Driving Screws

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head and twist the screw back out, as shown in the photo at left.

If enough of the screw is exposed, you can sometimes tighten the chuck of your drill onto the exposed screw, like you see in the drawing at left. Then simply reverse the drill and back out the screw.

Screw extractors, like the one in the photo above, are also available at most woodworking stores. These slip into the chuck of your drill and have flutes at the end that "dig" into the head to turn the screw. The extractor engages the head of the screw to help back the screw out as you reverse the drill.

Stripped Screwhead

Sometimes when you drive a screw, the bit slips and ships out the head. The screw is usually either not all the way in, or if it is, the stripped-out head doesn't look very good. When this happens, it's best to replace the screw. But getting the old screw out can be quite difficult.

To solve this problem, you have a couple of options. If the head is above the surface, you can often use a pair of pliers to grab the

Broken Screw

Removing a screw that has broken off below the surface of the work-piece can be a challenge. You need a way to get the screw out and then replace it with a new one.

A simple way of doing this is to file a few teeth at one end of a piece of metal tubing with a triangular file, like you see in the margin photo. Then chuck the tubing in your drill press and drill out the area around the screw (drawing at right).

Finally, select a dowel from matching stock and glue it in the hole, as shown in the drawing far right. Then you can simply replace the screw.

Broken screw


Trim dowel flush and redrill pilot hole

FIRST: Tap dowel into hole

Broken screw

FIRST: Tap dowel into hole

Wood plug

Chamfer end for easier fit \


Trim dowel flush and redrill pilot hole

Loose Screw

When screws are used in places where repetitive movement occurs, like hinges, they can work loose over time. This frequent movement causes the screw hole to become enlarged, and the screw eventually loses its holding power.

A simple remedy for this problem is to fill in tire hole and reinstall the screw. To do this, I like to glue a wood match directly into the hole, as shown in the photo at right. After placing the match in the hole you can break the match off at the surface of the workpiece.

It's now easy to drive the screw in the hole again. As you can see in the drawing at right, the wood from tire match fills up the hole. And it also provides a solid _ " _

surface area for the SECTION VIEW

threads of the screw to "bite" into. \ ' /

If the screw hole is ~f jgS^l! small, I'll often use a Hinge toothpick in place of the matchstick to fill v llfrr^

For larger screws, | \ MJhstick you can fix this problem by drilling a hole for a Et__

plug like you would do when fixing a broken screw. Then glue a wood dowel plug in the hole and replace the screw. This takes a little more time, and you need to make sure the plug doesn't show around the edge of the hinge.

How-To: Screw Driving Tips

Using a few basic techniques when you drive a screw can help to keep you from having to deal with the fixes later. Just follow these simple steps.

Tapping Brass Screws

Brass hardware often adds a nice look to a project. But there's nothing more frustrating than chewing up the head of the screw or having a soft brass screw break off as you're driving it home.

To prevent this, I like to set the brass screws aside. Then 1 use a steel screw of the same size to cut threads for the brass screws, as shown in the photo at left.

Also, when fitting doors, 1 often need to remove the hinges several times to get the right fit. To avoid damaging the brass screws, I use the steel screws and wait until the very end to install the brass screws.

Size the pilot hole to match the screw shank

For best results, always drill a pilot hole

Workpiece Gap

When you're screwing two work-pieces together, the fibers from the lower piece can lift up. 'This often creates a gap between the two pieces, like you see in the photo at right.

Clamping the pieces together can often help prevent this problem. But you can also create a small "pocket" for the raised fibers. All you need to do is drill a small ___

countersink on the Countersink inside face of either "" "TT"7^

shown in the drawing at right. ES %

Take care to choose a driver that is sized - correctly to fit the screwhead

Apply wax to the threads to make it easier to drive the screw



Notches allow rails and cross rails to interlock

keep grid sliding

Partes Una Pir Mide Egipcia

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small shop solutions

A few simple additions can turn this basic tool into on~ of the most versatile fixtures in your shop.


Breaking down sheets of plywood with a circular saw is always a challenge. 1 usually end up laying the plywood on supports on the floor and then crawling around to make tire cut. But a couple of simple modifications to a set of sawhorses can make this task a lot easier.

An L-shaped bracket screwed to the side of each sawhorse, like you see in the drawing at right, makes the task of cutting sheet goods easy. The brackets hold the plywood in

Notches allow rails and cross rails to interlock keep grid sliding place so they can easily be cut down to a manageable size. And because the plywood is held vertically, you won't need to stretch a lot to make the cut across the sheet.

These brackets also become useful when it comes time to spray a coat of paint or finish on a project. Just place an old piece of plywood as a backer board behind the project. Then you can apply the finish without the worry of covering everything behind with overspray.

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Cutting Grid

Working with sheet goods requires a large surface to provide support as cuts are made. A grid built on the top of your sawhorses can make tins task easier. Start by making interlocking strips from stock. These strips fit over a pair of sawhorses, as shown in the drawing at left. You'll want to be sure to notch the bottom edge of the longer strips and the top edge of the sawhorse to help hold the grid in place and keep it from moving around as you work.

To use the cutting grid, simply assemble it on top of the sawhorses. Then place your workpiece on the grid and go to work. Once you're done, you can disassemble the grid and store it out of the way.


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Wood Working 101

Wood Working 101

Have you ever wanted to begin woodworking at home? Woodworking can be a fun, yet dangerous experience if not performed properly. In The Art of Woodworking Beginners Guide, we will show you how to choose everything from saws to hand tools and how to use them properly to avoid ending up in the ER.

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