 1/4″ of mounting bracket and washer and the 1/2″ of drywall, that left 2 – 1/4″  of screw in the studs.  More than enough.  I found the studs with a finder and then double checked by hammering in a small finishing nail every quarter of an inch until I had identified exactly where the stud was.  I drilled pilot holes in the center of the studs just a bit smaller than the unthreaded shank of the lag screws.  The pilot holes were as deep as the lag screws, so getting them in should be pretty easy despite their length.  It was easy.  The bracket was soon on the wall and the tv on the bracket.  It looked great.  As I was studying my work, I noticed that one of the lag screws was still about 1/8″ from tight.  Strange, but it was easy to tighten it with the tv in place.  As I did, that really sick sensation of things getting really easy really fast happened.  Had I stripped the hole by over-tightening the screw?  I am a very careful wrench, so I don’t think so.  I put the wrench down and fiddled with the screw.  The end of it, pictured above, came out.

The tv was still secure.  Three screws were enough to keep it in place.  I wasn’t comfortable, though.  I had bought a really nice bracket and spent a lot of time getting it up right to let me sleep easy.  No time to give up.  Luckily, the holes in the bracket were elongated to allow a little left and right movement.  There was enough room to place another screw right next to the first (the bulk of which will forever me buried in the stud) and still be in the stud.  Back to Home Depot.

This time I picked a shorter lag screw.  2″.  That leaves 1 -1/4″ in the stud.  Should be plenty.  An authoritative guy with a name tag in the aisle thought that was more than enough.  I picked out five to have four in  reserve for any future project.  The cashier said $7.34.  I choked and said the first four cost $1.99 and these were shorter (and the bin said they were cheaper).  Turns out they were in the wrong bin.  These were much nicer in appearance.  Probably better metal.  Just in case you are wondering, the one that broke is marked ATC on the end.  The new more expensive ones are marked BTY.  I hate to think of all the ham fisted do it yourselfers buying the ATC bolts, over-tightening them, and then having a party on their new deck.  I hope I can remember the code on the nicer bolts.

Anyway, I took the tv down, confirmed with the finishing nail that there was still stud behind the opening, drilled a new pilot and got the new screw firmly in place.  Phew!  After that, I needed to do something fun and relaxing.  How about cleaning the Stronglight 49D cranks from the Motobecane Grand Tourer? 

They sure did clean up well.  I took off the rings.  The fit and finish and the hardware are all first rate.  A welcome change from the lag screw debacle.

How is that for a logo?  

Even the backs are pretty.  Generally not the case today.  These could easily sell for $100. Probably more.  The entire bike all together wouldn’t sell for much more than that.  Maybe double.  That’s why bikes get parted out.  Sad.  This one is safe (while it is in my hands).  

Enjoying cool weather here.  You?

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