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Old 04-30-2019, 02:08 PM   #21
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Caddy makes all sorts of drive on clamps and straps for beams. Very fast.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:37 PM   #22
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I'm still a bit intrigued by the self drilling screw idea.

But one other issue I thought of is if you are on a ladder, it would be a bit of a pain to hold the box and drill with one hand, not having a hand to steady yourself if needed, and having all those hot metal shavings falling down onto you.

With the beam clamp idea, all of the boxes are made up at once on the ground, then you just hang it over the beam and give the bolt a few twists with your nut driver and it's good.
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by tmessner View Post
Caddy makes all sorts of drive on clamps and straps for beams. Very fast.
You might be able to get these for a 3/8" flange...

https://www.platt.com/platt-electric...spx?zpid=13253
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:15 PM   #24
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We use Tek 5's for beams. If it's 1/2" or less steel the Teks are the simplest method for us.



http://fastening-solutions.itwbuilde...rilling-screws

We use the 12-24x1.5" climaseal type all the time. The guys keep them on their trucks.
Expensive, but astounding labor savings.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:39 PM   #25
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@HackWork - note that the Teks that drill heavy steel are the Teks 5's not regular teks. You won't get far with regular Teks in I-beams.

I think Tek bought a company that made 5-fluted self drilling - self tapping screws, I can't remember the name. They are obviously very good to keep on hand.

I still use beam clamps more often. You get two holes with a beam clamp, which is often helpful. No sharp point sticking out. Easier to put on in odd positions, no running the drill on a ladder. Easily repositionable.

I don't pay much more for the regular malleable type than the Caddy stamped metal type. The malleable are stronger. I like the normal set screw on the Caddy stamped rather than the ridiculous square head screw on the malleable.
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:46 PM   #26
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I have not done much heavy beam work in a while, but when I did we Hilti shot everything with 1/4" x 20 studs and red shots.

I have drilled and tapped lots of 1/4" x 20 holes in beams too. The only difference was the engineer that talked about structural integrity in drilling vice shots; everyone seems to have a different take in it.

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Old 04-30-2019, 05:06 PM   #27
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You might be able to get these for a 3/8" flange...

https://www.platt.com/platt-electric...spx?zpid=13253
That's what I would do. Just need a nut and done.

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Old 04-30-2019, 05:38 PM   #28
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The last beam work I did I mounted the boxes with caddy stamped beam clamps ($.79/ea iirc), 1/2" long 1/4x20 bolts, and used caddy pound on emt hangers. Where I ran MC I used the bang ons with a hoop and zip tied them up.

If they are bar joists and not beams then I would use toggle bolts between the angle iron to hold up the boxes and zip tie the bx/ac/mc whatever to the cross members.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:58 PM   #29
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We get our Tek5 screws on eBay. Don't ask me who the seller is, but they end up at about $.08/piece. From Fastenal it's up around $.25 or more. It's been awhile since we got any there. I've found the eBay ones actually work better. I'm kind of surprised at that because they are stamped, and the ones from Fastenal are machined.

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Old 04-30-2019, 07:22 PM   #30
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In all the years of doing commercial work, I never performed, saw, or heard of self drilling screws into heavy building steel, only studs. A couple times we would drill and use 1/4-20 bolts, but the other 99.9% of the time we used beam clamps. Either the cast ones or the sheet metal ones like FaultCurrent posted. We used them for both boxes and pipe support. We would have the apprentices make up a bunch of clamps with cowboys (mineralacs) on the ground and then attach them as we went.

I never imagined using self drilling screws in I-beams. It's interesting to hear that they drill quickly.
A good majority of buildings over here are steel structures.

We run the Tek 5's I posted above into building steel all the time, sq. tube columns, i beams, you name it. The only time we don't use tek 5's, is if we get into the huge clearspan steel buildings with beams that have 3/4"+ flanges on them.

1/2" and less is fair game though.

It's pretty common to hold a 4 sq up and mark one of the holes with a sharpie. Set the box down and drill the hole with a Tek 5. Then back it out and screw the box in place. Then run a second Tek 5 through the back of the box. Done.

Beam clamps and such space the box off too much and don't support nearly as well as a box with it's entire surface area resting against a beam or column face.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:38 PM   #31
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Forgot to mention, with those tek 5's I linked to above, they are a 12-24 machine thread. Which means we also use them to attach ground lugs to building steel, especially when it's into columns where you can't get to the backside to use a bolt and nut.

Also works well for highway billboard services where it's just a huge chunk of pipe embedded in the ground holding the sign up and you need to mount your service to it and bond it with a lug.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:55 PM   #32
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We get our Tek5 screws on eBay. Don't ask me who the seller is, but they end up at about $.08/piece. From Fastenal it's up around $.25 or more. It's been awhile since we got any there. I've found the eBay ones actually work better. I'm kind of surprised at that because they are stamped, and the ones from Fastenal are machined.

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I tried some E-bay ones. I thought they were made from butter. I bite the bullet and use Fastenal.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:10 PM   #33
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I tried some E-bay ones. I thought they were made from butter. I bite the bullet and use Fastenal.
I don't know. I wasn't expecting them to be very good, but they thoroughly impressed me. And at 1/3 the price? I'm not arguing.

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Old 04-30-2019, 09:39 PM   #34
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I love the Tek 5's, use a crap ton of them, always have some stocked in my trucks.



I much prefer the look of the boxes and stuff mounted flat and clean to the beam then on clamps, and of it's somewhere monkeys can get to it then for sure no clamps.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:43 PM   #35
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Beam clamps are what the old timers without impact drivers used. # 12 or larger teks for most building steel works fine and is dirt cheap. Thick I beams, the tek5 12/24 long cutting tip screws that have already been mentioned are the cats as$.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:41 PM   #36
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Yeah, Tek is a trade name for self drilling screws. The little pointy ones for steel studs aren’t really Tek screws because they’re self tapping. I’ve never heard the word “zippies” before.

The pointed screws are just called 'zip screws'!
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:13 AM   #37
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The pointed screws are just called 'zip screws'!
We just call them "pan heads" here.

I don't think I've ever heard some one call them zip screws or zippies.


Technically the type of screws we use are not pan heads though, they are "truss head"


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Old 05-07-2019, 06:11 AM   #38
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These are what I am talking about. And when I typed "zippie" into Google to find this picture, it automatically added "screw" to the end of it, which means many people searched for that phrase before.

Attaching boxes to steel beams-zippy-screw-pan-phillips-head-self-drilling-screw-2.jpg


They also make zippies that have a sharp point tip instead of a drill tip, they are for lighter gauge studs.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:13 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by freeagnt54 View Post
We just call them "pan heads" here.

I don't think I've ever heard some one call them zip screws or zippies.


Technically the type of screws we use are not pan heads though, they are "truss head"


That **** will just end in frustration more often than not with thick steel and an impact driver.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:17 AM   #40
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That **** will just end in frustration more often than not with thick steel and an impact driver.
You can't use any self drilling screw on steel thicker than the length of the drill tip's flutes.
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