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  1. #16
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    +1 to both McFeely's and McMaster-Carr. Square drive screws are good for general woodworking if that's what you're looking for.

    I use a DeWalt cordless drill on a low speed (aka torque) to begin with and increasing the drive speed near the end until the screw head seats nicely. The clutch on the drill will slip and click, click, click when the screw needs more torque than is being applied so up the torque incrementally but DON'T overdrive the screw. Pre-drilling the screw holes is pretty standard (and a little paraffin wax on the threads helps too, bit often isn't necessary).

    McFeely's has a very handy link on their page called "select-a-screw" that's worth exploring to see what's available when you're shopping for screws and various types of them.

    https://www.mcfeelys.com/how_to_select_a_screw

    https://www.mcfeelys.com/screw-faste...t-a-screw.html
    Last edited by Jeff; 06-09-2018 at 08:25 AM.

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  3. #17
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    +1 for McFeeley's square drive.

    George
    2B1ASK1

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  5. #18
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Another advantage to impact drivers is the avoidance of carpal tunnel syndrome from the wrist twisting associated with using a drill versus the impact. Less fatigue too when using one all day long.
    WHAT BOX?

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  7. #19
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    When I have issues with cam out, I go to the 1/4" Impact. It's a lot less prone to cam out. Also I use star bits and square drives and it make a BIG difference. So I agree with Dennis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotcha6 View Post
    Another advantage to impact drivers is the avoidance of carpal tunnel syndrome from the wrist twisting associated with using a drill versus the impact. Less fatigue too when using one all day long.
    -Zach

    Reinventing the Wheel....One 800mg Ibuprofen at a time!

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  9. #20
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    There's also a down side to impact drivers. I have 2, 1 is a 12 volt and the other is a 20 volt. When I was building my new work bench I was driving 3/8 inch X 6 inch lag bolts into oak. I was predrilling. The 20 volt with it's extra power was twisting the bolts into at about 5 to 5-1/2 inches left to go. The 12 volt would not even start to move the bolt. Solved with larger predrill and lots of bee's wax and the 20 volt impact.

    Pop

  10. #21
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Measure the root diameter of your lag screws or wood screws to help determine the pilot hole size which can be a bit larger in hardwoods and a bit smaller in softwoods.


    Solved with larger predrill and lots of bee's wax and the 20 volt impact.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pop Golden View Post
    There's also a down side to impact drivers. I have 2, 1 is a 12 volt and the other is a 20 volt. When I was building my new work bench I was driving 3/8 inch X 6 inch lag bolts into oak. I was predrilling. The 20 volt with it's extra power was twisting the bolts into at about 5 to 5-1/2 inches left to go. The 12 volt would not even start to move the bolt. Solved with larger predrill and lots of bee's wax and the 20 volt impact.

    Pop

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  12. #22
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Quote Originally Posted by ehpoole View Post
    The issue you are experiencing is often referred to as "cam out" if you should wish to research the topic any further (at least aside from that hands-on research experience you have already acquired).

    Both Phillips and traditional straight bladed screw heads are very prone to cam out just by way of their design (in the case of Phillips it was intentional to prevent overtorquing the screw or bolt), hence a big part of the reason that alternatives like Torx, Pozi-drive, Robertson (square), hex/Allen head, etc., have all been created and marketed over the years for higher torque applications. Also be aware that these days many screws that look like Phillips are actually JIS (Japanese) standard (and increasingly Pozi-drive as well, but Pozi-drive can be easily recognized by the much smaller wings in between the four major wings forming a nearly square center opening) and using a normal Phillips bit in these screws will result in one cramming out very easily, chewing up the face of the screw. You can recognize JIS screwdrivers by a flat (in the smaller sizes) at the tip where a Phillips comes to a much sharper point by comparison. But the JIS/Phillips confusion results in a lot of headaches because using Philips screwdrivers in JIS screws leads to a rather poor fit prone to cam out when you try to apply much torque due to the deeper point of the Phillips driver, and because the two look so similar superficially we tend to mix up both the screws and their drivers in our parts and toolboxes without realizing such. You can generally count on getting away with using a JIS screwdriver in place of a Phillips when mating to a Phillips screw, but not the other way around since a Phillips driver can not fully mate with a JIS screw.

    However, when you need to apply enough torque to risk cam out you also have another option besides the "lowly" screwdriver and that is using an electric (usually cordless) impact driver. Impact drivers can deliver a great deal more torque without cramming out because they utilize a high impulse hammering action that exploits the inertia provided by the tool's own weight and only rotates a short distance on each strike (further reducing the risk of cam out since the but can reseat between strikes). Additionally, they avoid the usual torquing against the user that one experiences when using a typical drill/driver or cordless screwdriver -- so much so that they can be comfortably used one handed even in high torque applications.

    Hope this also helps to shed some light on the topic as I know it can be quite frustrating.
    This is very informative. I had no idea there were different types of drivers that looked like Phillips.

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  14. #23
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    ​Thanks Jeff. The best way to measure a screw pilot hole is to hold it up to the light with the drill bit in front and see how much thread is showing. Also if it's hard wood, drill out the top of the hole for the unthreaded part of the screw to give it a place to go so you're not trying to force it into the pilot hole. I used soap for years before I discovered wax. I used old candles for years before a fellow woodworker gave me a hunk of bee's wax. It's the best screw lube I've found yet

    Pop
    Last edited by Pop Golden; 06-09-2018 at 03:10 PM.
    ​With Enough Thrust Pigs Fly Just Fine.

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  16. #24
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Quote Originally Posted by Hmerkle View Post
    David,
    What are you using the screws for and what is the failure method (sounds like camout - stripping out the drive)
    What drive style are you using / do you want to use?
    Can you use an alternate drive style? (torx / star / six lobe - all different names for the same thing) the bit engagement is better and you have less cam-out problems.
    or is the screw body breaking when you install the screw (s)
    This particular application is for a bench made of white oak, attaching the seat to the base. Screws are camming out. Had another that actually broke inside the base.

  17. #25
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    We've made it to Post #25 and no one has mentioned my favorite? SPAX Screws? (German company that has US manufacturing.)

    http://www.spax.us/

    While you can find some of these at the BORG, the online selection and pricing is much better.

    I keep these (mostly in yellow zinc) "unidrive" screws in stock in sizes 1/2" to 2": http://www.spax.us/en/multi-material...flat-head.html

    With unidrive, you can use Phillips, Robertson, or the combo bit.

    Edit: Grainger has Spax screws on clearance right now!
    Last edited by tarheelz; 06-09-2018 at 04:14 PM.

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  19. #26
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    We've made it to post #26 and no one has mentioned worn driver bits. In my experience the bit is usually the problem, not the screw. Bits don't last forever and when they start to wear they slip and don't grab the screw like they should.

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  21. #27
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    I'll have to add one caveat on a specialty screw one may use. I had an application that required stainless steel #2 square drive screws going into pressure treated wood. Stainless screws are very soft compared to other screws and do not hold up well to impact driver forces. Best to use a slow speed drill or a regular screw gun for these.
    WHAT BOX?

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  23. #28
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Hi Dennis, Having never used them I always thought stainless steel screws were harder than standard screws. This is good info.

    Pop

  24. #29
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    They may have a higher tensile strength, but I don't believe they are tempered like other screws. The ones I used would fail before getting completely seated without using a traditional drill, and they were #2 square drives as I mentioned. I tried variations on the square drive bits too but to no avail.
    WHAT BOX?

  25. #30
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Been using the star/torx screws for a while with a 1/4" impact driver. Can find them in #6, #8 and deck screw sizes at Lowes. I'm not using 1000's of these at a time so 5 or 6 bucks not killing me.

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