Since most of what I've done is marine related, I standardized on S/S
a long time ago.
Found that coarse thread, self tapping, sheet metal screws do a great
job in wood, so that's what I use and haven't looked back.
Buy full boxes from Jamestown Distributors, so the cost isn't too bad.
BTW, do use some el-cheapo deck screws from H/D, strictly for temp
work such as holding plywood in position while fiberglass is applied.
Screws are then removed and trashed.
As a neophyte, what makes the Home Depot Deck Screws so bad relative
- Less strong/more brittle?
- Poorer coating for corrosion resistance? (I am comparing here to
other coated screws not to the gold standard of SS)
- Poorer head design? (Phillips vs. Square Drive)
- Worse thread design?
- All of the above?
I imagine many will say all-of-the-above but since I have (mistakenly)
invested already in a full range of HD deck screws in multiple sizes
and colors, I would like to understand the limitations better before I
chuck them or relegate them to just temporary uses.
Deck screws, you are probably alright. Their other wood screws, at least
in my experience fall under the less strong/more brittle category. I could
not get a screw, even with a pilot hole, to drive home without snapping 80%
of the time. I finally wound up throwing any of those HD screws away, it
just wasn't worth the hassle, especially after finding McFeeley's.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Good metallurgy is like good cooking, they both take time and practice
to learn, and good ingredients to get good results.
Lowes & H/D are using sources from offshore who have not yet developed
good in house metallurgy YET.
They will get there, it will just take time.
Mean while the stuff is not very good.
BTW, there are no longer any US fastener manufacturers, it's all
It's just some countries have better metallurgy and quality control.
I keep seeing this assertion. Just because you can't find US
fasteners at Home Depot don't assume that there are no manufacturers.
Try Alcoa, Penn Engineering, and SPS for three.
The Chinese can make just about anything you want (remember, they are
quite capable of making nuclear weapons and manned spacecraft), but
they are going to make exactly what the contract specifies. If it
doesn't specify either the metallurgy or the required performance then
they will use the cheapest material they can get, and if the head
comes off going in, well, you didn't say it had to be driveable.
By the way, I don't know where the fasteners I pulled out of my garage
a few weeks ago came from, but they were going on 40 years old and the
heads pulled off of them just as handily as they do off the latest
Home Depot Chinese stuff.
You should assume that the company that gave the specifications did not
indicate all information pertinent for the manufacture of the product.
Specs probably called for "paint" not the type of paint and or they did not
indicate which filler to use in the dog food, although I would believe that
may have been an actual mistake like the bottled drinking water from France
mistakenly having Benzene in it. You have to tell them "everything" not
just the basic perimeters. Remember that breaking the word "ass u me" up is
what happens if you assume that the manufacturer can read your mind if you
do not indicate "exactly" what you want.
Whereas it might be true that the contract was vague
on the paint I don't think that the spec for dog food included
ethylene glycol, nor should one assume a need to specifically
bar poison in a per food contract.
However it is not unlikely that each contract specified
certain standards, such as thos promulgated by
the ASTM or the CPSC, for each.
They are actually a combination of phillips and square drive, sorta. You
can use a phillips or square drive on thise deck scresa as well as some of
the McFeeleys screws.
Have not witnessed.
The biggest difference is that the deck screws are pretty much designed to
be used one time. Higher quality screws similar to McFeeleys screws can be
used over and over. My experience with the Borg deck screws it that they
can cam out and the bit can ruin the head much like the typical low quality
screw. The square drive makes Philips combination makes this less likely to
happen but if the bit slips it usually will damage the head. With the
higher quality screws the bit will typically slip out many many times be for
any significant damage is done. The Borg deck screws are simply too soft to
hold up for repeated usage.
I like the yellow zinc plated for general furniture work.
You're going to like those screws. No tapered threads and very easy
to drive without slips and cam-out.
** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html **
Why confused if corrosion isn't a problem? If the fastener won't show the
finish is immaterial. If it shows, get the color you want.
One caveat: don't use steel screws (other than SS) in oak (or Western red
cedar). Brass or bronze are fine, bronze is stronger. With either, first
fasten with a steel screw then remove it and replace with the non-corroding
Man, I love that tip. Had never thought of it before, but it just makes
so much sense. I'm building something in cedar right now, and will be
using brass screws, but was going to be careful and take tons of time
with them. Now with your idea I can pre-set them with steel. Thanks!
That's one of those weird things - bronze is copper and tin, brass is
copper and zinc. Zinc is harder than tin, but bronze is harder than
What's even more interesting is the theory about why there was a
transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age. I had always thought that
iron was a tougher material for making implements, but it seems that
the transition was due to problems with trade making it tough to get
the requisite base metals to make bronze together in the same place.
Kind of weird to think that interrupted trade routes set us back in an
area of such primary importance.
Forget presetting. I really like Stainless Steel in cedar. This guy
is local to me:
After seeing him use hundreds of thousands of screws, I'm convinced.
** http://www.bburke.com/woodworking.html **
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