February '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 F E B R U A R Y G R A P H I C S P R O 6 7 waterjet but could have been cut in several passes on a router, and at that thickness, they can be drilled and tapped for 3/16" studs in the typical fashion. However, I did not want to have to drill the 1/4" diameter size holes needed for that install if I could do it using smaller hardware. I also had to hang all of the aluminum let- ters for powder coating and then have some type of small stud in place for the instal- lation. Instead of drilling and tapping for #10 size threads, the parts were drilled from behind with only a 3/32 bit, and we used button head #8 sheet metal screws, which were forced in these shallow drilled holes. To do this, the sharp points of the screws were dulled on a bench sander, then a screw was set in a hole on the back of a letter and held in place with a Phillips screwdriver. To set into the hole, the screwdriver was tapped once lightly with a hammer. This forces a screw to wedge itself into the small hole just a bit, and a half a turn made firmly with a screwdriver holds the screws securely for powder coating and/or stud mounting. On this job, after powder coating, these large head screws were replaced with small- er #6 X 1" stainless steel screws that were turned about a half to one full turn, which fully secured them in place. With just this amount of threading, these small, perma- nent studs were set well enough that they could not be removed without tools. The head of these small stainless screws were nipped off with a small bolt cutter and our "micro-studs" were good to go. For small aluminum letters, these shop- made studs would be fine on any job and do not require actual tapping for A light hammer tap on the screwdriver allows the screws to get a bite into the small holes on the backs of each part, and a simple half turn sets them firmly. Instead of drilling threaded studs, typically 3/16 diameter, these parts were drilled with a small 3/32" bit and threading would not be needed. These buttonhead screws were chosen for hanging the letters for powder coating, since powder coat hooks won't slide over them. Small #8 screws with oversize heads would be put in the backs of each letter or logo part so parts could be hung for powder coating, but their sharp points were dulled a bit so they would not make protrusions on the fronts of the letters.

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