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Old 03-02-2012, 11:50   #1
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304 vs 316 for Mast Step Fasteners

Hi Folks,

I'm installing Seadog folding aluminum mast steps on an aluminum mast with 1/4" ss machine screws. With the 316 grade, it's about $700 for 70, so I'm seriously looking @ going with 304. Any big liability?

Thanks!

Tom
Astoria
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:21   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svtatoosh
Hi Folks,

I'm installing Seadog folding aluminum mast steps on an aluminum mast with 1/4" ss machine screws. With the 316 grade, it's about $700 for 70, so I'm seriously looking @ going with 304. Any big liability?

Thanks!

Tom
Astoria
What exactly are you paying per fastener?! Not $10.- each I hope?

ciao!
Nick
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:30   #3
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

Fisheries in Seattle 1/4 - 20 x 3/4 are $11.73 each.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:31   #4
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

I did a quick search and McMaster Carr have 1/4" 316 in 1" (a guess) for $4.19 for a pack of 10.

Your instructions should make it very clear exactly how the step should be installed. With such a critical item I'd follow them to the letter, or get any changes approved by the manufacturer.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:32   #5
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
I did a quick search and McMaster Carr have 1/4" 316 in 1" (a guess) for $4.19 for a pack of 10.

Your instructions should make it very clear exactly how the step should be installed. With such a critical item I'd follow them to the letter, or get any changes approved by the manufacturer.

Maybe I'm missing the package price...wasn't listed. Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:34   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svtatoosh
Fisheries in Seattle 1/4 - 20 x 3/4 are $11.73 each.
I think that will be or 25 of them. Should be less than $0.50 each. If not, they are cheating you...

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Old 03-02-2012, 13:28   #7
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

svtatoosh,

If its these Sea Dog Folding Mast Steps.
It says to use #10 Flat Head

Sea Dog Folding Mast Step

Also make sure you use Tef-Gel on all the screws or the threads will bond to the aluminum in just a few years

Ultra Safety Systems TG25 Ultra Tef Gel
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Old 03-02-2012, 13:43   #8
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

I feel 304 is fine for that application out in the open air, but ony if the price is really a lot more because when in doubt do it "right"
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Old 03-02-2012, 14:12   #9
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

Why wouldnīt you use aluminium when joining two pieces together (mast and step)???

I used aluminium rivets to attach my mast steps to the mast. I had enough stainlesss rivets to use, but I didnīt want the disimilar metals joining themselves together.

Looks fine so far, I havenīt fallen yet, so what is wrong with the logic of aluminium fasteners for aluminium pieces?
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Old 03-02-2012, 14:59   #10
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

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Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
Why wouldnīt you use aluminium when joining two pieces together (mast and step)???

I used aluminium rivets to attach my mast steps to the mast. I had enough stainlesss rivets to use, but I didnīt want the disimilar metals joining themselves together.

Looks fine so far, I havenīt fallen yet, so what is wrong with the logic of aluminium fasteners for aluminium pieces?

I used aluminum rivets on my glass steps. It was five rivets per step, and I haven't seen any issues yet. I feel very comfortable climbing up.
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Old 03-02-2012, 15:06   #11
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

Yes, Remetau. I think the question was incorrectly worded.

It should have said, "Should I use dissimilar metals to connect an important piece of equipment to the mast - a piece of equipment which helps me avoid extreme deceleration trauma in the event of its failure?"

And the answer would be ,"Avoid dissimilar metals like the plague, especially when the deceleration trauma has the potential to kill you!"
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Old 03-02-2012, 15:17   #12
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

I agree with using aluminum rivits on the aluminum mast.
Much easyer to install also.
I installed mine with aluminum rivits.
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Old 03-02-2012, 15:22   #13
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Usually stainless fasteners bond so that the will not be able to be removed. Never gave I seen a ss fastener fail in a mast because of dissimilarity. Hence use teff gel or lancote. Either way is probably fine. Aluminum does not shear load well. With 5 rivets done properly there is probably enough surface si it's okay. Also there are
Different grades of blind rivets. Make sure you use the right spec. There was another thread about that I can't remember the details. also check Jamestown distributors.
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Old 03-02-2012, 15:28   #14
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

What happens if you use monel ones?

I think (?) most of our mast hardware is attached with monel.

b.
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Old 03-02-2012, 15:38   #15
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Re: 304 vs 316 for mast step fasteners

I still like the 304SS with the proper protection installation care taken. I just don't feel as comfortable with aluminum. And I doubt I would be too worried if in a mast step app I would care if it bonded as I wouldn't on ever wanting to take it apart as a routine matter.
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