Introduction: Hang a Painting Securely, Flush, and Level
Hooks, wires, chains, all seem to leave pictures hanging out at the top and not level. Knock one, and it invariably falls to the ground. Well, here's a simple hack that will fix your pictures to a wall level, flush, and secure.
Step 1: Marking Out the Picture
In this example, I have a photo printed canvas stapled over a wooden frame.
Mark a line, approximately one third of the way down from the top, the same distance on the rear of each side.
Mark an entry point about 15mm (9/16") down from each line.
Step 2: Option 1 - Router With Keyhole Cutter
Install the keyhole cutter in the router.
Set a depth stop where the full cutting depth of the bit will be exposed - usually twice the length of the initial wide portion.
If the frame is quite narrow, balancing the router can be difficult, so use something the same thickness as the frame for a stabiliser.
Set the cutter over the entry point and plunge to full depth, and apply the plunge lock.
Pull the router up the frame until the cutter reaches the marked line.
Reverse back through the cut, and release the plunge lock to exit the entry hole.
Now repeat for the other side member.
Step 3: Option 2 - Drill and Home Made Tool
This option will only work in soft woods (many softwoods and some hardwoods). My experience has been that most frames are soft enough, so it's worth trying
Drill a hole at the entry point, large enough to take the head of the countersunk screw you will use to hang the picture. About 10mm (3/8") deep should suffice.
Now drill a hole, large enough for the shank of the screw, that just reaches the marked line. Make this the same depth as the previous one.
You need to join these holes up with a channel wide enough for the screw's shank. Drill out as much of this material as you can, before switching to a utility knife or narrow chisel.
Next you need to make a tool - don't worry, it's very simple!
Take a 150mm (6") batten of hardwood, approximately 50x25mm (2"x1")
Drill a pilot hole, for the same size screw you intend using, about 50mm (2") from one end, in the narrow edge
Drive a screw in such that the exposed head and shaft are equal in height to the depth you drilled in the frame
Place the screw of the tool in the entry hole, and align the longest end of the batten towards the top of the frame.
Butt the top of the frame up against something solid (you may wish to protect it with some thin cardboard).
Now strike the short end of the batten sharply with a hammer - this will drive the screw along the slot, making a recess for the screw's head. Repeat until the screw reaches the marked line.
Step 4: Mount Wall Fittings
Measure the distance between hole centres on the picture, and the distance from the marked lines to the top.
With these measurements, layout for the two wall fittings, making sure to use a spirit level.
The fittings you use will depend on the wall construction. Most likely a suitable plug will need to be sunk in, before the screw can be installed.
Install the screw (pan head for routed slots, countersunk for slots created with the home made tool) such that it's exposure is fractionally more than the depth of the holes in the frame.
Step 5: Hang the Picture
To hang the picture on the screws, simply place the entry holes over the screws, and whilst holding the picture flush to the wall, pull it downwards.
The screws will seat into the 'T' slot created by the router cutter, or the 'Y' slot created by the home made tool.
If your picture (or the wall) isn't perfectly flat, then additional fixing points can be created to ensure a flush fit all around
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