I Feel Dumb - How To Attach Something To Metal - General DIY Discussions - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Forum > General DIY Discussions


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-10-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 14

I feel dumb - how to attach something to metal


I never had shop when in HS or any instruction on using tools when younger. Fifteen years ago I got interested in DIY. I've learned a lot, occasionally with instruction and mostly by reading and by the trial & error method. I don't want my work to look shoddy so I'm dang careful to do things neat & tidy. I'm now moderately competent and have built a landscape timber retaining wall, blown insulation into an attic (the hidden advantage of being 5'1"), hung, taped & mudded drywall, installed trim, replaced a counter top & installed the sink, modified cabinets, installed carpet, and built simple furniture & shelving out of wood. I'm telling you this so you'll know I'm not clueless in general. Well, at least most the time.

I'm now totally stuck and feel really stupid. I've never worked with metal and don't know what I'm doing wrong. Wood seems so much more forgiving of mistakes than metal.

Here's the situation: We have an apartment in the lower level of our house and I'm working on a bunch of little projects before the tenant's move in next weekend. We had a closer installed on the main entrance steel door to prevent it from slamming. It worked except the sheet metal jam was deforming each time the door was opened and two of the screw holes had deformed so much they barely held their screws.

This is not a prehung door with an integral jam but instead it looks like it was put together on site. The sheet metal jam is 6 1/2" wide and behind it there's thicker metal (1/2" wide) along the edge closest to the door and along the other edge there's wood (3/4" wide). The closer attachment was attached to the sheet metal only and not to the metal or wood behind it.

My plan was to cut a piece of plywood (7"h x 6.5") and attach it with screws to the wood & metal framing behind the sheet metal. I would then attach the closer to the plywood.

Anyway, I have the plywood, sanded & painted so it will be unobtrusive and holes drilled. Now I can't get the screws driven in (they stop almost immediately). I've already drilled holes in the jam and I'm afraid to make any more or make them bigger.

Some questions:

It was really really hard to drill through the sheet metal and into the thicker metal behind. Is that the norm? My drill bits say they work for metal.

I'm supposed to drill the hole the same size as the screw - right?

Do I need to do anything to the hole after drilling? (I think there might be a bur or two on some holes).

This is taking a lot longer than I ever expected to do. I'm feeling really stupid that I can't figure this out. I've just read about self-drilling metal screws. Should I have done that? Can I still do that?

I appreciate any and all advice.


Zephie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 452
Rewards Points: 250

Hmmm.. I'm trying to picture the situation you have going on and I can't. Sounds like you have a light gauge metal door attached to a thicker steel?? Anyway to take a photo? And yes, ideally you would use a self-drilling screw to go through metal..


CopperClad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
ddawg16's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: S. California
Posts: 11,493
Rewards Points: 2,140
Blog Entries: 2

If the jamb is removable....then use small bolts to hold the bracket for the closer.
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there.

My 2-Story Addition Build in Progress Link ... My Garage Build Link and My Jeep Build Link
ddawg16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2012, 06:37 AM   #4
Mold!! Let's kill it!
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,849
Rewards Points: 2,012

I almost get the impression that there is a re-inforcement in the jamb to install a closer to. Maybe you should try tapping threads into the thicker metal and use machine screws to attach the closer. You might not need the plywood.
Maintenance 6 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Replacing metal box caused issues rivers001 Electrical 28 03-07-2011 12:21 AM
Exposed sheet metal questions ohman Roofing/Siding 6 12-31-2010 10:46 AM
Replacing Metal timer box with Plastic - Metal conduit question? TFastle Electrical 6 12-20-2010 05:54 AM
Getting shocked by multiple metal items in room thms Electrical 14 06-24-2010 01:23 PM
condensation leak with metal roof on cathedral ceiling in Canada Serialrenovator Roofing/Siding 10 02-02-2010 12:18 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1