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I am looking to hang some blinds over the window on my front door. Is ok to screw the mounting hardware directly into the door?

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You could always replace the door with one that has blinds inside it. No dusting required :) –  staticx Jul 30 '10 at 13:08
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4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

It's definitely not a problem. As @ChrisF mentioned, the best way is to drill a small pilot hole (1/8" would probably be about right) and use a self-tapping screw.

"Self tapping screws" suggest that you don't need a pilot hole, but they're really meant for sheet metal. They'll never get started in the steel skin of your door. A small hole will let them engage.

Drilling steel is not like drilling wood. Please forgive me if this is too basic, but someone else might find it useful.

To drill the hole, first locate where you want it with a pencil. Then use a center punch with a hammer to tap a small indent right where you want the hole. If you don't have a center punch use a nail. If you don't tap a center mark, your drill will skate right across the surface of the door and scratch the paint.

Then drill at the full speed applying some pressure directly behind the drill motor, in line with the twist drill.(1) If you're used to drilling wood you might be surprised how much pressure it takes.


(1) A bit (ha ha) of anal-retentive vocabulary: the thing that you plug in is the "drill motor". The thing that actually drills, which most people call the "bit", is not a bit, it's a drill, usually a "twist drill". I only bring this up because the the anonymity of the interwebs makes me bold.

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No lubrication? –  Tester101 Jul 30 '10 at 14:44
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drill1    [dril] Show IPA –noun 1. Machinery, Building Trades . a. a shaftlike tool with two or more cutting edges for making holes in firm materials, esp. by rotation. b. a tool, esp. a hand tool, for holding and operating such a tool. Looks like the "Drill motor" can also be called a drill. So you would put the drill in the drill and drill a hole. –  Tester101 Jul 30 '10 at 14:48
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Darn you, evolving English language! –  Rod Fitzsimmons Frey Jul 30 '10 at 15:00
    
@Tester101 re: lubrication - Apologies for a stunted humor gland if you're poking fun at me - but IMO lubrication isn't important for a job like this but the lack of a center punch will ruin the job by scratching the door paint. –  Rod Fitzsimmons Frey Jul 30 '10 at 15:03
    
Not poking fun just wanted to know if you would use lubrication while drilling the door. –  Tester101 Jul 30 '10 at 16:29
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Another approach is to avoid drilling at all and use a magnetic curtain rod. These are reasonably priced and stick well to the steel door without damaging it.

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and Neodymium magnets aren't technically that expensive - at least ones that would hold up well enough for this. –  Wayne Werner Aug 2 '10 at 2:49
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I'd use self tapping screws with a very small pilot hole.

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Should be fine, just be careful not to poke a dent in the exterior skin when you pre-drill.

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