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Thread: Screws and Nails

  1. #1
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    Screws and Nails

    Any experts on screws out there?

    What are the general guidelines for which screws should be used for
    1) plywood to plywood
    2) plywood to wood
    3) wood to wood

    And what are the general guidelines for when do you use screws and when do you use nails?

    Thanks,
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  2. #2
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    I never use nails except for the pin nails for some trim. I use screws when I can't use glue and a clamp. Most of the time I don't use either if I can help it. Mortice and Tenion, and dowels. Or just the type of joint along with glue.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Jointery is by far the best solution, however, there are times when fasteners are preferred. Never nails, you are usually working with hardwoods and dry at that so nails will create splits, as well as down right ugly. some brads for attaching back panels, etc. But the tried and true is Wood Screws NOT DRYWALL Screws (they are for Drywall) Not sheet metal screws but Wood Screws. Wood screws have a solid shank and a tapered thread. They require proper pilot holes, one piece gets the shank diameter and the other the thread root diameter. This type of screw will pull both pieces together snug where full thread screws will only hold the pieces together if you have them tight when applied.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post
    Any experts on screws out there?

    What are the general guidelines for which screws should be used for
    1) plywood to plywood
    2) plywood to wood
    3) wood to wood

    And what are the general guidelines for when do you use screws and when do you use nails?

    Thanks,
    Wow, that is a pretty broad question. It all depends...on the joint, on the wood, on the historical precedent of the furniture piece you are making, etc. You are going to get a variety of answers that may not be accurate to your needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    .... Never nails, you are usually working with hardwoods and dry at that so nails will create splits, as well as down right ugly. some brads for attaching back panels, etc. .
    I guess a broad question probably deserves a broad answer, but nails have been used in furniture for ages and I am talking pre-Norm. Bill, I think I understand where you are coming from and would agree in general, but can't agree with the "Never nails".

  5. #5
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    It depends on what you are doing and waht you are building. Framing I use nails and only nails, Decking I use screws and nails depending on the material and the situation. Sub floors only screws, finishing is mostly brad nails,finishing nails and glues. Jointery I have used some screws of nails to hold a piece till the glue sets up but ususally use clamps. Anything in particular that you are looking to hold together?
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Watson View Post
    It depends on what you are doing and waht you are building. Framing I use nails and only nails, Decking I use screws and nails depending on the material and the situation. Sub floors only screws, finishing is mostly brad nails,finishing nails and glues. Jointery I have used some screws of nails to hold a piece till the glue sets up but ususally use clamps. Anything in particular that you are looking to hold together?
    i agree with drew on this one, but you cannot rule out sheetrock screws either, depending on the application. all of my mobile tool benches, some holding a few hundred pounds of power tools, are all put together with sheet rock screws, and none of them, after a couple years of hard use, have even though about coming loose, let alone actually coming loose.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  7. #7
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    Others have spoken as to when to use screws. If you want to have a big "ah-ha" moment, get a selection of screws from McFeely's or other quality screw provider. After finding out how screws are supposed to work, I literally tossed my random collection of screws from the BORG and who-knows-where-else.

    I do use cut nails as a decorative element sometimes. I also use nails in 2x4's and double-headed nails as cleat-fixture "keepers" . . . I'll have to add a pic once I get home in order for that to make sense I think .

    Ok, here's the clipped double headed nail.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It inserts to remove any chance of the french cleat mounted fixtures from getting bumped (or earthquaked) off the cleat but still allow easy relocation as required.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by glenn bradley; 06-22-2010 at 11:26 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Noren View Post
    i agree with drew on this one, but you cannot rule out sheetrock screws either, depending on the application. all of my mobile tool benches, some holding a few hundred pounds of power tools, are all put together with sheet rock screws, and none of them, after a couple years of hard use, have even though about coming loose, let alone actually coming loose.
    Dan I use to use sheet rock screws for lots of things now I use more powder coated deck screws for the same application as the old sheet rock screws rust faster in the moist environment that we have here on the west coast. Also the powder coated deck screws have greater shear strength than do the sheet rock screws. The powder coated are more expensive but as I am not using them to board a house with so for the cost they are a better choice in my opinion. Also with the robertson heads tends to grab better than does the phillips head. There are also diversion staples for sub floors and certain companies will not warranty their flooring products unless you use the staples. I personally prefer the screws over the staples for holding power but staples are faster to install a sub floor.
    Last edited by Drew Watson; 06-22-2010 at 10:20 PM.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  9. #9
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    Drew you can't talk about staples. Cynthia didn't ask about staples
    Cynthia here's a link to help you chose what nail http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/i...er/infnai.html
    Here's another about screws http://www.dixieline.com/nails/screws.html
    One more for staples http://www.hoskinghardwood.com/Tools...ls_to_Use.aspx
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  10. #10
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    double headed nail?

    i found one of the rare polish double headed nail....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails double headed nail.JPG  
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

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