small house with bench in autumn
15/04/2012

This and That About Wood Screws

When executing Do-it-Yourself projects, quite a few folks get perplexed about what fasteners to use to perform their job. There are a lot of choices…so many dimensions to decide upon. What length should the screw be? How thick of a shank do I need? Philips drives? Torx drive? Hex Head? What type of point do you need? Zip? Tek Point? Type 17 point? There is a reason why each fastener has a certain specification or attribute and if you don’t know how your screw is going to perform you will end up blaming the screw if it doesn’t perform how you want it to when the real cause was how it was used. Let’s take a look at how you can figure out what sort of wood screws to use.

As the name suggests, wood screws are used when you are doing work with wood. Many of your wood screws will be produced from a metal that isn’t likely to react with the resins as well as treatment chemicals within the wood. Some metals will leave a rather unpleasant looking stain if they come into contact with particular chemicals or resins. It used to be that you only had two choices of material for wood screws – plain carbon steel or carbon steel with zinc plating. Sometimes you could locate stainless wood screws. Now however, you can find screws for wood, usually deck screws, with special plating to protect them from chemically treated wood. They are generally available in 500 and 1000 hour salt spray tested.

There are a few selections when it comes to wood screws or rather, screws you use in wood. There are wood screws that require pre-drilling since their point isn’t sharp or hard enough to self start. They have coarse threads so that the wood will fill in between the threads and help to prevent them from pulling out of the softer wood or particle board. Generally, they have a prominent smooth shank (sometimes called a shoulder) to help pull together the two pieces being fastened.

Another option is what is referred to as a Type 17 point, which has a very sharp point and the thread will go all the way to the tip of the point with finer threads, generally 18 threads per inch. These work wonderful in the harder woods. As you put pressure on the screw and turn it using a drill it’ll cut into the wood and create its very own hole. These are typically rather tight fitting and don’t often tear loose. They have a cut at the tip of the point so that the displaced wood has an avenue of escape and keeps the wood from splitting.
Wood Screw

The vast majority of wood screws may also have an area of non-threaded metal just beneath the head. This is so that you are able to allow the top of the screw to slide through the top piece of wood so you are able to tightly fasten the two bits of wood together.

For DIY projects to go easily, make certain that you pick the proper screw with the right features for the wood you’re going to be using and for the correct application. You should also determine if you need to use of the self tapping variety or if you will need to have to pre-drill. Just about all wood screws will work for just about all woods, however getting the best fastener for the job is definitely ideal.

Here’s a quick suggestion to point you in the right direction: For harder woods, fine threaded wood screws work best. For the softer woods or particle board, the coarse threaded screws are more appropriate. These are also often called particle board screws.