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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have to attach pockets and shade brackets to the undersides of the horizontal steel support beams (indicated by arrows in the exemplar photo).



The brackets are 1/8" thick, the pockets about 1/16" and the steel beams are 3/8" thick. We will be screwing/drilling straight up. Based on this Teks screw application paper I'm thinking we'll use hex head Teks 8x18 in one inch length.

We've installed a lot of motorized shades -- however, there is normally blocking or another substrate to mount to. In this case the architect has specified that we mount directly to these structural beams. We have about 200 fasteners to attach and Davis-Bacon wages and we'd appreciate any tips to improve our efficiency. Do you recommend using a punch before we start screwing/drilling?

Any and all comments appreciated.
 

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Is it going to be visible? You can get beam clamps and all sorts of hardware for hanging stuff off of them. Personally Id get a mag drill and use nuts and bolts, with written permission from an engineer saying you can drill into the beams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I researched mag drills a while ago and I don't think they would fit into the pocket we have and still be able to drill vertically close to the edges.

First, the pocket gets attached to the steel beam.



Second, the brackets get installed up inside the pocket.



There are two brackets per shade; if it is a coupled shade (two or more shade panels with one motor) then there is an intermediate bracket(s) also.

The plan is to attach the pockets primarily in the center because the shade brackets will hold up the ends. Welding is not permitted. Chewy, thanks for the comment regarding the engineer's approval. We may have access to the top to apply nuts if we went that route. I'm optimistic that the screws would be strong enough, even in tension.

Thanks for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Solar-

Have you found a source for techs that'll do 3/8"? I've only come across them up to 1/4" max steel thickness.
Thank you rustyjames. My ignorance comes screaming to the forefront again. Upon researching it they are only good up to 1/4" thickness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I can't personally vouch for this product, but it looks like the ticket for your project:
http://www.strongarm5.com/node/49
We'll probably order this and try it out the week before the project. I never would have dreamt of such a device.

I'm with Brian on drilling, & tapping though, even if you over bore the hole a little to make it easier to tap.
Joe
This took a little research as I don't think I've used a tap and die set since high school. The hand taps with the t-handle won't work. Our holes need to be about .75" - 1.5" from the edge of the wall. I came across this video illustrating the use of a power drill with a tap.

We'll purchase a tap/die set and try this out this coming week and see if it is a reliable technique (for us). We don't install yet for a few weeks but it is best to know ahead of time.

Thank you Prestige and Railman.
 

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Always Learning
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Good luck! There is something satisfying about drilling and tapping bolt holes. I know it's easy, but it's something a lot of people wouldn't think of or do.
 

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I use my 18vlt with the clutch most of the time when I am needing a tap on a machine I am restoring or odd and end metal stock. Works great as long as you keep it well lubricated with some oil or tapping fluid.



Best of luck,



B,
 

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There is another way I've done a few times around my shop on
4.5 x 4.5 x 1/4" thick box tube. I used 1/4" self tappers, but only after predrilling to a size that the self tappers only had to cut the thread. It worked pretty well.

How much weight do the threads have to hold?
Joe
 

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The problem with tapping is with that many holes you can count on taps breaking. If that happens are you going to be able to attempt another hole next to it or are you commited to that spot? Because removing broken taps can get time consuming. There's no way you can thru bolt the pocket up?
 

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I'm probably misunderstanding something, but:

Don't drill inside the pocket. Measure or use templates of some type to mark hole locations on the beams. Cut or punch the holes in the pockets oversized and use washers to manage any alignment issues.

Outside of the pocket, can you use a mag drill?

I've tried a few different gizmos to apply pressure on a drill. Never had any luck with them. Mag drill is it.

You can save more time by having good, sharp drill bits. Depending on size I'd have 10 bits and a Drill Dr on site. The Drill Dr could pay for itself on the one job.
 

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Particulate Filter
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I'm probably misunderstanding something, but:

Don't drill inside the pocket. Measure or use templates of some type to mark hole locations on the beams. Cut or punch the holes in the pockets oversized and use washers to manage any alignment issues.

Outside of the pocket, can you use a mag drill?

I've tried a few different gizmos to apply pressure on a drill. Never had any luck with them. Mag drill is it.

You can save more time by having good, sharp drill bits. Depending on size I'd have 10 bits and a Drill Dr on site. The Drill Dr could pay for itself on tbe one job.
New bits are key I think. Id test a harbor freight steel bit vs. A high end one. Then see if it makes more sense to buy 230 1.00 bits or 25 10.00 ones.
 

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Drill Doctor is awesome. Totally worth the cost. SFO is right, it'll pay for itself on this job in time and bits if you've got more than a handful of holes to drill.

Also, just a friendly reminder to keep your face on the right side of the drill!
 

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Another method popped into my head--how about an adhesive like polyurethane? It's used in the auto industry to fasten sheet metal panels and windshields. It could also be used with some powder actuated fasteners.
 
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