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How long *is* this screw?
Old 08-03-2010, 05:49 PM   #1
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How long *is* this screw?

Yes, the mechanical fastener type.

Seems like an easy question. Measure it. But from end-to-end, or the thread length?

This is my on-going saga with my GE u-Wave/fan. Three screws go through the top kitchen cabinet into the u-Wave chassis. It calls for a shorter one in one location (there must be a reason, and yes, there is something that it bottoms out on when I carefully hand-thread it in).

But when I measured the screws to double-check, they were all longer than stated. Figured it should be easy to verify with GE, but no. Got a run-around, transfers, was sent out two different hardware kits, both were supposed to be 'right' but the double-checked 'right' one doesn't even have any of these special 'self aligning' screws in it. I can't seem to get to a technical person (one was supposed to call me today...)

Now, the thread length is pretty close to the 3 1/4 and 2 5/8th they call for. These are probably correct... but if I mess up the install, I don't want to fight with GE over this (they claim I'm protected now that I called, but I don't trust that, and they wouldn't send me an email to that effect).

A google search of 'self aligning machine screw' didn't turn up much, neither did a scrub of the Grainger and McMaster-Carr catalogs. I know I'm being a bit overly paranoid here, but the oven is expensive (combo uW, convection oven and exhaust fan), and the cost and frustration is simply not worth the risk. I don't want to 'guess' at how far these screws can go inside the cabinet, and I don't want them sticking up inside the cabinet with spacers either.

Here's a marked up from the manual. A or B? Any mechanical engineers/machinists know what is the standard for measuring length on these (if GE followed the standard?)?

I do have a call into the installers from the retail appliance company. I suspect they will be able to help, but I was hoping to close the loop with GE, and the installers were out for the day - they will call tomorrow. Oh, and if I were to use regular screws, I can see where I would run the risk of cross-threading, and those threads are inside the oven, so I want to do this right.

Any ideas?

s-a-machinescrew_AB_.jpg

-ERD50
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:50 PM   #2
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Don't know how the are sized.

I would stick a coat hanger in each hole measure. Use grinder to adjust screws to length. If one screw is fairly close, grind part of the tip off. As long as about 3/16 tip is left, it will still self align.
Worst case taper grind the end threads AFTER putting on a nut of the correct size, then back nut off to clean up threads.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
Don't know how the are sized.

I would stick a coat hanger in each hole measure. Use grinder to adjust screws to length. If one screw is fairly close, grind part of the tip off. As long as about 3/16 tip is left, it will still self align.
Worst case taper grind the end threads AFTER putting on a nut of the correct size, then back nut off to clean up threads.
Thanks - all that has occurred to me, and it may be what I do as a last resort. OTOH, if I modify anything, that weakens my case with GE on the 1% chance something does get screwed messed up.

And this has become a bit of a matter of principle at this point (I'm sure that is obvious). After over 2 hours on the phone, and two different 'correct' packages sent to me, and talking to about 7 different people, all I really wanted was someone with authority to say:

"Yes sir, the 2 5/8" refers to the thread length, and the overall length of that screw is 3 1/4". " That really should not be so hard, should it?

Part of my motivation for putting this much energy into these posts is that these will be the basis for a snail-mail & email letter that I send to GE when this is done. And I'll cc the Appliance store (who seems genuinely helpful and competent (so far), so that they get a feeling for how GE is messing with their customers.

edit/add: As far as sticking something in to find the bottom - with one of the holes I hit something kinda soft, and I hit it almost right away - can't see what it is, and I'm afraid I may be deforming a cover or something. Just not warm & fuzzy with that. They should be able to give me a definitive answer.

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Old 08-03-2010, 07:54 PM   #4
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Oh, and in case it wasn't clear - I added the "A" & "B" labels to be able to ask the question. There were no dimension lines or labels in the manual, just the one picture of the screw and two different lengths listed (which go in different spots).

-ERD50
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:56 PM   #5
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I have NO idea....


But.... wasn't it NORDS or someone like him in the Navy who said 'use a hammer' if you could not get it to work
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:00 PM   #6
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Well.... I DO have an idea....

When I put together something with a package of 'bits'.... and they are not labeled (some are... so it takes the guesswork out).... I put everything with one of the items... since you have 2 at one length and 1 at another... they should kind of fall in place when you eliminate the rest of the items...

I have not had any problems with using the items sent with anything... and I would say if I did.. it would be the manufacturer's fault if they provided the wrong installation components...
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:09 PM   #7
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Well.... I DO have an idea....

When I put together something with a package of 'bits'.... and they are not labeled (some are... so it takes the guesswork out).... I put everything with one of the items... since you have 2 at one length and 1 at another... they should kind of fall in place when you eliminate the rest of the items...

I have not had any problems with using the items sent with anything... and I would say if I did.. it would be the manufacturer's fault if they provided the wrong installation components...
Yes, and two are longer and one shorter, but all are longer than it appears they should be.

And I agree that it would be the mfg's fault if the enclosed parts caused a problem- but after running all this hassle just to try to find out if these are the right screws or not, I can't even imagine the hassle it would be to argue that they need to give me a new u-Wave. I just don't even want to think about it. Esp when they would not give that to me in writing, just 'we have your case #'. Plus the additional time I'd be w/o the u-Wave (and an empty spot in the wall where it should go, and no exhaust fan since we took the old one out to put this one in).

-ERD50
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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Heh, you have far more tenacity in dealing mfg than I.

My quick version would be to put he screws in finger tight and see how they look.

I have no patience for dealing with customer service. But I'm from the school of, to borrow a fine redneck expression, "git 'er done"
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:18 PM   #9
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I have NO idea....


But.... wasn't it NORDS or someone like him in the Navy who said 'use a hammer' if you could not get it to work
My sig line on another forum is: Don't force it! Use a bigger hammer.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:44 PM   #10
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My quick version would be to put he screws in finger tight and see how they look.

But I'm from the school of, to borrow a fine redneck expression, "git 'er done"
Trust me, there is a battle raging internally between those two sides of me. I'm close to 99% convinced that these screws are OK, and I could have had this installed last Thursday and had it all behind me (with a temporary extension cord, I need to run an outlet up to that upper cabinet, not looking forward to that).

But that 1% doubt just keeps screaming at me - " You heave that thing up in place, get it locked down and power it up and sparks start flying, you are gonna be kicking yourself!".

And I have tested it out sitting on the counter (w/o any screws in), I wanted to do that before installing it.

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Old 08-03-2010, 11:06 PM   #11
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I would think that ANY non-flathead machine screw's "length" would be measured from the tip to the underside of the head, which is "B" as you marked the drawing.

I don't see how "A", by itself, could ever be used to describe a screw, as it omits the primary dimension, the distance from the seating surface to the end.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:46 PM   #12
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I found this.
Not sure if it will help but check it out.
Steve

Video Fastener Series Index

It the first one doesn't touch on what you need maybe this one will:
http://www.ehow.com/how_2152067_meas...ews-bolts.html
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:22 AM   #13
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I found this.
Not sure if it will help but check it out.
Steve

Video Fastener Series Index

It the first one doesn't touch on what you need maybe this one will:
How to Measure Screws and Bolts | eHow.com
Thanks, I didn't find any of these 'self aligning' screws in there, but it re-enforces what I think and what others posted here - 'length' is overall length. If you want to call out the threaded length, you describe it as such.

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