Dress up Ugly Screw Heads - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-31-2009, 11:32 AM   #1
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You can make plain screws look a little better with inexpensive finishing washers found at hardware stores or building centers. Available in different sizes, they can be used with tapered seat wood screws or machine screws. They really increase the holding power of simple screws. If you have had a problem with loose screws causing the holes through fiberglass to become elongated when your trailer is bouncing down the road, use these to eliminate that! see illustration

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Old 10-31-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
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My only comment is be careful about using mild steel on the outside. You may end up with rust streaks everywhere! Scamp owners fight rust streaks from the gravel guard hardware. I can't imagine if someone replaced all the rivets and caps with mild steel how it may look in 2-3 years, if not sooner.

Do these fasteners come in stainless? That's not perfect, but far better than plain ole steel.
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:46 PM   #3
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They do come in stainless.

What would make me carefully consider has to do with what is shown about "sharp edge digs into fiberglass." Finishing washers do tend to have a sharp (thin) edge, and can dig in. For that reason I probably would not use them in a stressed place like the structural rivets.

I think I remember seeing non-marring finishing washers used in the new boat-building, but I can't remember for sure what they looked like (they would have been used on non-structural wooden cabinetry).

Raya

Edited to add: Oh, I think these may be what I was thinking of; they're flanged for more bearing surface (which still isn't to say that I'd use them in structural applications).

Link to them in Jamestown Distributors online catalog:

http://tinyurl.com/yf4yjhb


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Old 10-31-2009, 01:57 PM   #4
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They do come in stainless...
(snip)
They also come in nylon. Probably available at Ace in the specialty fastener drawers (?).

Edit: a search on "nylon finishing washers" shows they're readily available online, from Amazon & ebay, among others. Also, in addition to being rust proof, they appear to be solid, which should make them less likely to dig in.

Don
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:59 PM   #5
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They also come in nylon. Probably available at Ace in the specialty fastener drawers (?).

Edit: a search on "nylon finishing washers" shows they're readily available online, from Amazon & ebay, among others. Also, in addition to being rust proof, they appear to be solid, which should make them less likely to dig in.

Don

Plastic finishing washers are easily available from Mcmaster Carr supply. They are solid as Don points out so there is lots of bearing area. Look up stainless oval headed screws at the same time to go with them and you'll have a very attractive fastener solution. The web site is McMaster.com

Steve G
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:07 PM   #6
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The nylon finishing washers I see at McMaster Carr are "Nylon 6/6" I don't see where they specify whether that is UV resistant or not, so that's something to check on (or do you know that is is?).

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:33 PM   #7
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The nylon finishing washers I see at McMaster Carr are "Nylon 6/6" I don't see where they specify whether that is UV resistant or not, so that's something to check on (or do you know that is is?).

Raya
Raya, I'm not sure about the UV resistance of Nylon 6/6. I'm not near my catalog at the moment but there is a description of the material properties (including uv resistance) if you turn to the section on Nylon where they sell bars and tubes. I've used the black finishing washers with good results in several applications but they are mostly indoors. It's a good point to consider for long term outdoor use. Thanks for bringing it up. Steve G
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:44 PM   #8
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Raya, I'm not sure about the UV resistance of Nylon 6/6. I'm not near my catalog at the moment but there is a description of the material properties (including uv resistance) if you turn to the section on Nylon where they sell bars and tubes. I've used the black finishing washers with good results in several applications but they are mostly indoors. It's a good point to consider for long term outdoor use. Thanks for bringing it up. Steve G
Raya, I just did a quick check at the McMaster web site and yes Nylon 6/6 is suitable for outdoor exposure and frequent washdown though Nylon will absorb moisture which some other plastics may not. Steve G
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:14 AM   #9
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My only comment is be careful about using mild steel on the outside. You may end up with rust streaks everywhere! Scamp owners fight rust streaks from the gravel guard hardware. I can't imagine if someone replaced all the rivets and caps with mild steel how it may look in 2-3 years, if not sooner.

Do these fasteners come in stainless? That's not perfect, but far better than plain ole steel.

Yes of course stainless is always the way to go, I should have stated that these finishing washers would not be suitable for the outside of the shell since they don't seal out moisture. I used them where the cabinet door screws pulled out of the fiberglass. It seems that the screws became loose and the trailer bounces quite violently at times (even at low speed). these have held fast for many years.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:13 AM   #10
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...if you turn to the section on Nylon where they sell bars and tubes....
Hi Stephen,

Thanks for checking this. I didn't have my paper catalog with me (on the road), and when I looked it up in the overall "nylon 6/6" section in the online catalog, I didn't see it (might just have missed it though).

The McMaster paper catalog is on my "Ten Books To Take To A Deserted Island" list. What a gem. It took years for me to cajole one out of them though!

That said, their online catalog is probably my favorite non-paper catalog, and I bet the information was there and I just didn't see it.

Thanks again for checking and reporting back,
Raya
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:51 PM   #11
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Hi Stephen,

Thanks for checking this. I didn't have my paper catalog with me (on the road), and when I looked it up in the overall "nylon 6/6" section in the online catalog, I didn't see it (might just have missed it though).

The McMaster paper catalog is on my "Ten Books To Take To A Deserted Island" list. What a gem. It took years for me to cajole one out of them though!

That said, their online catalog is probably my favorite non-paper catalog, and I bet the information was there and I just didn't see it.

Thanks again for checking and reporting back,
Raya
is Mcmaster Carr wholesale only?
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:13 PM   #12
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I ordered some stainless screws from this outfit:

http://www.manasquanfasteners.com/de...screws_panhead

They were to replace the original rusted zink plated screws on my Bigfoot. They had the stainless in square drive. Impossible to find at a hardware store. The prices were reasonable and by figuring out the sizes I wanted and ordering them all at the same time the shipping was also reasonable. They also have several other types of fasteners.
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:22 PM   #13
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is Mcmaster Carr wholesale only?
Nope. They'll sell to anyone, same prices, and I don't think I've ever not had my order by the next day (without paying for any special shipping). It's a great place to do business with.

My only small complaint is that they don't list where they source their parts (like from what company), but you can always call and ask.

The catalog alone is fascinating! Lots of good technical information on the properties of various raw materials.

I buy pre-made fiberglass from them (sheets, angles, and tubes), among other things.

Raya
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:38 AM   #14
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An old piano technician trick -- buff rusty or tarnished screw head on a bench grinder fitted with a wire brush. Then chuck the screw up in a drill press and with the press set to high speed lower it slowly and gently onto a piece of thick felt that has polishing compound on it.

It will polish up like a mirror. After installing the screw, coat it with a thin coating of spar varnish. This will protect the shine but only on inside screws. For outside, use stainless.
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