Fasteners are vital for all types of projects, but when you don’t use them in the application they were designed to be used, you can affect your project in the long term. Understanding the top fastener mistakes can help you use screws, bolts, nails and other types more effectively.
When selecting fasteners, it’s essential to consider the material you’re using and the environment the fastener has to operate in.
For example, grade 316 stainless steel is corrosion-resistant in extreme saltwater environments, which is useful in some applications, but not others. You’ll also want to consider how your fastener will interact with the material you’re working with. Aluminum and stainless steel cause galvanic corrosion that weakens the material and makes it more susceptible to rust.
Your fasteners need to be the right size to work with your project. The size of your fastener will determine how well it connects your materials and how stable that connection is. For example, a fastener off by a single millimeter can create uneven load distribution with a washer, leading to loosening over time. As these parts loosen, they corrode faster and decrease the life span of your project.
Creating plans before building your project is valuable for dimensional accuracy. With these plans, you can see how thick your materials are and determine which length is best for every fastening application.
If you use the wrong tool with your fastener, you may negatively affect the structural integrity of your project. For example, using the wrong screw gun bit may make it difficult to tighten the fastener as much as it needs. Rotating between a screw gun and an impact driver could cause an unevenly distributed load. Even if you choose the right screw size and material, the wrong tool can stand in your way. Using impact tools to drive in screws is by far the most common inappropriate tool use which can, over time, cause the heads to pop or compromise the structure of the screw.
While tightening your fasteners is essential for stability, overdriving can also cause issues. When using a washer, overdriving causes excess pressure that reduces sealing performance over time. These sealing capabilities are necessary for many applications, and without them, your project may sustain water damage or corrode faster.
Every project needs the right fasteners to last. At All Points Fasteners, we offer a vast inventory of products, including screws, rivets, nails, washers and more. With our assortment of fasteners, you can understand what materials and dimensions are available to make the best choices for your project. If you need assistance, give us a call at 800.483.6354. For more information on a product, request a quote.