I generally prefer deck screws but once the job requires a length less
than 1-1/4", then I'm scrambling to find something adequate. Yesterday
I was hanging chest drawers and I broke three woods with my hand-held
screw driver. I drilled holes to match the shaft diameter. The only
resistance came the threads turning through hardwood. Are there any
shorter wood screws that don't suck? I'm seriously thinking of cutting
deck screws down to size...
There are shorter dry wall screws that are pretty good. However, they
are black, so you will either need to use them were you can't see them
or plug them. I use them in preference to conventional slotted screws.
Also, if there is any chance of resistance, I simply soap the screw
before turning it in. Either bar soap or liquid works well. If there
is excess, simply wipe up with a damp cloth.
I bought a box of paraffin at the grocery store and use it for wood screws,
especially going into hardwood. I keep a bar on the workshop table, one in
the box with my drill bits and another in the drill tool box. That way I
can usually find at least one of them.
You know, I used to figure that wax is wax, and used paraffin on
screws. Then I tried a lump of beeswax that I found in my
cabinetmaker great-grandfather's tool chest. It works a lot better.
With paraffin, screws in hard woods sometimes go in with a "squeak and
stick" sort of chattering. With beeswax, no squeak and easier
driving. Maybe the lower melting point has something to do with it.
I have a set of Lee Valley's tapered pilot bits with countersink. These are
for use with wood screws. They solved all my problems with screws. The
tapered wood screw doesn't grip until the last and when it does, it grips
suddenly and will apply vise like pressure. The first time I used them, my
mouth dropped open in amazement.
I buy screws at the box stores or a local hardware store now. :-)
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