When You're Screwing...

The other day when I was doing a handyman thing for a friend, she wondered why I was holding an ice pick. She was a little unnerved by it, actually. Well, I keep an old-fashioned ice pick in my toolbox for a simple reason: it makes it simple to start a screw in a wall, door, or other wooden surface. Just twist it a few times back and forth and you have a small starter hole.
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On 8/30/2012 3:48 PM, David Kaye wrote:

But what if your tool requires a large starter hole???
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Heh...well a little lube sometimes helps, so it's good to carry a little WD-40 with you...
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On 8/30/2012 6:01 PM, mike wrote:

Probably why he carries the chainsaw and mask.
LdB
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On 08/30/2012 03:48 PM, David Kaye wrote:

I just use the screw itself and give it a little tap from the screwdriver's handle.
Jon
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I've cracked wood that way. And in other situations there wasn't enough bulk in the handle to make a starter hole.
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On 08/30/2012 04:20 PM, David Kaye wrote:

If the wood is so delicate that tapping the screw is going to crack it, using an icepick isn't going to give much different results, and the fastener requires a pilot hole to be drilled (which is the best method in the first place).
Jon
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On Thu, 30 Aug 2012 16:20:32 -0700, "David Kaye"

At least you dont hammer the screws into the wood. I've actually seen guys do that.
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wrote:

HB's right. You really are trysexual. You'll even try screwing a door or wall with your little prick.
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David Kaye;2919704 Wrote: > The other day when I was doing a handyman thing for a friend, she > wondered > why I was holding an ice pick. She was a little unnerved by it, > actually. > Well, I keep an old-fashioned ice pick in my toolbox for a simple > reason: it > makes it simple to start a screw in a wall, door, or other wooden > surface. > Just twist it a few times back and forth and you have a small starter > hole.
David:
Jon's right.
The carpentry tool for doing that is called an "awl". But, the awl isn't meant to indent the wood so that you can drive the screw in exactly where you want, it's meant to indent the wood so that you can PREDRILL the wood exactly where you want to put the screw. That is, you nestle the point of the drill bit in the indent before you start drilling, not the tip of the screw before you start screwing.
An awl allows you to "move" the indent by simply indenting deeper on one side of the original indent or the other. That causes the center line of the drill bit to move as well.
http://bagntell.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/rosewood20awl.jpg
The ONLY screws that should be driven into wood without predrilling are "low root" screws, so named because the minor diameter of the screw is very much smaller than a regular wood screw. So, it spreads the wood fibers much less than a regular wood screw, and therefore isn't as likely to split the wood when driven in without predrilling. Drywall and deck screws are low root screws because of their small "root" or "minor diameter".
Hardwoods should be predrilled to the screw root diameter. Softwoods should be predrilled to one drill size smaller than the root diameter.
PS: Also, no one knows why, but friction is speed dependant. It takes less total work to zip a drywall screw into a stud with a drywall gun than it does if you wrist twist the same screw into the same stud by hand. We don't have a "theory" of friction that would explain why.
--
nestork


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I didn't recommend an awl for that very reason. An awl is rounded and doesn't do a good job of making a hole. An ice pick has squared off sides and does a very good job of making a hole.
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On 08/30/2012 08:09 PM, nestork wrote:

Maybe static vs. kinetic friction?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friction#Static_friction
Jon
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On 8/30/2012 5:48 PM, David Kaye wrote:

I use a slim automatic center punch like the silver one, second from the bottom in the image. Starter holes in wood are made very quickly and precisely with it. ^_^
http://www.micro-machine-shop.com/scribes_and_automatic_center_punches.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/9xhs5zc
TDD
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I only use one tool when I'm screwing, my MAN TOOL !!!
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Does Craftsman give a lifetime guarantee?
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