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Old 12-07-2017, 07:12 AM  
Flyover
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Default Screws for an aluminum screen door closer?

I have an aluminum screen door on my screened-in porch that suffers from chronic Won't-Close-Ritis. The previous owners used to have a pneumatic door-closer on it, mounted right up near the top of the door, but it was gone when I arrived.

So I bought and installed a new one in the same place, using the same screw hole they'd drilled in the aluminum door. For a while it worked great.

But....the screw hole only goes through one "ply" of the door, so the screw I put in place eventually jiggled its way loose, and then after a few weeks it completely fell out. (And now I understand why the previous owner had the dang door tied shut with an old shoelace--I have succumbed to the exact same remedy!)

I'm thinking of buying some longer self-tapping metal screws that will go all the way through the door, and should stay in place better. Since it's up near the top of the door, and it's a screen door with a step down to my back yard, I don't really care about the ugly/pointy screw tip(s) that would be sticking out the other side. But I still have some questions:

1) Is there a better way to solve this problem without buying any new major hardware?

2) Do they even make self-tapping screws that can go through aluminum? I've never actually checked, and can't remember if I've seen them before.


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Old 12-07-2017, 07:30 AM  
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If you want to go through the door why not use a bolt and a nut?


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Old 12-07-2017, 08:20 AM  
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Any "A" point or tech screw will be self tapping, however they will act differently in rolled form and extruded metals, which is fairly easily identified.

Rolled form can be deformed be squeezing with your hand, extruded is much more difficult.

You can also use what used to be referred to as a sex-bolt, and since upgraded to a post and binder.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:59 AM  
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Most often I use a stainless steel Phillips head machine screw with a washer behind the head and an elastic stop nut and through bolt it.
That way it's never going to strip or come loose again.
First thing I do when installing one of those flimsy vinyl door is install a diagonal turnbuckle brace to keep it from sagging.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:27 PM  
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If the screw "jiggles", does not seem that the screw was tight.

If you can't tighten it because the screw spins, the hole is either too big, or deformed in shape from being abused. If this is the case, drill new holes beside the old ones and screw into the new holes. Drill size should be the minor diameter of the screw, or just slightly less. Most door brackets are slotted for adjustment, so you should be able to put a second set of holes in.

I have installed a number of door closers in aluminum doors and always pre-drilled and used the screws supplied with the closer. Never had a problem yet.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:16 AM  
bud16415
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I just use the next size larger sheet metal screw.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:18 PM  
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harbor freight sells a kit for installing threaded inserts that will solve your problem permanently
Threaded Insert Riveter Kit 45 Pc
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...hreaded+insert
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:05 PM  
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I drilled all the way through and will bolt the door closer in place. Turns out in my "nuts and bolts bucket" I didn't have a skinny enough bolt that was also long enough and had a matching bolt, so I'll pick one up at the hardware store next time I go.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!


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