Repair Stationary Things

Stationary things, of course, don’t move. You may need to perform jewelry repair, wood furniture repair, wood flooring repair, fence repair, masonry repair, and lots more repairs to stationary things. Even doors and windows are considered stationary; although they do open and close, you can’t move them to another room. These are things that don’t move on their own; they’re stationary. You can move furniture or wear clothing, but part of their job description is to stay where they are put. In fact, if a stationary thing doesn’t stay put, it’s probably broken.

Troubleshooting Stationary Things

Troubleshooting stationary things is relatively easy because it can be done visually in most cases. You can see that the necklace clasp is broken, the cabinet drawer is stuck, the wall has a hole in it, or the fence is leaning.

Fixing stationary things, too, can be easy. In most cases the solution is to reattach something. The 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 things can be fixed with fasteners, either mechanical fasteners such as bolts and screws or chemical fasteners like adhesives.

Mechanical Fasteners

Repair Stationary Things

Mechanical fasteners come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and purposes.

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:

  • adhesives
  • nails
  • screws
  • bolts
  • nuts
  • thread

Adhesives, such as 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.

Repair Stationary Things

Types and sizes of nail fasteners.

Nails are thin, pointed metal fasteners driven with a hammer to 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. Fix-It Guides refer to specific types of nails needed. 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.

Repair Stationary Things

Types and sizes of screw fasteners.

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.

Nuts, usually square or hexagonal blocks of metal with threaded holes, screw onto bolts to hold something together.

Thread is a fastener for clothing and upholstered furniture. Thread is a long strand of fabric installed with a needle, either by hand or by a sewing machine. Thread is sold by fabric (cotton, nylon, polyester, etc.) and thickness (Tex or T). Cotton-wrap polyester is used for jeans and poly-wrap polyester for 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.

Other handy fasteners include lag bolts, which are bolt heads with screw bodies. Anchors are additions to bolts or screws that help anchor a fastener in a hollow wall or door.

Fix-It Tip

Velcro can be used for many 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.


Repair Stationary Things

Common adhesive fasteners.

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, setting time and temperature, and bonding method. 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. You’ll also see adhesives used in the Fix-It Guides .

Repair Stationary Things

Properties of popular household adhesives.