Knocking on [a] Hollow Door

“Knock, knock knocking on Heaven’s Door…”

Once again I have forgotten to take pictures of the ‘before’ and ‘during’. But it’s a pretty quick and simple one so I don’t think you’ll miss them. Indeed I will steal a picture from one of the projects I have yet to write up, in order to help illustrate this wee job.

As a follow on from yesterday’s door painting, I needed to hang a hook on the back of my newly-painted door, for my dressing gown (it seems people nowadays call these bathrobes: am I too Northern, too British, or just too Common, calling it a dressing gown?)

Anyhow, these kind of panelled doors are not solid wood, but hollow, filled with a foam-like substance. The thickness of the actual wood is not so very great, and so to drill screws straight into the door panel, especially if you’re about to hang heavy clothing off the hook, could easily pull the screw right back out of the panelling; shredding the wood on either side and creating a nasty hole.

So the thing to do is to make a hole with the drill, insert a rawl plug specifically designed for hollow doors, which have special tags on the side which anchor the plug to the back of the wood. The plugs are also designed to expand as you screw the screw into them which also helps lock them tight.

So first I had to decide which screws to use, that would fit and match my hook; then make sure I was using the correct sized rawl plugs; and then finally choose the correct drill bit which would match the rawl plug size. The easiest way to do this if you’re not sure? Buy a kit! I had taken my hook with me to be sure I got the correct size. However be warned these kits come with the actual drill bit included. Don’t let this fool you! Once I got home and opened the kit I realised the drill wasn’t sharp enough to drill through warm butter. With a power drill. On its highest setting. Complete with hammer action.

Fortunately I already had a 5mm wood drill bit, so was able to use that.


The tags on the rawl plugs, but beware of any included drill bits!!!

I have an old compass which I use to make the very first guide hole in which to settle the tip of my drill. So I decided where I wanted my hook, got a sharp pencil and penciled dots where the screws should be, and then marked those dots into small holes using my compass point.

It was only at this point that I got my drill out, and making sure it was on a low setting, slowly began drilling into my door. A wood drill bit has a guiding spike on the end, which marks it apart from other types of bits. I used a bit of washi tape to mark the depth to which I wanted to drill, so I didn’t drill straight through!


A wood drill bit has a spike at the end (You have to love washi tape!)

Once I’d made the hole, I pushed the rawl plug into it, using a hammer (lightly!) to gently tapped it in flush with the door. Once both rawl plugs were in place, I could then get the matching screws and screw my hook onto the door.


It’s an octopus with an Elvis quiff…


Making sure I used the correct size drill bit for the plug size; the correct plug size for the screw; the correct screw size for the hook; and most importantly the the correct plug type for the material to which the hook is mounted, means I can sleep easy knowing my dressing gown will not fall onto my bathroom floor any time soon.

Because I knew you were worried for me on that score.

PS It’s also really important to get the correct size screwdriver bit for the screws used, otherwise you can chew the screw head: but that’s something I’ll be looking at another day when I get another round tuit and write up another of my jobs I have completed.


About Hannah Wiggins

An ICT specialist, musician, landscape archaeologist, linguist and crochet enthusiast with over 40 years' life experience packed with constant adventure and learning. Articulate, dedicated and passionate in everything I do.
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