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The lock handle on my aluminium windows keeps falling off. The handle had previously fallen off when I first moved in a year ago and the landlord remounted it. Since then it has become loose a few times, but has been able to be screwed back in. Now the two screws no longer hold. The internal thread (?) on the window frame is only a few millimetres thick.

How can I securely remount this handle?

I am not sure of the screw size/type, but below is a photo. Handle

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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The screw you're showing is a self-tapping metal screw. It's designed to cut it's own channel into metal and grab hold by cutting it's own threads - but it's not meant for repeated uses because repeat uses can damage it's own threads, making its hole too big for it.

Take it to the local hardware store and get one that is slightly wider in diameter, and use it in place of the old one.

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I'd add - take the lock along as well to make sure you get screws that aren't too wide for the hole in the lock. –  ChrisF Dec 2 '12 at 11:52
    
Or drill out the lock hole as needed. Don't be limited by the lock, the screw must be big enough to stay in the oversized frame hole. That's the wrong screw anyway. You don't need self tapping for a typical aluminum window, a simple sheet metal screw will do. Also, the lock is counter sunk for flat or oval head screw, yet a round head was used. –  bcworkz Dec 2 '12 at 18:22
    
@bcworkz - well spotted on the screw head. The only reason I mentioned about the size was that it could be hard to drill out the hole in the lock. –  ChrisF Dec 3 '12 at 0:00
    
Yeah looks like this was a "replacement" screw poorly picked in the first place. –  The Evil Greebo Dec 3 '12 at 12:44
    
Two trips to the hardware store and not much luck. A #8 5/8" seems to fit okay, but the spacing between the threads is too great and the handle just wobbles about without falling out. Also tried a 1" thick bolt that is just a tad big. Dude at the store said I might need to resort to a rivet, but I reluctant to do so since I don't have the tools and am renting. Any other options? –  row1 Dec 14 '12 at 12:32
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