There was a very good article in either Popular Woodworking or Fine
Woodworking last month on just this topic. I am not near my magazines
right now so I can't say which. Maybe another reader can.
When I have a need for metal screws I use plated deck screws for indoors and
outdoors works. The source or procurement for me is at Home Hardware where
I buy them by the pound.
I also use SS screws for all boat work.
Unless you have a very specific application, the common unplanted dry lube
will work fine. These are probably 10 times more resistant to snapping than
dry wall screws. I have used dry lubed screws out doors with only a hint of
discoloration after 15 years. This is not to say that you should use them
out doors but about 15 years ago I used them along the rail road ties
landscaping to string Christmas lights. They are still there and look fine.
Other choices work better for marine applications and or when aesthetics
come into play. Typically the dry lubed if not visible will be plenty
I use at least a #8 for typical furniture and #10 for HD furniture
applications that may carry some excess weight like table leg bracing.
Typically flat head works well with counter sunk holes, if exposed and on
top of the flat surface a pan head works out well.
For about 25 years I have been using these dry lubed screws on all
applications for indoor use regardless of wood. I built an oak desk about
22 years ago and have relocated it 3 times. To get through the doors it has
to be partially disassembled, no corrosion has ever been evident when
combining steel screws and oak. That said however if you use "SOAP" as a
lubricant you will eventually have a reaction as soap contains water. Use a
wax to lube your screws and you should have no problems.
And needless to say, go with the square drive and or combo head and buy an
assortment of square drive bits. I prefer 2" and 6" lengths. I have had
better luck with the 2 piece bits rather than the solid one piece bits.
IIRC the 2 piece design helps absorb some of the shock when using a power
driver and or impact. I have had several 1 piece designs break and
typically the 2 piece designs simply wear out.
Additionally I highly recommend getting one of the larger combo packages
that McFeeleys offers as once you switch to these screws you never want to
use a screw from the borg again. I probably keep 3 or 4 thousand on hand at
any given time in sizes from 3/8" through 3" in #4, #6, #8, and #10. I
really do not want to use any other kind of screw if I can help it. The
assortments offer a pretty good value and you get a pretty good sampling of
common sizes. I store these screws in 9 steel parts bin drawers. Screws in
larger quantities become heavy of a container and these steel drawers allow
dividers to separate different length screws.
Thank you! I ordered an assortment (#8 black oxide) last night. I get 100
each of 3/4" through 2-1/2".
They state on their web page that the coated screws have the same strength
as the uncoated. I think I am use to the black oxide from using dry wall
screws for so long so I went with those.
Yeah, strength changes when you change types of material to make the screw.
The black oxide will be more consistent in color, the dry lube can vary from
gun metal grey to slightly brown. You be fine with those.
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