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Fastening expanded metal

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  • Fastening expanded metal

    One of the last steps in revamping my car stereo is putting some protective covers over the speakers. I have some expanded metal that I've shaped and bent to do the job, and the primer is curing as I type. When it comes to fastening it in place, I'd like to keep the fasteners flush to the surface if at all possible. The holes in this stuff are about 3/4 long and about 3/8 wide, diamond shaped- pretty typical stuff. I could use a washer and screw, or a finish washer and screw, or ? One idea I had was to take the smallest washers I can get away with and punch them into the holes so they conform to the shape- then when the screws go in, they have the best chance of not sticking up too much. Without the washers or similar, the screw heads are too small and will fall right through the holes.

    Ideas? One I thought of was to try and find screws with the largest heads- large enough to span the holes- but I doubt I'd find such an animal. Maybe in a car parts supply place- black heads would be nice, though I could certainly paint them. Where might I look for such screws?

    They should be short, but I'm no stranger to cutting them off to suit- after screwing them in to define the holes.

    There must be something in a decorative line that would work-
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    Weld washers to the back side of the mesh so the fastener will already be countersunk the thickness of the mesh when tightened.


    • #3
      Hmm, not a bad idea- though it's too late now. Paint is drying-

      I will keep that in mind for future use of this mesh.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


      • #4
        How about socket head countersunk screws in the finish washers?


        • #5
          Hmmm, several routes you could go, not sure if any are really "good" sort of depends on what looks you can live with etc., some automotive trim screws can be found with a sort of raised/rolled washer that moves the head of the screw up a bit (sort of like a washer but due to thickness has an effect sort of like a counter sink, if that makes any sense), metal rivets with large heads (not sure on the looks, may look a bit "unfinished"), there maybe something with a really large head to span those diamonds in a plastic rivet (again, not sure on looks, though many vehicle interiors use them, an exact match to surrounding area can help hide them a lot)


          • #6
            Well, I worked out where I would go to look for something suitable. I had three or four places in mind, and I made the first stop. There I ran into a woman who I haven't seen in a while, and whose daughter I was quite fond of. Turn out she's coming home for Christmas ( from the east coast this time, not from Croatia where she has been) and I might get to see her. Great! Then her mom led me to the screw aisle, where there was nothing suitable, then over to another section of the store. She led me directly to the bulk bin where behold and lo was the exact thing I was looking for. They were pan head, self-tapping screws with a wide but thin head. They are made for sheet metal, but by drilling my own pilot holes, they could be screwed in and hold tight.

            So at this point they have been de-greased, primed, painted, baked, and are holding the grill in place. Stereo system is back in place, sub amp has been repaired (loose input jacks on the pc board, common thing ) tested, phased, working fine. Only thing I have left to do is make a cover plate to screw on over the D cell holder. If I remember to shut the mp3 player off every time, I shouldn't have to change the D cell until spring.

            Some small metalworking content here, as I had to cut and bend the expanded metal to make the grill
            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


            • #7
              I think I would make a bezel ring from aluminum or stainless and countersink the holes in that. It would completely hide the cut edges of the expanded metal. And protect you and your passengers from any sharp edges.
              Paul A.

              Make it fit.
              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!