Eye bolts are useful for suspending objects from ceilings. The challenge is properly installing the hardware to support the weight of the item to be suspended. An eye bolt is simply a screw with an eye or ring at one end and threads at the other. It's useful for a variety of purposes around the home, garage or work shop.
Choose the size and type of eye bolt best suited for the intended use. Eye bolts are manufactured from a variety of different materials and available in a variety of sizes and lengths. Select a bolt that offers a working load capacity appropriate for the weight of the item to be suspended from it. A hardware supplier, The Crosby Group, offers a useful chart that provides working load limits based on bolt size (see the Reference section below).
Locate a rafter in the area where the eye bolt will be installed. The hardware must be installed in a solid wood framing member strong enough to support the intended load that will be suspended from the bolt. Use an electronic stud finder, available from hardware or home improvement retailers, to locate a rafter covered by drywall, and to determine the center of the rafter.
Drill a clearance hole through the drywall and center of the rafter using an electric drill. The size of the drill bit used should be appropriate to the size of the bolt shank. The Renovation Headquarters website has a useful chart for determining the correct drill bit size based on bolt size (see the Reference section).
Have a helper insert the eye bolt through the clearance hole after accessing the attic. Install a flat washer and nut on the threaded bolt shank, then hand tighten the nut. Hold the nut with an end or adjustable wrench to prevent it from turning while a helper tightens the eye bolt from below by turning a screwdriver inserted in the eye of the bolt. Tightening the bolt from below will prevent crushing the drywall, which is likely to occur from over tightening the nut from above