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Old 07-16-2019, 11:28 AM   #1
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Sheet metal screw help

I have a piece of plywood that I'm trying to attach to the inside of my rear exit door. I bought self-tapping screws for this and they work as far as attaching the wood to the sheet metal is concerned, but I want to be able to remove and reattach the panel from time to time. When I try to back these self-tapping screws out it appears that the threads made in the hole get stripped out and then the screw just starts spinning.

Do I need to buy a tapper and pre-thread the holes in order to be able to remove and reapply the screws?
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I have a piece of plywood that I'm trying to attach to the inside of my rear exit door. I bought self-tapping screws for this and they work as far as attaching the wood to the sheet metal is concerned, but I want to be able to remove and reattach the panel from time to time. When I try to back these self-tapping screws out it appears that the threads made in the hole get stripped out and then the screw just starts spinning.

Do I need to buy a tapper and pre-thread the holes in order to be able to remove and reapply the screws?

Have you applied pressure behind the wood and screw as you back it out?
Keep the wood and screwhead in contact and they should back out easily.
Tapping such thin metal likely won't do a lot, not enough meat if you get my drift.


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Old 07-16-2019, 11:41 AM   #3
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I bought self tapping screws from home depot that I can remove and reinstall. They're called self tapping zinc coated metal joist screws I think They come in a black box. I'll take a pic thursday when i'm on the bus. I've used them all over the bus. I think these are the screws. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...1042/204275119

Another alternative is to use the screw clip or anchor https://www.webstaurantstore.com/jad...xoCQ6cQAvD_BwE
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:43 AM   #4
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What you could do is drill all the way through the door with a 1/4” bit then install bolts that are long enough to go through the door and plywood. Put a nut on the bolt, then the plywood and another nut.
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:02 PM   #5
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I bought self tapping screws from home depot that I can remove and reinstall. They're called self tapping zinc coated metal joist screws I think They come in a black box. I'll take a pic thursday when i'm on the bus. I've used them all over the bus. I think these are the screws. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...1042/204275119

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Yeah, that's the kind I'm using (only with a gasket washer as well) but they don't seem to be coming out. Maybe that gasket is hosing things?
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:19 PM   #6
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They strip when you put them in too far. Cinch them snug, everyone hits them till they seat and one more turn strips the threads you made.
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:26 PM   #7
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Self tappers aren't designed to be installed and removed with any regularity.
The parent metal is too thin to capture any real thread profile so it'll basically wear itself out in one or two on~off cycles.
Something like this could work without drilling through the outer sheetmetal of the door:
https://www.amazon.com/30PCs-Stainle...s%2C184&sr=8-4

But then you'll have to buy or borrow the insertion tool:
https://www.amazon.com/rivet-thread-...AAEHH0Q5RAE7TW

Looks like the tool comes with a variety of nuts so depending on how many you need, maybe just the tool "kit" would get you by...?
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMORGANSKOOL View Post
I bought self tapping screws from home depot that I can remove and reinstall. They're called self tapping zinc coated metal joist screws I think They come in a black box. I'll take a pic thursday when i'm on the bus. I've used them all over the bus. I think these are the screws. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...1042/204275119

Another alternative is to use the screw clip or anchor https://www.webstaurantstore.com/jad...xoCQ6cQAvD_BwE
Huh, I just bought the brand you linked at Home Depot (Everbilt) and these are actually working (thanks!). I'm using #10 (instead of #12, maybe that thread is too coarse for the sheet metal) and I'm also just using the screw to drill through the wood and the metal at once (before I was pre-drilling a larger diameter hole through just the wood).
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:11 PM   #9
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Self tappers aren't designed to be installed and removed with any regularity.
Yeah, I think I'm going to change my plan and pre-paint the thing and just attach it once.
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Old 07-16-2019, 01:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
Self tappers aren't designed to be installed and removed with any regularity.
The parent metal is too thin to capture any real thread profile so it'll basically wear itself out in one or two on~off cycles.
Good advice here (as usual).

There are apparently a large variety of female fasteners designed for this type of application. It looks like many won't require the use of special tools. The following link is just an example of the kinds of products available. I haven't used any of these, nor know where to source them, so no endorsement. But this is the kind of solution you want, musigenesis.


http://www.psminternational.com/en/p....aspx?typeid=3
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