Improvised Repairs Done Wrong

Mary’s relatives encountered this repair in a rental flat during Thanksgiving week:

Door handle - hex head bolt

Door handle – hex head bolt

Don’t have a hex bolt with the right thread? No problem: just use a sheet-metal screw, perhaps with a self-drilling point:

Door handle - metal screw

Door handle – metal screw

Those hex heads let you apply more torque with less risk of stabbing yourself in the palm, which strikes me as an all-around Good Thing. I prefer socket-head cap screws, myself, but I’ll admit they’re an acquired taste.

I’d like to think I wouldn’t do that …


  1. #1 by madbodger on 2016-12-03 - 08:31

    I had one shower in a hotel where they had screwed on some scrap brass full of holes (some plugged with random screws) to act as a shower head. Arguably, it did emit water. I have a picture of it somewhere. I assume you’ve seen the “There, I fixed it” site consisting of pictures of repairs like this?

    • #2 by Ed on 2016-12-03 - 11:53

      Man, you gotta up your travel budget …

    • #3 by madbodger on 2017-01-04 - 11:25

      • #4 by Ed on 2017-01-05 - 07:18

        Perhaps there’s an alternate universe wherein you attach the fitting directly to a socket in your head and rinse your innards?

        • #5 by madbodger on 2017-01-05 - 09:13

          There’s a series called Stein’s Gate where people find they can switch into such alternate universes. One of the characters built a “divergence meter” to see how far the universe they’re in is from the one they started in. It was such a nice prop, with a row of nixie tubes for the display that I built a replica myself. People were boggled that I had whomped it up from stuff I had lying around. Gotta have stuff.

  2. #7 by Keith Ward on 2016-12-03 - 09:49

    Interesting effort at that. From what it would take to drill that cross hole and get anything to work like a set screw on something that never had one must have been a point of pride. It would have been easier to buy a knob set but more expensive. They at least had the means to drill and a peanut butter jar of screws which would not be all that common of the average apartment dweller. Note I said average. When I lived in my last apartment I no doubt had the means to repair the space shuttle.

  3. #8 by jim oslislo on 2016-12-03 - 10:50

    I can’t believe that someone who would resort to such creative fasteners would be able to drill cross holes in the handles without marring the finish. My best guess is that they stripped the threads in one handle and had to use the sheet metal screw there. I suspect the old screws were slotted screws which had been destroyed by the wrong size screw driver. Luckily they had the right hex head screws on hand and a trusty old adjustable wrench.

    • #9 by Ed on 2016-12-03 - 13:23

      Judging from the general repair & maintenance in the rest of the flat, they torqued those screws until the handle stopped wobbling; drilling & tapping obviously wasn’t in their repertoire. [wince]