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Old 8th January 2007, 03:32 PM   #1
sts9fan is offline sts9fan  United States
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Default Aluminum screws? What kind?

So what are your favorite screws for aluminum? How big a hole do you drill before screwing? Thanks for the info!
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Old 8th January 2007, 04:19 PM   #2
EdT is offline EdT  Canada
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You mean you want to screw into AL, not use screw made out of AL whcih would be very weak threads.

You would have to thread the hole using a tap and drill chart. Normally in North America it is 4-40UNF that is used for computers and electronic equipment. I would use stainless steel if you can find them or black oxide if your enclosure is black.
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Old 8th January 2007, 05:14 PM   #3
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It may be just me, but unless stainless fasteners have a pedigree, I won't use them. Too frequently they are dead soft and strip easily.

Drill size for 4-40 threads is #43. Use a little kerosene or lamp oil on the tap. Learn how to tap with a 2 flute tap (HINT:start straight) as many of the 4-flute taps are trash.
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Old 8th January 2007, 05:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by chipco3434
It may be just me, but unless stainless fasteners have a pedigree, I won't use them. Too frequently they are dead soft and strip easily.

Drill size for 4-40 threads is #43. Use a little kerosene or lamp oil on the tap. Learn how to tap with a 2 flute tap (HINT:start straight) as many of the 4-flute taps are trash.

The stainless screws for the sailboat cost a small fortune anyway.

McMaster has a very comprehensive selection -- while they aren't the cheapest you get the stuff the next day -- I use pan head with external washer, fillister head and flat.

If you are going to put a lot of stuff together over a number of years, but a couple hundred of several varieties and consider it sunk cost.
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Old 8th January 2007, 05:33 PM   #5
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You can get screws and taps from your local Home Depot store.

Stainless screws are fine, they also look better than regular variety.
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Old 8th January 2007, 05:36 PM   #6
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The stainless screws for the sailboat cost a small fortune anyway.

You sail???
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Old 8th January 2007, 05:39 PM   #7
sts9fan is offline sts9fan  United States
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Do you use self-tapping screws or is it better to tap the hole first and just use metal screws?? Sorry for the stupid questions...
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Old 8th January 2007, 05:48 PM   #8
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Drill and tap, use machine screws.

Besides McMasterCarr (already mentioned) you can try MSC Industrial. Great selection of materials of all kinds, and the most impressive catalog anywhere (The Big Book).
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Old 8th January 2007, 05:52 PM   #9
EdT is offline EdT  Canada
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Use Spaenaur as the guide, you will find all kinds of goodies in there for DIYers: http://www.spaenaur.com/

Heres a Tap Drill Size Chart for Ref.: http://www.thedirtforum.com/drilltapsizes.htm
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Old 8th January 2007, 05:58 PM   #10
AR2 is offline AR2  United States
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I like stainless are good, as well as black ones. I like allan head machine screws. I almost never go below 6/32 unless I have to. 6/32s are good for all Mosfets, as well as majority of circuit boards . For cases I like 8/32. I try to avoid 4/40 - smaller it gets more chances to have broken tap. Aluminum is much harder for taping than steel, so good way to do it is right on drill press where tap is supported and pressed from above by spindle and tapping adapter - guide. This guide presses hand taping tool in order to keep it straight while you rotate it.
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