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I've got an aluminum pole set consisting of multiple segments that need to be connected together to form one long pole using self-drilling and tapping SS screws. I've never used this type of screw and I am unfamiliar with how I should proceed. The directions that came with the product are very vague about what I should do, saying only:

"You will use a series of pre-drilled holes, spaced approximately 1-1/2" and 7-1/2" inches from each end, to join the large tubing to the small tubing. These holes are space 120 degrees apart. At the appropriate time you will secure with self-drilling and tapping SS screws."

The pre-drilled holes are very small, much smaller than the width of the screws, which appear to have a rather wide tip unlike a normal screw which has a sharp tip, so I'm not sure how I am supposed to get the screw to engage with the hole. Furthermore, there is no slot to put the screwdriver or drill bit into the screw, so I'm not sure how I'm even supposed to drive it.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Do yours look like this?

self-drilling screws

The straight portion of the shaft doesn't have to be as small as the pre-drilled pilot holes in the poles. Notice the angled point and the lip ("flute") along the edge: that's a built-in drill bit on the tip of the screw. It will open up the hole to the diameter it needs. The pre-drilled holes in the poles are there to start it out straight, in the right place; the screw will do the rest.

The hex head doesn't have a screwdriver slot because it is designed for a socket wrench.

socket wrench

It's very common for the heads on these screws to fit a US 1/4-inch socket.

Get a socket wrench, or a socket driver adapter for your drill, and go for it. It'll work.

socket drill adapter

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Thanks, that worked! –  Michael Jun 7 at 17:09

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