Socket Head Screws for Heatsinks? - diyAudio
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Old 21st December 2007, 02:24 PM   #1
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luvdunhill's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Socket Head Screws for Heatsinks?

I'm wanting to get away from standard / Philips screws for securing devices to heatsinks... they just don't work so well. So, any recommendations?

I have to place an order at anyways, so now's a good time (hopefully I can place it today!)

The base of my heatsink is 3/8" and I'll be attaching TO-220 devices.
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Old 21st December 2007, 02:47 PM   #2
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Not sure if you thought of this already, but I found good hex drive socket screws in the hardware section at Home Depot! Used them in my Aleph 30 amp to screw the front plate to the heat sinks.
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Old 21st December 2007, 03:46 PM   #3
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ah, well, I figured I'm placing an order there anyways... I'm thinking about some 4-40 x 1/4 Socket Head Cap Screw Stainless Steel (versus Alloy Steel). I'm not sure I can larger than 4-40 and I don't know if 1/4" is too deep or not... but if I don't get any other replies, I'll probably go with these
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Old 21st December 2007, 04:36 PM   #4
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Always use a hardened washer under a socket head cap screw! Especially with soft metals like aluminum or copper heat sinks.
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Old 21st December 2007, 06:13 PM   #5
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Location: Canandaigua, NY USA
With anything that changes temperature, you should use a lockwasher. I prefer split ring types. Avoid button head cap screws, as they tend to strip out easily. If that happens, slot it with a cutoff wheel and remove it with a standard screwdriver.
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Old 21st December 2007, 06:17 PM   #6
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How does your vendor compare with McMaster for fasteners. My son and I order from McMaster about every other week.
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Old 22nd December 2007, 01:30 AM   #7
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Location: Arkansas
I use these Black Oxide Button Heads for just about everything. I love 'em! I use a lot of 6x32x1/4, and have never had one strip. (use QUALITY allen wrenches / hex keys and you won't have a problem).
I don't use lockwashers either. These tend to snug up tight and stay that way. You get a distinctive SNAP whenever you try to loosen them. Can't really explain it... but they really work well.

The link is to Nutty Fasteners, who have always provided good service in the past, but their pricing has gone exponential lately. Or perhaps the dollar is crashing exponentially.

I will probably go with MSC or McMaster-Carr on my next order.
McMaster-Carr is one of my favorite toy stores. They have a huge inventory, they ship quick for cheap, and they've never screwed up on my orders. Competence like that is rare these days.
Writing is good exercize for the texticles!
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Old 24th December 2007, 04:23 AM   #8
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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Location: Vancouver Island
If you're in a reasonably large city, there's probably a place that deals in specialty fasteners (Pacific Fastener in Vancouver, for example). If you're near a large body of water, marine suppliers carry a range of stainless fasteners.
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Old 24th December 2007, 04:45 AM   #9
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thanks everyone!

I went ahead and got the lock washers, but since I'm going to need to use a shoulder washer to isolate the devices, where does the lock washer go? I wasn't really sure how the length was calculated with the socket head, so I went for some extra length, assuming that the quoted length includes the total length, not the length of the thread

once they get here, I'll report back
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Old 24th December 2007, 04:50 AM   #10
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Location: San Jose
I used black Hex cap screws to great effect on my A30 to fasten the heatsinks to the chassis and hex head screws to fasten the to-247 irf144 FETs. They were purchased at Orchard Supply Hardware here in San Jose.

Here's a link to a thread with the picture.

The heatsink uses 1/4" by 5/16" and the fets are #6 at 1/2".

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