Industry Innovation

Installing metal doors and frames, marking, punching, predrilling and tapping can eat a lot of time and cause a lot of frustration for wall and ceiling contractors. Now, a new line of door hardware fasteners is designed to cut that time in half, minimum.

Fastener Specialties/Scorpion Products, of South Windsor, Conn., is about to bring a newly designed, self-drilling door hardware fastener line to the market. With this series of fasteners, all an installer has to do is locate his fixture and run the fastener home.

“I saw a need for something in the marketplace,” says Dan Onofrio, president, Fastener Specialties Inc. “A friend of mine asked how to do a job with a closer more quickly than the same old method so I designed a screw to fit his needs.”

The old method meant premarking hole locations, then punching, drilling and tapping the drilled hole. This outdated method causes misplaced holes, dull drill bits and broken taps, all of which can be very difficult (and costly) mistakes to correct. This series of fasteners are designed to bite quickly into steel, drill the hole and fasten securely, even with masonry filled jams, eliminating marking, punching, pre-drilling and tapping.

“For the most part, you’re not dulling up your drill bits and not throwing away expensive taps,” Onofrio adds.

After success with a very limited product line to satisfy a few friends, Onofrio decided to take the concept one step further. After all, there is more to doors and frames than just closers.

“I visited a few steel-door people, looked over their applications and made things easier,” Onofrio explains. “So now I’ve got proprietary designs of self-drilling screws for closers, hinges, continuous hinge, standard size and oversize, which are used as repair screws or plug screws.”

Onofrio designed self-drillers for glazing bead, kickplates, push-and-pull plates, and a specially designed aggressive thread for hinges into wood doors. To complete the product line, a few conventional standbys were added, such as floor jamb clip anchors, flathead sleeve anchors and threshold anchors.

Roger LaLiberte, project supervisor for S.G. Milazzo Co., of Rocky Hill, Conn., is one contractor who has had a chance to test these fasteners.

"Normally with a door closer, the screws are supplied with the kit to mount the closer to the door frame," says LaLiberte. "You need the right size drill, a tap, and when you're done tapping, you mount the hardware with the screws they give you. The Scorpion line comes in many types, have a nice drill point, and this saves a lot of time.

“Before, we used drill screws normally appropriate for metal studs, but they never matched and weren’t chrome plated or a brushed-stainless finish,” he adds. “These have a nice oval head for a finished look and Phillips heads on all of them mean you can use any screwdriver.”

Now, all an installer has to do is simply lay out the fixture, hold it in place and screw it right on, direct to the metal door or frame.

Most of the Scorpion fasteners are designed with a different thread count than standard stock screws. This means that in lighter gauge frames or doors, the installer will be able to drill and fasten even through the heaviest of door and frame reinforcers in one easy step.

Fasteners Specialties Inc./Scorpion has been in business for over 25 years.

“I don’t know why it took me all these years to come up with these,” Mr. Onofrio comments. “I did this work myself back in the early 70s, and I know firsthand how frustrating this can be. My new products are going to make the installers job a heck of a lot easier and save him a lot of time and money!”.