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I was hoping you could help me out with a question I have. I would like to mount Ikea shades I bought (Trippevals, https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/trippevals-black-out-cellular-blind-light-gray-80381487/) inside my window frame. I am renting in an apartment building in NYC that is about a century old. I am not sure exactly what type of screw/bolt I should use to mount the shades, or even whether it's a good idea at all.

I drilled a hole today to test the window frame material and depth. From what I can tell, the frame is made of some kind of metal. From what I've read online, it is probably aluminum. Once I hit about 1/2" depth with my drill bit, it broke through and it was hollow after that.

From what I understand reading online, I would need some kind of anchor or bolt to mount the shades, since there is no wood behind the aluminum. Each shade is three pounds.

So here's my question: Should I try installing this, or is a 1/2"-thick aluminum frame not enough to hold a three-pound shade? And if you do think I could install it, what kind of anchor or bolt would you recommend using?

Thank you, and please let me know if you need additional information to answer my question.

Best, Jake

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Since these blinds will be mounted inside the frame, the attachments will probably be from the top of the frame. Toggle bolts would normally be my first choice but they need a large hole and about an inch of "free" space after passing through the 1/2" frame. If you have this space, go with toggle bolts.

If you're a handy person, a better solution would be to get a tap and the appropriate drill and cut threads in the aluminum frame and just screw into it, smaller holes and less free space behind frame. They have self threading aluminum screws but I don't think they'd work on 1/2" depth.

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  • Thanks so much for your help Jack. A friend recommended to me the self-threading aluminum screws (these are also called self-drilling screws, correct?). Why do you think they wouldn't work on a 1/2" depth? I would prefer to screw directly into the aluminum, given that I don't want to make large toggle bolt holes in the frame. Jul 21 at 5:04
  • @doingthingsiwanttodo I have only seen, used, the self threading screws on thin aluminum, like screened in aluminum patios. 1/2" thick aluminum seems to thick to self thread. If you got a screw that didn't cut too thick and close to the diameter of the hole, it might work.
    – JACK
    Jul 21 at 11:20
  • You'll have to forgive me; I'm pretty green so I don't fully understand what you're saying. Are you suggesting that I drill holes, rather than use self-drilling screws? That makes sense, but I'm not sure what you mean by "cut threads in the aluminum frame." I was under the impression that I would drill a hole, then use self-tapping screws to create their own threads in the frame. Is that right? And you think this would be preferable to using a molly bolt, because that would require a much bigger hole, right? Also, should the screws be longer than the thickness of the frame? Jul 25 at 15:48
  • @doingthingsiwanttodo My understanding is that your frame is 1/2" thick or deep. That's too deep for self threading screws. Those screws are used for thin aluminum like the stuff used for screened in patios. It would be almost impossible to self drill/screw them into 1/2" thick aluminum. My thoughts were to drill a hole into the aluminum that's about 1/16" smaller than the diameter or the screw. Then you should be able to screw the screw into the hole because most of the metal is already gone and it will be easier for the screws to cut the threads as you turn them.
    – JACK
    Jul 25 at 21:34
  • That makes sense. Thank you! Just one more thing: what type and length of screw should I use? And should I hand screw or drill them in to the hole? Jul 26 at 22:11

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