I read another article - again not sure if Wood or Popular Mechanics, or
some other mag., about drywall screws vs. wood screws. If you use drywall
screws, you should make sure that they are the ones with the tighter thread
pattern and that are not smooth just under the head. The problem is that on
those (with the wider pattern and smooth under the head), I read, is that
they do not pull the two pieces of wood together evenly, and don't hold
evenly (depending on the thickness of the wood). This can cause a loose or
The illustration that went with the article made it obivious - but I don't
think I have the ability to describe it in words. Ever since then, when I
use drywall screws in wood, I make sure it use the tighter thread pattern.
Go with Jim Ray at www.mcfeelys.com
If those were brass screws, though, you're going to continue to have twist offs
unless you go up a hair on thepilot hole size and wax the threads before
driving the screws.
Stainless steel will help, but you're not getting 10 of them for 88 cents.
"Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet?" Lily Tomlin
: I just bought 2 packages of #8 x 2" wood screws at Lowes. 5 in each pack and
: it cost $.88. I predrilled and counter sunk the holes in an oak step stool
: I'm making and 5 out of the 10 screws twisted apart. Are these things that
: bad? If so what brand of wood screws should I get and where? That is totally
: unacceptable in my book. It's not like I can't afford the change, but it
: just really pissed me off tonight.
Your problem is not thescrews. If you seleted the right pilot hole
bit it's not the pilot hole bit.
Your problem is that when drivign screws into oak or other hardwoods
you have to lubricate them first. Some use beeswax (the real thing). I
like to use linseed oil as that helps keep the wood fresh.
Use what you like, but you must lubricate the screw.
My woodworking projects:
Replicas of 15th-19th century nautical navigational instruments:
Restoration of my 82 year old Herreshoff S-Boat sailboat:
Steambending FAQ with photos:
"Improvise, adapt, overcome."
Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Phone: (617) 496-1558
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My company, McFeely's, sells screws, so the following is biased!
Many of the hardware store screws are problematic because they are not
hardened. Even drywall screws are hardened, and they only need to go through
compressed gypsum and a softwood stud or thin steel stud. The result is a
screw that breaks very easily. The solution is to lubricate the screw with
beeswax or one of the commercially available fastener lubricants such as
Akempucky, then drill slightly oversized pilot and body holes. Many of the
hardware store screws have shank diameters equal to the outside diameter of
the screw threads which is why it is important to drill a clearance hole in
the first board. Consult one of the many pilot hole charts available for a
recommendation on body and pilot hole sizes, (ours is at
http://www.mcfeelys.com/wadb.asp ) or do what craftsman have done
successfully for years - hold a drill bit up to the threads and pick a size
that just shades the root diameter (for hardwoods) or almost shades the root
diameter (for softwoods).
Remember too that solid brass, silicon bronze, and even stainless steel are
inherently softer than a good hardened steel screw, and thus require more
care during installation. Prethreading the hole with a steel screw can be
effective way to prevent breakage, or you may simply increase the screw size
to the next larger wire diameter.
If you need additional information, feel free to give my technical director,
Darin Lawrence, a call at 1-800-443-7937.
Jim Ray, President
McFeely's Square Drive Screws
Justifiably so. If you've never had a McFeely's catalog, you
should get one even if just for reference. These guys have tucked
a lot of generally useful information (tables, diagrams, and
prose) into their slim (less than 100 page) catalog. If you use
square drive, or are thinking about it, you owe it to yourself to
at least read this one.
Mr. Ray is also the cover model for all their catalogs - you've
been warned! (-:
| ...hold a drill bit up to the threads...
Dang, I thought I invented that technique. :-) Of course I discovered it
out of foolish necessity -- instead of having a neatly organized rack of
drill bits clearly labelled according to diameter, I had a bin of randomly
sized bits rattling around together. Finding a bit to drill a pilot hole
was a matter of holding the screw up to the light with a bit in front of it
to see if I could still see threads behind the bit.
Years later, as an engineer, I made the mistake of drilling a 0.2500 hole in
aluminum for a 0.2500 steel dowel pin. The test fit worked great -- once.
0.2504 is a good diameter for a 0.2500 dowel pin. Nothing like empirical
engineering to keep you out of trouble.
Reminds me of of the time I got four boxes of finish nails at menards.
I don't know what these things were made of but my guess was soft lead;
at least that is what it felt like. I could not get one of these
nails in if my life depended on it; didn't matter if it was fur, pine,
balsa! I did go back and tell the manager and he said, "well you need
the hard wood nails" which were great by the way. I asked him why he
stocks 90% crap nails and 10% good nails...blank stair. I challenged
him to pound one in a pallet that was right there. Between them, the
store manager, hardware assistant, and a couple workers, they got 2 in
about 25 tries.
What a joke.
I've, now this is not shit, got some finishing nails that I believe to be
annealed aluminum. They're nearly as big around as an 8 but less than
an inch long and painted a tan color. I'm not really sure where they
came from but they have an amazing low holding power and will
bend when driven in to soft pine if not done carefully.
I've kept them because they have some small utility for hanging
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