Steel door frame drilling
Got an oddball job going and need sage advice. Customer has an outswing steel framed steel fire-rated door. He wants a storm door installed on inside. Started trying to drill 1/8 pilot holes for z-bar rim/drip components and am eating up bits. Using slow speed and stopping when I penetrate the steel. Will continue with masonary bit to clean out mortar.
I plan on using shorter screws than the #8 – one inch ones that came with the door. I am considering drilling larger holes and using either pop rivets or short #10s or 12s.
I had forgot how hard that frame steel is.
Hmmmm. Is this door installed in a residence or in a commercial building ? Is there a panic device on the door ? Is the steel frame installed in a masonry opening ?
carpenter in transition
Residence. Non-occupied basement storage/utility. Steel into 12" block, owner did not styrofoam and filled with mortar. No problem with any code type issues that I can think of. He is on top of a hill with some killer winds at times. The next post gives me the answers I was looking for.
Thanks for the help!
Edited 5/19/2003 9:46:37 PM ET by RASCONC
I install doors and hardware on commercial work. Have to drill steel frames all day long. Sometimes idiot masons forget to block inside of frames with styro and the header and jams get filled with morter,stucco,cocrete, ect. When we have to drill this type of frame first we get approval for BIG! backcharge to mason, then we center punch spots to drill, then use self tapping (self drilling) framing screws or drywall screws to start hole. Then open hole up with slightly larger diamater self drill screw, then "wallow" hole out real good with aprox. 3/32" to 1/8" masonry bit. Last but not least we then use self drill hinge screw. This process takes a bit of work, but it consistantly gives us good results. You have to be careful in 2 aspects of this technique. When using the self drill screws do not, I repeat, do not screw them in to far. When you hit masonry you"ll feel it, and then back off fast. If you don't you'll likely break the screw off in the hole and be in a world of hurt. You can also jamb a screw in this way (usually happens with larger diamater screws). Secondly be carefull in the wallowing phase as it is easy to open the hole up to much and then you end up having to drill even bigger holes.
The reason the drill bits wear out so bad, is drilling too fast, and then especially hitting the masonry. Just half a second of drilling masonry will dull the best steel blade money can buy. This is why we use self drill screws. Use them up and then just discard them. Good Luck, Hang in there, and just keep after it.
Cork in Dallas
Thanks, just what I was looking for. I will probably just use the self drilling screws in a two step process, drill, masonary drill then finish with the self driller. This door is the Emco wood core vinyl clad storm from HD. It is not going to be subject to much use and even though there is a lot of wind it will be protected. There is a lot of well intended homeowner construction errors in this place. I just ran a vent outside for his dryer after two years. He is a super nice guy and we are fixing things up for him.