American Woodworker A June

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Wood-cutting threads. These designs eliminate the need for a predrilled pilot hole in most materials.

comc in many sizes, and you can gee them in bronze, brass and stainless steel and with a variety of coatings.

Production screws have narrow shanks and deep, widely spaced threads. Much stronger than drywall screws, they require much greater force to break. They grip plywood and particleboard well, but you'll need a pilot in the edge of MDF to avoid splitting the board.

Some manufacturers offer self-countersinking screws. "Nibs" on the undersides of the heads cut their own countersinks as you drive them in. (See photo, opposite page.) These might be worth the extra cost when driving a lot of screws into hardwood or particleboard.

Special wood-cutting thread designs— employing serrated threads, raised cutting wings, or a kerf-cut tip—help drive production screws into hardwoods faster and easier, even without a pilot hole. (See photo, above.)

Screws with wood-cutting threads and small pan heads are available for use as pocket screws in face frame assemblies. They have square drives which clutch the driver tip firmly as the screw is maneuvered into the pocket.

A couple of notes on production screws: First, don't expect the unthreaded section to correlate to common material thicknesses. For instance, a 2-in. screw (good for attaching 3/4 -in. material) doesn't necessarily have a -in. unthreaded section. But if it does, you can often forgo drilling a shank hole. Second, some suppliers are finally offering lVs-in. screws. These give maximum anchor purchase for face-joining two 'V4-in. pieces—as when making jigs, attaching countertops, and so on.

Unfortunately, production screws aren't yet widely available at hardware stores. See Sources, below, for mailorder suppliers.

Sheet metal screws are also useful in the woodshop. The large bearing surface under the head makes them ideal for attaching thin material and hardware. They have hardened, self-tapping threads, so they're handy for fastening anything to metal. You can use them with elongated slots to allow for wood movement; the generous bearing surface makes them great for holding slotted adjustments. They're commonly available in many sizes at your local hardware store.

Final Thoughts

These days, traditional tapered screws are probably best suited to reproduction or restoration work. Drywall screws are fine for drywall work, but they break too often for general woodworking. Personally, I'm sold on production screws because of their grip, strength, and versatility. With production screws there's a head to suit most purposes, and many come with square drives, which I prefer. I suggest trying screws from various suppliers since metal quality and hardness varies among manufacturers. A

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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