Screws for an aluminum screen door closer?

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by Flyover, Dec 7, 2017.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating using the link above.
  1. Dec 7, 2017 #1

    Flyover

    Flyover

    Flyover

    Trying not to screw things up worse

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    108
    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.
     
  2. Dec 7, 2017 #2

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    322
    If you want to go through the door why not use a bolt and a nut?
     
    Flyover likes this.
  3. Dec 7, 2017 #3

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    512
    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.
     
    Flyover likes this.
  4. Dec 7, 2017 #4

    joecaption

    joecaption

    joecaption

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    296
    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.
     
    Flyover likes this.
  5. Dec 8, 2017 #5

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Steve123

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    21
    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.
     
    nealtw and Flyover like this.
  6. Dec 8, 2017 #6

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

    Fixer Upper Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,690
    Likes Received:
    1,613
    I just use the next size larger sheet metal screw.
     
    Steve123 and Flyover like this.
  7. Dec 10, 2017 #7

    elbo

    elbo

    elbo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    101
    Flyover likes this.
  8. Dec 11, 2017 #8

    Flyover

    Flyover

    Flyover

    Trying not to screw things up worse

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    108
    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!
     

Share This Page