03 April, 2011

DIY Plate Hanger

Although it was tempting to follow Red Green's advice and just use duct tape to solve the problem, I found a neat solution to this: Dianna had a large (18" dia.) serving plate that she wanted hung over the stove in the pool house.
Where The Plate Needed To Go
I procrastinated the appropriate amount of time (as you do) and then yesterday morning, I jumped on the Intertubes to see if I could find a heavy-duty plate hanger that could handle this large plate.

Sure enough, after cruising through several websites I did find one that would work. The price was a little on the steep side, I thought, being about $25.00 US for the plate and about $6.00 shipping in the US. So, if I had it shipped down here, there's an additional $25 - $30 or more if they sent it UPS or FedEx. Nobody seems to use the USPS for shipping. Although their service seems to be as good as anyone else. Or, I could have it shipped to Roy and Son Trucking, to be brought down with their normal shipment of every couple months. Or, I could find a willing traveler who was coming down anyway and would volunteer to stuff the item into their luggage.

As it turned out, I did something entirely different. On their website, they had a photo exposé of just how well their heavy-duty plate hanger was constructed. In looking over the photos, I thought to myself that I could just as easily make something very similar and save a bundle - plus, I'd have it either that day or shortly thereafter.

So, after showering and dressing, I took the girls for their expected (make that almost mandatory) ride and stopped at Villa's Imports hardware store. I went in hoping to find some sort of heavy wire that I could bend to fit the plate, maybe some vinyl tubing to cover it to protect the plate and some large cable ties to bind it all together.

Lo and behold, they had 1/8" bronze brazing rod in 36" lengths, vinyl tubing in exactly the right diameter to fit the rod, and cable ties that would work (I used four ties instead of the preferred two).

When I got home, I made a small bending jig out of a hunk of 2x4 and three nails that I had on my bench, made the appropriate measurements of the plate and bent the rod, which was pretty stiff stuff into the shape necessary. I measured and cut the vinyl tubing into four pieces, dunked them in water to provide some lubrication as I slid them onto the bent bronze rods. After that, I checked the fit on the plate, and bound them together with the cable ties.
A Most Professional Job
Wow! It really did look like a professional job.
Front View Of The Hanger
Next, I took the plate and hanger, along with my drill and a couple of bits down to the pool house. Thinking that I would be able to drill through the white subway tile in the kitchen back=splash, I was ready to go. Not so fast. Of course, that would have been the easy way to do it. But after measuring, it turned out that I would have to drill through one of the small glass tiles on the back-splash.

Hmmm, that's a problem. Would it be better to to just remove the tile in question and drill a hole to seat the anchor for the screw? Well, if I'm going to have to do that, I might as well try and drill through the tile. That way, if it breaks, I was planning to remove it anyway.

So, I taped up the tile and proceeded to gently drill with two sizes of concrete bits through the tile.
Taped and Drilling In Progress
 Surprise, surprise. It actually worked. I ended up with a small dinner-plate fracture in the tile, but a nice, perfectly sized and positioned hole through which I inserted the plastic anchor and drove in the screw that would hold the plate.

I then took the plate and hanger and gingerly hung it from the screw. Not bad. I even managed to get it centered vertically and horizontally. Something that always impresses Dianna when I do it right.
Nice Looking Addition To The Kitchen
Counting time from when I looked on the Intertubes for the product, to actually stepping back and admiring my handiwork, I had spent about two and a half hours - and saved a veritable bundle in the process.


Emily said...

Very nicely done! I admire your ingenuity, and the plate looks great in its new home. Congrats!

JRinSC said...

Well now, that'll teach 'em to put pictures up on the web page....LOL

Great job Dave, I'll have to remember that for when Karol comes up with that request someday. It really does look great there...

Dave Rider said...

Thanks for the nice comments, Emily. I appreciate them a lot.

Hi Julian,
You know, I'm amazed they showed that on their website. I know they wanted to impress viewers with the heavy duty construction, but visually, it was just too easy. Sometimes you hit a home run.

Belizean Beach Bums said...

Very nicely done!!!

Dave Rider said...

Hi BBBums,
Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you liked it, and BTW, congratulations on starting your construction. Hopefully, you'll have as much fun as we've had.