Perfect Screw Alignment for Screw Mounted Equipment

Have you ever tried to mount a router, hub, power strip, or other piece of equipment to the wall or other surface, and found it difficult to align the screws so they fit into the equipment?

It seems like no matter how carefully you measure, the screws are always out of alignment, and the piece of equipment won't fit onto the screws.

Here's a really stupidly-simple technique I use all the time, and we use at TechShop locations to mount all sorts of equipment.

This is one of those tricks that you should really memorize and make as part of your lifelong mental toolkit.
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Step 1: What You'll Need

In order to use this technique, you only need a few simple things:

  o  Tape (I prefer to use blue painter's tape because it doesn't stick too tenaciously to the surfaces)
  o  Pencil or pen
  o  Piece of equipment to be mounted
  o  Screws (must me the right size to fit in the slots on the equipment)
  o  Screwdriver to fit the mounting screws
  o  2 minutes of time

Step 2: Put Tape Over the Mounting Holes on the Piece of Equipment

Picture of Put Tape Over the Mounting Holes on the Piece of Equipment
Tear off a piece of tape and place it over the mounting screws on the piece of equipment.

Try to line up the tape so it is'll need it to be straight so you can use the edges to align the mounting holes to the wall or surface to which the equipment will be mounted.

Step 3: Punch Through the Tape Into the Mounting Holes

Picture of Punch Through the Tape Into the Mounting Holes
Use the pencil to poke a hole through the tape where the screw will end up going.

Usually I poke a hole in the main screw hole where the screw will first go into the equipment, then I move the pencil up into the track where the screw will slide up to achieve the mount.

Peel off the tape after you have poked the holes.  Be careful not to tear the tape around the holes that you poked through the tape.
Donmarks8 months ago

I've a new office desk coming in. I will use this to put router, USB hubs and other things on a side board. Many thanks.

antioch1 year ago
Good job making me feel stupid for not thinking of this myself...
hehehe me too!
me three!
acuchetto1 year ago
Very good idea...Will use this a million times I'm sure...
LoopyMind1 year ago
This is one of those ideas that make you go "Why the hell didn't I think of this myself" ... lol... seriously, I can't be the only one... right? :D
kariswg11 year ago
you could always "pencil rub" a piece of paper over the back to get the location of the holes too!
wire-nut1 year ago
I've photocopy the back-side allway work for me. But tape is fast, and cheap.
Nice work. I've used a piece of paper like that for years, but sometimes it slipped. The tape is a MUCH better idea. Thanks!
tutdude981 year ago
good idea i was thinking about putting my router to wall and now i have perfect way to put it
jarikcbol1 year ago
Derp. Now why didn't I think of that!?!?! You sir, are smarter than a hat full of periwinkles.
that's a very good idea i used to paint the edges of the holes and stamp them on the wall but this is much better thanks !!
Housedog1 year ago
This is another one of those things that is so simple and obvious, that you don't know why you never thought of it! It's a perfect solution.
richms1 year ago
I have tried this in the past, but found that the masking tape I used had some stretch to it to allow it to go around corners. This lead to errors.
morfmir1 year ago
This is very good, so simple yet it gets the job don't.
jeff-o1 year ago
Great idea, thanks!
profpat1 year ago
well done!
Lzingano1 year ago
Wow, how come I did not think about this yet? Really clever =)
This reminds me of a "Life Hack" post I've seen in the past:
rimar20001 year ago
Wow, you are fully right. Thanks for sharing this simple (so simple!) method.
oldmicah1 year ago
Ha! That is awesome! One of those things that seems obvious on reflection: wish I had thought about. :)
srohwer1 year ago
Brilliant in it's simplicity and usefulness!