There's other hardware on my project that uses brass plated steel
screws. How do I know? They stick to a magnet. I'll keep an eye on
them, they're in a fairly visible location. BTW, they're sewing
machine hinges I'm using in a drop front to cover a slide out keyboard
I'd really like the same for the hinges. In spite of possible
discoloration from galvanic action. It'd be simpler.
I'm with you there. The jewelry box I just finished had very expensive
hinges with the aforementioned brass screws. two of them twisted off and I
had to drill them out and cut a small mortise. I glued in a filler piece
and tried again. Man, that sucks.
"A new study shows that licking the sweat off a frog
No one seems to have mentioned countersinking -- I had lots of trouble
with brass hinges, even with predrilling, until I noticed that the bevelled
head of the screw sits down a little below the bottom of the hinge. Say
about 1/16" or more -- enough to torque off several heads when they hit
I had just "assumed" since the hinges and screws were supplied together,
they must surely be a perfect fit. Feh!
With a bit of countersinking (and predrilling (and waxing (and etc.))) I
What I haven't seen anyone mention is that if you're working in Oak, or another
acidic wood, you don't want to use steel screws or steel nails either. The
acidic nature of the wood will put dark stains wherever you use those fasteners.
Better to do the brass screws right with pilot holes, pilot steel screws first
and waxing, etc. I've NEVER had a brass screw snap off putting in new work.
"The measure of a man is what he will do
I had this problem with a piano hinge and the brass screws supplied. Twisted
the heads off 3 of them, even with pre drilled holes. Fortunately it was in
an inconspicuous location and I don't normally use all the holes on a piano
Just a minute! Come back in 100 years and take a look at the brass screws
versus the steel ones. The brass will look like new and the steel will be
Brass is softer than steel! You have to drill a A(slightly) larger hole for
brass. A lot of people drive a steel screw first, remove it and then put
the brass in.
When I assemble a project that requires brass screws. I make the
initial hole threads using a matching size steel screw. Once the hole
and threads are cut, the brass screw goes in easily, and I have never
had a screw twist off.
The added advantage is the screw heads don't get scratched up as much.
As for getting the broken screw out. That's a good one. No idea.
Maybe someone else has a good way to get it out without doing a lot of
On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 20:19:17 -0600, Lazarus Long
In my experience the brass screws supplied with packs of hinges, locks
etc. are of the lowest quality. Put them in the metal scrap bin and use
real quality boxed alternatives. You do need to make sure there is a
clearance hole for the shank though.
Personally, I prefer solid brass screws with brass hardware. I use a
lot of them and haven't broke one yet.
Drilling out screws is another thing. Probably the neatest job would
be with a "hollow" drill. It's basically a piece of tubing with teeth.
You drill out the screw and a little of the surrounding wood, replace
it with a dowel and redrill. I honestly haven't used one yet, they're
on my "wanna buy list." The last job, I drilled out the broken screws
(solid steel by the way) the hard way with a regular bit, then used
epoxy to fill the resulting holes.
On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 20:19:17 -0600, Lazarus Long
This is a reply to all:
The consensus is to use steel screws to "tap" the hole. O.K., so far
so good. For the broken screws that happen, drilling out is to be
done, but the hole either has to receive a plug or fill with epoxy,
This is my question now: Doe epoxy hold a screw? I'm thinking G2
epoxy, or West's System. I have both in my shop. Would simply
pouring epoxy in the now grossly oversized cutout now do the job of
the virgin wood of holding a screw? Or, should I make a small block
to fill a small mortise (the aforementioned gross cutout) around the
drilled out screw?
BTW, confession time: I must shamefully admitt that I made a mistake.
While I did it all right with pilot hole and wax, the VIX bit did not
drill the hole to the required depth. My fault. I didn't check that
until after the second one twisted off. At this time all other holes
are proper size and depth and are "tapped" with a steel screw. I've
gotta fix the other two holes now.
P.S., I got the bifold doors hung with only one screw in each hinge
leaf and they look great! if only I'd gotten it all right from the
What I am about to describe will hold any fastener on the planet and
outlast the wood almost forever.
1) Drill the hole oversize about 2-3 diameters.
2) Mix some epoxy and coat the wood walls with a small brush. (I use a
plumber's flux brush and throw it away when finished)
3) Use a piece of masking tape to cover the back side of the hole. If
you have drilled a blind hole, forget this step.
4) Mix some epoxy and then add micro balloons to form a paste about like
mayo, then overfill the hole using a popcicle stick.
5) Wait 24-48 hours for epoxy paste to cure.
6) Redrill pilot hole, remount hardware, and get on with life.
What I have described is a process I use all the time.
SFWIW, the more coarse the thread, the better. I usually use coarse
thread sheet metal thread screws, not wood screws, but wood screws will
The above is outlined in the Gougeon Bros book on boat building. (The
guys who are West Systems).
One more nice thing about using epoxy, is that if you do need to get
the screw out later, you just need to warm it up with a soldering iron
to loosen the epoxy's grip.
On Sun, 06 Feb 2005 23:28:14 GMT, Lew Hodgett
Same problem here. I usually drive a steel one in first, but
sometimes I forget to do that, and the heads usually strip right out.
Luckily, I usually don't bust the heads off, and I generally just tap
the screw down into the pilot hole with a tack hammer. While it
doesn't really look *exactly* like the other screws, it does seem to
hold ok, and looks fine from anything further than a couple of inches
away- at least to me. I figure the threads get mashed down when the
screw is driven in, leaving a series of tiny cleats that keep the
fastener from pulling back out (kind of like a spiral nail) and it's
an acceptable solution for me.
Of course, when the heads break off as they did in your case,
screaming and yelling at the sucker for a while is usually my first
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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