long deck screws

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I recently had to repair a neighbor's fence after running into it on an ice covered downhill. It's a rustic 2 rail lodgepole fence and she had plenty of material, so I didn't have to buy material, which was nice. Anyway, I couldn't get 6" spikes, which were originally used, so I used 8" deck screws.
My question is, how does one use an 8" deck screw? I had to drill a hole in the rail so the 8" deck screw would run all the way into the fence post. If I didn't, the screw would stall with about 2-3 inches remaining. My DeWalt screw gun lacked no power or torque, it's just that the phillips head screw would start stripping out. If I can't drive an 8" screw with a good gun, how do I use 8" deck screws?
nb
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notbob wrote:

Bigger gun, softer material.
Gotta' have enough torque to be able to drive them completely in first go or you're done (as you learned). Most decking is done w/ new pressure treated lumber which is so soft and wet it's possible.
Anything much harder will almost certainly require pilot hole.
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It's a 13-14V DeWalt. Didn't lack for torque. The gun didn't stop turning, it just started stripping the head, no matter how much I leaned on it. I think the gun has an impact setting, which I'll try next time.
nb
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...that's not quite the same thing as a dedicated impact driver will provide, it's a setting for rotodrilling and will engage as soon as you put pressure on the tool...
cg
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going to have to drill bigger pilot holes or go to lag screws. With lag screws you have that big, beefy hex head to drive with a wrench of some kind.
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On Wed, 15 Apr 2009 10:42:01 -0400, "Lee Michaels"

Square head recessed or Star Drive (Torx) are far better than Phillips. IMO, the OP should be using a Star Drive screw in this situation, though it's still going to need a pilot hole. I only use Phillips (pan head) for wall anchors and other light duty. Lag screws are useful if the screw will be under a *lot* of shear stress and the larger shank is needed.
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6" spikes, maybe gutter nails?

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Predrill the hole or use a 12 volt Impact Driver. Impact Drivers tend to have 3 to 4 times more torque than most drills, including corded ones and they tend to not strip out the screw heads. I typically will use my impact driver to remove a Philips screw with a stripped out head.
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On Wed, 15 Apr 2009 10:28:23 -0500, "Leon"

Impact screwdrivers are amazing. I bought my Bosch because of a recommendation here (with free 12V screwdriver) and have never been so pleasantly surprised with a purchase.
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notbob wrote:

them a bit slippery. It does help. Honest.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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wrote:

...gas and wax, baby! Hex-head would help a ton, square drive too...
cg
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Another thing is most deck screws are square hole and are higher grade. Those with Phillips - they are Phillips-II as I recall and have much better grip and leverage. Phillips bits don't fit near the same.
Martin
jo4hn wrote:

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notbob wrote:

1. hole (screws always need holes)
2. wax on threads
3. brace with a properly sized screw driving bit.
All the torque you want, depending on your arms :)
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dadiOH wrote:

Or just hammer it in like a giant serrated nail.
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a fair amount of muscle, particularly on the longer ones. He then applied a wrench to finish it and drive the lag screw flush.
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On Wed, 15 Apr 2009 18:48:19 -0400, "Lee Michaels"

...might as well use a big 'ol fat nail! LOL...nothin' like a bit of pounding to test your structure...
cg

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Heh heh... On one stalled screw, I did exactly that! Being from the bigger hammer school of mechanics, I'm never without my trusty 4lb sledge.
nb
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"notbob" wrote:

AKA: "4 lb Drill Hammer", so it is definitely an appropriate tool choice<grin>
Lew
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notbob wrote:

As has been mentioned, with a deck screw, you get one shot to get it home.
Pilot hole required for all except possibly the softest woods. (Why take a chance?)
Square drive or hex head screws preferred.
Have fun.
Lew
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I've found that having a good Phillips bit helps tremendously. The bit should seat completely in the screw head and not move. I've seen several "#2" phillips bits that were really more like a #1 1/2. My favorite are DeWalt bits.
As mentioned above, an impact driver will help tremendously too.
Puckdropper
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