Wood Fasteners Woodworking Tips

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Here you will find a list of 16 useful tips when using wood fasteners for woodworking projects.

Definition:
Fasteners - Screws, bolts, nails, etc. that are used to secure wood, or to fasten items onto wood.

  1. Always predrill holes in very hard wood species when installing fasteners to prevent the wood from splitting and the possibility of shearing off the screws.

  2. It is not practical to nail or place screws into the edges of manufactured boards.

  3. Generally small screws will grip better than large screws in plywood.

  4. When attaching hardware onto manufactured boards, it is best to use nuts and bolts with washers rather than screws.  This will provide a stronger and more permanent attachment.

  5. Use brass or stainless steel fasteners for white oak.  The acid content in the wood will turn regular steel fasteners black.

  6. Steel screws used for outdoor projects will quickly begin to rust when exposed to moisture.  To help prevent this problem, use zinc plated steel screws, stainless steel screws, or solid brass screws for better results.

  7. Never use an impact drill to drive a screw.  This method will often apply too much pressure and result in shearing off the screw head.

  8. It is recommended to us a screw gun with an adjustable clutch driver from 0 – 2500 RPM.  This will produce a more consistent torque to drive screws to the desired depth.  The typical RPM for steel screws is 2500 RPM for #6, #8, and #10 screws.  The typical RPM for #12, 1/4” and 5/16” screws is 2000 RPM.

  9. One of the quickest and easiest ways to make tight joints is to use the Pocket Screw System.  This entails using a pocket screw jig and the coordinating drill bit to first drill the pocket screw holes, and then drive in the screw.

  10. Square head screws tend to resist stripping better than the traditional slotted or Phillips head screws.

  11. When using wood screws to attach hardwoods, it is recommended to predrill pilot holes to prevent splitting the wood or stripping the screw head.

  12. When installing slotted wood screws, use a screwdriver whose tip is not wider than the screw head, to prevent marring the wood when the screw is set.

  13. When it is necessary to insert screws into the end grain of lumber, a good practice is to use screws that are ½” to 1” longer that the screws used for face grain

  14. A good rule to use for determining the length of screws to use, is to choose screws that will penetrate the receiving stock by ½”” to 1”.  This will depend on the thickness of the receiving stock and the type and use of the project.

  15. A way to reduce the risk of damaging softer type brass screws is to first install a steel screw to make the threads and then remove it and install the brass screws.

  16. Apply wax to screws that are used to secure hardwoods.  The wax will lubricate the screw threads and make it easier to install.  Also it will minimize the chance of shearing off the screw heads.