screw pre-drill size

I've got to put some screws into expensive oak cabinets.
When holes are pre-drilled for screws, should the hole be the size of the shaft or perhaps slightly smaller?
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slightly smaller than the shaft, as you said.
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There's a table of pilot hole sizes for screws on the following page:
<http://www.americanfastener.com/technical/drill_bit_size.asp
For example, the pilot hole for a #8 screw in oak would be 3/32".
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Hello there,

Can you please explain how to pre-drill, I only know how to drill...
Thanks,
David.
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You would think you would know these things by now David..
When you drill a board and pull the bit out a bit to clear the chips out, that is predrilling. When you slide the bit back in the hole and continue to the desired depth, that is drilling.
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David F. Eisan wrote:

Have you tried starting earlier?
(another) David
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It's like "foreplay" or "way before play" .....
"David F. Eisan" wrote:

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p-j wrote: Group: rec.woodworking Date: Thu, Aug 28, 2003, 8:13am (EDT-1) From: p snipped-for-privacy@postzzzmark.net (p-j) I've got to put some screws into expensive oak cabinets. When holes are pre-drilled for screws, should the hole be the size of the shaft or perhaps slightly smaller? ****************************************************** I would suggest that you buy a set of tapered drills, complete with collar stops and countersink bushings, in #6, #8 and #10 sizes. The ones I have are made by Fuller and include a wooden block to store them. I believe that I bought them from Rockler and they were inexpensive. Lacking these, select a drill for the srew thread that is slightly less than the root diameter (use a number drill, not a fractional sze). You also will also need a drill the diameter of the unthreaded shank. If you are using flat head screws you will need a countersink. Do not try to use screws in oak without a lubricant. Use beeswax, not soap which will cause the screw to rust and stain the wood. I regularly us #2 brass screws in oak jewelry boxes and haven't broken one yet ( I say with fingers crossed)! Peace ~ Sir Edgar
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