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  1. #31
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    I usually use my little Ryobi 1/4 impact driver to drive screws partially to avoid cam out and partially because it's lighter than my cordless drills. Mostly I just use drywall screws. I know they are brittle but I am usually using them as a clamp to hold two pieces together until the glue sets up. I like many of the other suggested screws too but most of the time I don't need anything better than a drywall screw.

    If you google around long enough you can find a site where they quote test results for screw holding power as a function of the pilot hole size. I don't remember the results too well, which vary by wood species, but 50% of the screw diameter for softwood and 70% for hardwood seems about right. With a big enough pilot hole, you will not break the screw and it is obviously easy to drive. You might pull the threads out of the wood. But if you have that problem you can use a drill and set the clutch or learn how long to beat on it with the impact.

  2. #32
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Quote Originally Posted by DSWalker View Post
    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.
    Don't be so quick to blame it on the screws. If screws are camming out breaking off, your pilot hole it is probably too small.

    An impact is not going to help, either.

    If you're using a tapered drill bit, be sure you're using the right size.

    Ise a little bees was or paraffin on the threads helps a lot.

    That being said, I do despise the star bits and much prefer square drive.

    Somebody mentioned Spax - I use them but hate them because of the wobble factor. Try screwing them into something off a 10 foot ladder. Bring your magnet cause you'll be picking up the ones that fall off the bit .....

    GRX are better (and more expensive) than Spax.

    Square drives are great because they stick to the bit.
    Last edited by Rwe2156; 06-12-2018 at 11:00 AM.

  3. #33
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    Gotcha6's Avatar
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    "Square drives are great because they stick to the bit."

    Not always. We purchased 2- 50# boxes of square drive screws for a project some years ago that were prime coated. On 30% of them the screw heads had so much paint in them the bit wouldn't go in the socket far enough to hold to the screw. We had to discard the whole box. Buy good screws, and buy good bits. Replace the bits regularly. I'd rather replace a bit as to have a screw head strip out.....
    WHAT BOX?

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  5. #34
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    There is a lot of information here - and some "real-world" experience.

    While there are "cheap" screws at the BORG's usually you can make them work.
    As Jeff and Dr. Bob mention; the pilot hole (and clearance hole) are VERY important.

    If you can't drive the screw by hand - you WILL have trouble with a drill driver.

    Cam-out happens because the torque required to turn the screw is high and the operator cannot put sufficient "end-force" on the driver to keep the bit engaged in the drive.
    Ethan mentioned in his post that a cross recess (Phillips) is prone to cam-out due to the angular design of the drive, BUT if you can put sufficient end force a quality bit WILL stay engaged and not cam-out of the drive!

    This relies on a well executed pilot hole and shoulder hole as either of these can increase the torque required to drive the screw and as a result require more end-load to keep the bit engaged in the drive.

    The square drive does have "bit-stick" meaning you can put the screw on the drive bit and hold it horizontally.

    You can purchase Phillips ACR bits. While you will not get "bit stick" the "ribs" or "fins" on the driver bits help keep the bit engaged.

    Also, if you can find true "Torx" bits rather than "Star" or "Six lobe" drives the "user experience" is better. you can hold a torx screw horizontally on a bit, not so sure about a "Star" or "Six lobe" screw.

    Many people don't know that Phillips was a monumental change - the Phillips drive stayed engaged much better than a slotted drive - yep a marked change in 1932!

    Not definitive info, but from my teaching pretty accurate;
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_F._Phillips

    It is always a great laugh when I am teaching and mention that the screw was designed in 1932, but the driver was created a year later in 1933!!
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  7. #35
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Matthias W??, the woodworking for engineers website and youtubes, tested drywall screws for holding power versus deck screws and a normal woodscrew. He got equal or greater holding power and not bad ductility. I like it because I don't think drywall screws are a bad alternative for most projects. In softwood, I drill no pilot hole but do drill a clearance hole so it will pull the pieces together better. But in hardwood, I usually do not use screws but if I did, I would drill a pilot hole. Usually. But when I did the handrail to newel post connections for stairs (both oak), I used trim head screws and did not drill pilot holes. The screws were supposed to take care of that themselves and did. I think I used 2.5 inch screws. I got them at the home center, I think the heads were spanx. They were noticably better screws than my normal drywall screws.

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  9. #36
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Quote Originally Posted by Pop Golden View Post
    Hi Dennis, Having never used them I always thought stainless steel screws were harder than standard screws. This is good info.

    Pop
    I used stainless steel screws when putting up my composite deck. If I tried "no pilot hole", the screws would twist from the heat. I contacted the manufacturer, Swann, about the issue, and they sent me a pound of stainless screws free.
    The thing that holds up all my woodworking is simply getting started.

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  11. #37
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    Re: Screws that don't strip

    Quote Originally Posted by tarheelz View Post
    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!
    I like to buy local Menards carries Spax their the best I've found locally. I totally avoid anything metal made in China, Screws, nails,. blades, drills, bits, etc... To many problems in the past so I avoid now if I can. Lucky for me Menards carries a lot of stuff tool wise made in USA.
    Last edited by CrealBilly; 06-15-2018 at 03:10 AM.
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