For small, light pictures We may use iron pins of the kind illustrated at a in Fig. 3. These should be driven obliquely into the plaster, as shown, and left with about three-eighths of an inch projecting from the wall.
One such nail will safely support a weight of 12 pounds, provided it is driven in firmly with no disturbance of the plaster surface. As time goes on it becomes more secure, because it rusts into the plaster.
It is best to use two nails for each picture, and to put all nails in a single line at about the level it is usual to fix the picture-rail. The pictures can then be hung with lengths of chain in vertical lines in the manner indicated in the foregoing illustrations.
The use of a single nail is objectionable, not only because it implies, so far as security goes, that " all the eggs are in one basket," but also because it involves a triangular arrangement of the chain, wire, or cord, a shape that often repeated is unpleasantly insistent to the eye.
For pictures of medium size the light brass hook (Fig. 3) is useful.
For heavy pictures the most satisfactory device is that illustrated in Fig. 3a.
A round-headed screw, preferably brass, has a length of copper wire wound around the threaded part. A hole (indicated by dotted lines) is cut in the plaster, and the screw and its wire covering is connected into the wall with plaster of Paris.
When all is firm the screw may be withdrawn, the copper wire spiral remaining behind firmly embedded in the wall.
The object of making the screw withdrawable is to facilitate repapering.
The screw-head, under ordinary circumstances, makes a sufficiently safe support for the picture wire or chain. If additional security is desired, the wire hook also shown may be added.
The screw-and-wire device is, perhaps, the only satisfactory attachment for lath-and-plaster walls when there is no picture-rail.
The picture-rail is in every way an admirable device, but the brass hooks commonly used with it, if many in number, become unpleasantly conspicuous, a defect which may be mitigated by enamelling them the same colour as the picture-rail.
It is a pity that no one has put on the market a hook of lighter build. Here is a suggestion for a hook bent up from brass wire that has proved of ample strength, yet it has a spidery lightness that gives it an advantage over the stock article of the ironmonger.
In Fig. 4, which shows the hook in position on the picture-rail from two points of view, it will be seen that its construction is simple, and not beyond the capacity of the handy amateur to make at home.
A Home = made Hook
After folding the length of wire on itself, and hammering close to form the point of the hook, the doubled wire is bent to the S-curve around two pegs driven into a board. The top ends are then separated the desired amount to give the V-shape.
If the hooks are not to be enamelled, they should be polished with fine emery-paper before they are bent into shape, and when finished sent to the lacquerer, since, if used unlacquered, they quickly blacken.
Let us now consider more particularly the preparation of the pictures.
Fig. 5. The position in which the screw-eye, to which the hanging wire or cord is attached, is placed in the top of the picture'frame determines the tilt assumed by the picture when a picture in its frame - one to be
Fig. 6. The usual method of fixing avoided
As they come from the framemaker's they will most probably be ringed at the back at a point that would give the picture a considerable forward tilt.
Remove these rings, and substitute brass screw-eyes (Fig. 4), screwing them into the top of the frame at points some inch and a half to three inches from the ends, according to the size of the picture.
In determining the position of these eyes in relation to the thickness of the frame, it should be noted that the top of the frame will cant backwards if they are too near the front, and forwards if too near the back.
Reference to Fig. 5 will make the above description clear.
The best material for picture-hanging is " patent brass chain," procurable cheaply at most ironmongers'. Cord is notoriously short-lived, and the so-called " picture wire " has a tendency to give way through corrosion.
Patent chain has other advantages besides its strength and durability. As it is machine-made its links do not vary in length, and this faclitates measurements when one wishes to cut the two equal lengths required for each picture. One has only to count out the same number of links for each.
As patent chain in small sizes has not sufficiently large opening in its links to pass over the picture-rail hook, the best plan is to attach a brass split ring to the top of each length of chain in the manner shown in the illustration.
By holding the picture against the wall in the place assigned to it, and measuring from its top to the point of the hook on the picture-rail, the required length of chain may be determined after making allowance for ring and screw-eye.
The screw-eye is slightly opened with the pliers to admit the lowermost link of the chain, and then closed again.
When it is desired to hang two or more pictures from the same pair of hooks, the simplest device is to couple each of the lower ones to the one above it.
This may be done by means of scrcw-eyes and a connecting book of wire.
These hooks may be obtained as links of another kind of brass chain that is sold at the ironmonger's at about 4d. per yard
One great advantage of this arrangement is that coupled pictures may be detached readily from each other for the purpose of cleaning, and as readily restored to their places. The double suspension chains ensure that all pictures hang truly upright.
In the first example of grouping, it will be seen that the smaller pictures are in two groups of four, each group suspended by a single pair of chains.
An Enemy to Wall-paper
One point that will certainly strike the person who essays to hang a collection of pictures is that the framemaker is not too careful to conceal the nails with which he fastens the pictures in their frames. This is particularly the case when the thickness of the picture exceeds the depth of the rebate.
This state of things is shown in Fig. 6, and from the sectional view it will be noted how admirably it is adapted to the purpose of scratching the wallpaper.
A much better mode of fixing the picture is that shown in Fig. 6a; it consists of pointed flat brass strips, which are driven into the stretcher and then screwed or fixed with short brass pins to the frame-back.
Walls are sometimes damp, and for that reason it is not desirable that the pictures should hang in actual contact with them. Tilting diminishes the evil, but it has been seen that tilting is inconsistent with artistic hanging.
The best device is to cut sections of wine-cork one-eighth of an inch thick, and to glue one at each corner at the back of the frame. These ensure that air circulates freely behind the frames, and serves another useful purpose, since by their friction they steady the pictures on the wall.
Fig. 6a. A better way of fixing a picture in the frame is to drive flat brass strips into the stretcher, and screw or fix them into the back of the frame