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.
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).
David Kaye;2919704 Wrote:
> The other day when I was doing a handyman thing for a friend, she
> why I was holding an ice pick. She was a little unnerved by it,
> 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
> Just twist it a few times back and forth and you have a small starter
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.
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
Hardwoods should be predrilled to the screw root diameter.
Softwoods should be predrilled to one drill size smaller than the root
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.
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