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  #1  
Old 12-24-2008
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Who sells self-tapping machine screws?

Honest, there is such a thing. Actually several types, they are machine screws that are slightly tapered with one or more cuts at the tip, so they will self-tap and bite into sheet metal, and then snug down on a regular machine screw shaft.

I need a dozen 6mm (size) by 8-10mm (length) to replace some 4x.7mm machine screws that have stripped out. Don't really care if that's 6x.8 or any similar thread--I just need a fine thread self-tapping machine screw. Actually, a dozen of them, and the only supplier I found runs them off in lots of a thousand. (Ulp.)
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Old 12-24-2008
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Try these guys:

McMaster-Carr

or these guys:

Home | Fastenal

McMaster Carr has about everything, and if they don't have it they can get it for you. I use them all the time and they are one of my plants most used vendors. On the McMaster site, the search engine is in the upper left.

Edit:
Search McMasters for "tapping screws" and you see details of all the different drives types, head styles, and tip patterns. I think what you are looking for is there.
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Last edited by Sapperwhite; 12-24-2008 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 12-24-2008
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I second Fastenal. I use them all the time and have not found anything they can't provide. You can buy a package of 100 SS screws for about what you would pay for a package or two of 5 at West Marine.
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Old 12-24-2008
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Sumb|tch!

You guys are right, BOTH of them carry them, although each has a new and different name for them. It's gonna wind up costing me $2 per screw (for the ones I need) and another BOX to stockpile....but they've GOT 'em.

Now of course comes the hard part, I'e got to finesse the micrometer into the two stripped out holes and figure out just how much screw I'll need to resecure them. And (stop laughing!) I'll need to convert these damned carpentry measurements into METRIC to compare versus what I have. Like, if a stripped 4mm hole needs a 5mm screw, and I can't order 1/5" screws....what, do I shoot for 7/32" ?? Which is called a "number what?" from the other guy?

Quickly, tie my hands, keep me away from the rivet gun.

Thank you, gents. I've dealt with both of those guys--but didn't think to go look there. And the names they use....these screws have more euphemisms and names than I've ever seen for one damn simple part!

Last edited by hellosailor; 12-24-2008 at 10:19 PM.
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What type of stainless are the screws you'll get at McMaster?
400 series stainless is magnetic. You'll want something in the 300 series, prefferedly 316 or at least 304. Lots of 440 and 303 around. ASK FIRST!

My local marine chandlery carries them. Not sure the price...

If you need to look further, try Jamestown Distributors.
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Old 12-24-2008
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Xort's point about what grade of stainless steel the screws are made of is a good one. 304 or 316 are far better than the martentistic 400 series grades, which will corrode in a salt water environ rather quickly. 300 series, austentitic stainless steels are non-magnetic.

That said, McMaster-Carr or Fastenal should be able to tell you what grade stainless they're using.
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Old 12-25-2008
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The application wasn't specified, could be boat related or the side of a barn related? Does it need to be 316?
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Screw/ Max diameter
#3/ .0990
#4/ .1120
#5/ .1250
#6 /.1380
#8/ .1640
#10/ .1900
#12/ .2160
1/4/ .2500
Continues in inch size

You can try sizing the hole with drill bits and then mic the bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Sumb|tch!

You guys are right, BOTH of them carry them, although each has a new and different name for them. It's gonna wind up costing me $2 per screw (for the ones I need) and another BOX to stockpile....but they've GOT 'em.

Now of course comes the hard part, I'e got to finesse the micrometer into the two stripped out holes and figure out just how much screw I'll need to resecure them. And (stop laughing!) I'll need to convert these damned carpentry measurements into METRIC to compare versus what I have. Like, if a stripped 4mm hole needs a 5mm screw, and I can't order 1/5" screws....what, do I shoot for 7/32" ?? Which is called a "number what?" from the other guy?

Quickly, tie my hands, keep me away from the rivet gun.

Thank you, gents. I've dealt with both of those guys--but didn't think to go look there. And the names they use....these screws have more euphemisms and names than I've ever seen for one damn simple part!
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Old 12-25-2008
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Kudos to Sapperwhite, the application is not marine and in fact, magnetic screws would be a great plus. Turns out that I'll probably need a #12 because neither of those guys carries them metric and a #10 may be too thin to do it--I'll have to check very carefully.

Of course, even McM doesn't carry #12, they jump from #10 to 1/4x20. Choice of material? I'll be lucky to get "metal".

I like the way Fastenal quietly generates a list with single screws for a dime, listed line by line mixed in with "qty 35000, $1994.65" two thousand dollars worth of screws. Gotta be careful about that "ADD TO CART" button!
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Old 12-25-2008
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If you want metric, you want M6 x 6. How many do you need? Metric is easy to find up here. I have a ton of M6 x 10 and M6 x 12 self tapping cheesehead screws in my VW parts stash. If length is not critical, I'd be happy to send you some.
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