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Old 09-14-2015, 10:38 AM   #1
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Removing a stubborn storm door panel clip


I recently discovered that Home Depot sells white storm door panel clips.

I have therefore removed the ones I had so that I can screw on the white ones.

However, there's one old clip that simply won't come out. Its screw just turns and turns but doesn't get tighter or come out.

I tried painting it white but it looks tacky.

What should I do? Simply leave it in place or try to break it with a pair of pliers? I'm fearing that if I break it, I may still not be able to get the whole screw out.

Below is a photo.
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Removing a stubborn storm door panel clip-stormdoorpanelclip.jpg  

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Old 09-14-2015, 11:14 AM   #2
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It sounds like the threads are stripped. turn counter-clockwise, while pulling out on the screw. Give is just enough outward pressure while turning, to get the remaining good threads to bite. If all else fails, cut it off with a dremel.

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Old 09-19-2015, 11:30 AM   #3
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Seattle2k,

Thanks for your feedback.

I removed the screw with a pair of pliers but it could not come off without taking out the part that the panel clip screw goes into.

I went to my local hardware store and looked around. I eventually found something called a Blind Nut Insert. A panel clip screw fits into it perfectly since it has threads inside. The insert is 8-32 in terms of size. According to the instructions, it's supposed to go into a hole that is 17/64". Right now the hole on my screen door is just slightly smaller than this because I have not drilled out all the parts of the former panel clip. And even if I accidentally make the hole too big I can use a washer with the insert.

Does anyone know how I can secure this insert onto the storm door? I was thinking of a strong glue or even Bondo.

Alternatively, I think the real thing that is supposed to go into the storm door is a rivet? Am I right? If so, won't I need a rivet gun? Is this a better way to go?

I'm attaching 3 photos: my storm door hole, the Blind Nut Insert and the panel door clip screw in the Blind Nut Insert (so you can see what I'm trying to do).
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Removing a stubborn storm door panel clip-stormdoorhole.jpg   Removing a stubborn storm door panel clip-blindnutinsert1.jpg   Removing a stubborn storm door panel clip-blindnutinsert2.jpg  
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:31 PM   #4
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Do you have access from the back side, to insert that blind nut?
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:48 PM   #5
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No. I do not have access from the back side of the storm door.

I think I know why you asked. I screwed in the panel clip screw wrongly. It's supposed to go in from the other end of the Blind Nut Insert. Below is a photo showing the right way it's supposed to go in. Sorry about that.

Do this make things a bit clearer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle2k View Post
Do you have access from the back side, to insert that blind nut?
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Old 09-19-2015, 03:13 PM   #6
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From the serrated shoulder (see below) it looks like it's a press-fit. I've installed them, but always with an arbor press.
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You should be able to use a deep-throated C-clamp and small pieces of metal inside and out at the contact points and CAREFULLY seat the insert. Correct hole size is paramount; too small and you'll deform the door, too big and the insert will break loose and spin. I'd remove the glass insert before trying to seat the insert and watch the metal around the contact points for deformation.
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:50 PM   #7
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That door is surely a rather thin gage steel or aluminum. If you press on it with any significant force, it will just fold up.

I would suggest epoxy putty. Assuming the 8-32 hole is through, put a plug or piece of tape on the end to keep the putty out of the threaded hole.

Last edited by SPS-1; 09-19-2015 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 09-24-2015, 05:15 PM   #8
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I bought a 17/64" Milwaukee Thunderbolt Black Oxide drill bit from Home Depot yesterday for $1.98.

I then drilled new holes or expanded the holes in my aluminum storm door today. These were the holes where the old storm door panel clip screws had either broken off, while still inside the storm door, or where the previous owner of my condo had simply drilled new sheet metal screws instead of using real panel clip screws (very tacky).

All I can say is that the blind nut inserts went in and fit snugly like a glove! I can now use new panel clips, and the screws that go with them, and therefore give my door a neat, uniform appearance. Before I had panel clips that were held together with a mixture of real panel clip screws and sheet metal screws.

I'm including two photos below. One of them is of the section of my local hardware store where I found the blind nut inserts (keep in mind that I found these myself. The store clerk did not know that they had them).

The other photo is of the storm door panel clips, in case you don't know how they look like. Home Depot has them in plain aluminum and white. Since I painted my storm door white I bought the white panel clips.
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Removing a stubborn storm door panel clip-blindnutinsert4.jpg   Removing a stubborn storm door panel clip-stormdoorpanelclips.jpg  

Last edited by stripedbass; 09-24-2015 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:18 PM   #9
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Congrats!
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:52 AM   #10
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Blind nut insert in and painted.

Can you tell the difference between the blind nut insert and the original things the storm door panel clip screw goes into? See photo below.

By the way, what are those things called? I'm talking about the threaded things in storm doors that panel clip screws go into. Are they called rivets?
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Removing a stubborn storm door panel clip-blindnutinsert5.jpg  
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:33 PM   #11
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What difference?? Looks good!

I don't know what they are called; I think I called them press-fit threaded inserts. I used thinwall nutserts; somewhat like a threaded pop rivit. Here is a site showing how they work. I didn't have the air-powered tool, just a mechanical one, similar to a pop rivit gun.

I regularly used from 6-32 up to 3/8-16 and when I bought mine 30+ years ago they weren't cheap. There are probably knock-offs today but personally, I wouldn't trust them.
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Old 09-26-2015, 11:35 PM   #12
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GrayHair,

The reason why I'm quite excited with blind nut inserts is that when I was starting on this project I went to a storm door store. I asked them whether they had anything that I could install so that I could screw in new storm door panel clips. Well, they told me that the only solution is getting a special machine that would install new rivets (or whatever they are called) and that this would not be worth it for it would be too expensive. I think the machine or tool they were talking about is the same or similar to the air-powered tool you're mentioning.

The beauty of the blind nut inserts is that there are instructions in the store that they go into holes that are 17/64" so you need a drill bit that's 17/64". Also, once you drill this hole and try to insert the blind nut insert, you'll notice that the fit is so snug that you'll need a mallet to hammer the insert in. What I'm trying to say is that the fit is very snug and secure.
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:43 AM   #13
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Nutserts




The tool I had is like the one above. Mandrels, bits and a few nutserts were kept in the metal box the tool came in. There are other manual tools for larger sizes, but I never used one. The air powered tool at the link in my previous post is for a production line, but loading/unloading is nice.



It was tricky installing nutserts larger the 1/4-20 with the small tool but I was able to do it. We used aluminum nutserts because of the difficulty setting steel nutserts of any size (my hand-strength back then was impressive, my hand-size was not).

Looked online and nutsert kits have very reasonable prices now. There are times I wish I had kept one of those kits.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:16 AM   #14
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GrayHair,

Thanks for that informative post.

One thing I should have stressed is that with the blind nut inserts it's very important that you don't accidentally make the hole larger than 17/64". It's worth to keep poking the hole with the insert as you're drilling, just to make sure you're not going too far with the hole size.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:03 AM   #15
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Very true! That's why in Post 6, I wrote "hole size is paramount". That's why I carried exact-sized bits with my nutserts. I traveled the "this should be close enough" path only once!

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Last edited by GrayHair; 09-27-2015 at 09:09 AM.
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