I'm trying to drill through the metal siding on our home in order to
mount a few things. Someone once mentioned to me that our siding was
steel. The house was built in '37. I cannot get through the stuff
with a high speed drill bit unless I first use a punch to create a
small hole. However, when I wasn't home a day last week, a repair man
came to fix some gutters on our house, and my wife said he merely
used some kind of screw which he drove right into the siding using his
portable drill. What kind of screw would that be that did the job so
easily when I've been going daffy trying to get some holes drilled in
(Really disgusted with myself that it was that easy for him.)
First, as you know, it helps to start in a dent or dimple.
Second, until you penetrate the far side, you have to drill
slowly and with lubrication (oil). If you do not see tiny
shreds of metal, you are drilling too fast (and will blunt
the tool bit.)
Once any size hole goes all the way through, any "self-
tapping" screw will fasten easily.
First, high speed is not the one to use, with variable speed drill,
Sheet metal screw will self tap, and some steel roofing screws come
with rubber and
metal combi. washers with each screw ready to use, better for sealing
That's *exactly* what I suspected! That along with the type of
self-drilling screw mentioned by the other poster should do the job.
I'm going to have to go to the hardware place and ask about this - now
that I know even what to ask for.
On Sun, 28 Sep 2014 15:25:20 -0500, Gordon Shumway
I took a look at the screws he used. Although much smaller than a
1/2", it is the type shown at the URL you posted. It seems I'm
getting closer to solving this pain in the butt problem before the
rains or snows start.
If you mean one of these:
The only time I have found them even slightly helpful is when using
slotted screws which I avoid like the plague. With any other type of
drive; hex, robertson, phillips, torqx or whatever I find them pretty
On Sun, 28 Sep 2014 18:04:05 -0500, Gordon Shumway
This is one of the two kinds I had in mind. I have a couple of these
too, from yard sales maybe. Once in a small industrial park, i even
found a tool box in the metal drum they were using for a trash can, in
back of the building. Not full, but not empty either. Mostly plumbing
stuff iirc, but with about 100 female-female co-axial connectors, and
I don't do this for a living, so no one is after me to work quickly, so
I just use a centerpunch, drill a hole, and screw in a screw. Little
incentive to do it the quick way.
I also have something that looks like a drill chuck and has 3
spring-loaded ball bearings just inside the opening, to hold the shank
until the head is driven in past the bearings. I don't think I've ever
seen another one of those for sale.
And come to think, I have, for both flat and Phillips, a third style, a
screwdriver bit with something a little bit bigger than the screw-on cap
of some silicone cement, that's attached with one or more flat springs
to let it retract as the screw goes in. It doesn't grip the screw
head, but it does surround it and keep the screw straight
(perpendicular). I didn't buy these either. An oid man died and his
daughter gave me some of his tools.
I'm guessing your siding is aluminum. Stell would rust.
Anything like a coarse-thread drywall screw will go
through sheet metal. There's an exterior version. I'm
not sure, offhand, what they're called. They look just
like drywall screws but have a gray coating on them.
Otherwise, just use a small bit first to start the hole.
For the mounting you might prefer stainless steel
shet metal screws. If they don't go through without
pre-drilling then just start it with a small bit.
| I'm trying to drill through the metal siding on our home in order to
| mount a few things. Someone once mentioned to me that our siding was
| steel. The house was built in '37. I cannot get through the stuff
| with a high speed drill bit unless I first use a punch to create a
| small hole. However, when I wasn't home a day last week, a repair man
| came to fix some gutters on our house, and my wife said he merely
| used some kind of screw which he drove right into the siding using his
| portable drill. What kind of screw would that be that did the job so
| easily when I've been going daffy trying to get some holes drilled in
| that siding?
| (Really disgusted with myself that it was that easy for him.)
He probably use self drilling screws, but I expect the problem you're
having is that you're using dull drill bits.
If you normally only use your drill bits to drill holes in wood, it can
be easy to presume they're sharp because they drill easily into wood.
But, wood is such a soft material compared to steel that even a fairly
dull drill bit will drill easily into wood. When you try using that
same drill bit to drill into steel, you find out how dull and useless it
Gamble $3 or $4 and buy a new Cobalt Steel drill bit (which will be
brownish in colour) and try using that to drill through your siding.
Compare the performance you get with that new bit to your old drill bit
of the same size. You should find that the cobalt steel drill bit goes
through your siding quite easily.
I'm willing to bet that the root of the problem here is that you're
using dull drill bits.
And for Christmas, buy yourself a 20X jeweller's loupe so that you can
tell if a drill bit is sharp or dull just by looking at it's cutting
edges through that loupe.
On Sun, 28 Sep 2014 23:28:07 +0000 (UTC), Red Green
Found them on Amazon.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Things are looking up now. I gotta few more drilling sessions to go.
With all this help I think things are going to be a heck of a lot
Nope. I bought all new drill bits for this job. And I did start with
a smaller bits. No matter what I did, those bits wouldn't hack it
without me first punching out a small hole, which did wear out my
punch. That stuff has to be steel. Aluminum could not possibly be
that hard. Anyway, I'm going to get those self drilling jobbers for
the rest of the work I have yet to do.
I've tried titanium bits. Same problem.
Where does one get a few very, very tiny drops of nitro? I'm about
ready to try some of that.
On Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:57:11 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
Steel was quite common even into the 70's. It was galvanized before
painting and required special cutters to properly pinch the cuts so it
wouldn't rust from the fresh edges. Around here (an old steel area)
it was sold as a high end alternative to that cheap aluminum stuff. If
you (or your dad or your uncle) worked at the steel mill, you bought
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