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Thread: Help with screws

  1. #1
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    Question Help with screws

    I have some 1/4'' & 3/4'' Birch ply & also MDF I need to make a box that will be screwed to the back of my grinder stand to hold my beal buffing wheels.
    I bought some screws at the borg & after getting the screw almost in the head snapped off Someone posted on a web site about McFeelys screws. & something called I think it was a "spax" screw good for either ply or MDF. What I'm looking for is some advice on what type & length is good to keep on hand for ply MDF & also say 2x4's

    Chuck

  2. #2
    MDF does take special screws, I think they have a bigger shank and the threads are much more coarse giving it better holding power in the rather loose material that MDF is.

    As for everyday use, I just use drywall screws. They are cheap, but hardened at the factory making them prone to snap. The best way I deal with this is to keep a toilet bowl wax ring with me when I drive in screws. I stick the tip of the screw in the wax ring, then send it home. You would be surprised at how long of a screw you can drive into solid wood so effortlessly with a little wax.

    No need to spend good money on screws, just lube up the cheap ones and you will be golden.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Johnson View Post
    MDF does take special screws, I think they have a bigger shank and the threads are much more coarse giving it better holding power in the rather loose material that MDF is.

    As for everyday use, I just use drywall screws. They are cheap, but hardened at the factory making them prone to snap. The best way I deal with this is to keep a toilet bowl wax ring with me when I drive in screws. I stick the tip of the screw in the wax ring, then send it home. You would be surprised at how long of a screw you can drive into solid wood so effortlessly with a little wax.

    No need to spend good money on screws, just lube up the cheap ones and you will be golden.


    A bar of soap works just as well and is a lot less messy to carry and handle than the sticky toilet bowl wax.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
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    Soap does work, however, soap also attracts water (moisture out of the air) and thus promotes rust. I am not a chemist, but I had a woodworking student that was. Learned more from my students than I taught!

  5. #5
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    Here's a couple links that will help:
    http://www.woodworkingtips.com/etips/etip0090800sn.html
    http://www.mdf-info.org/using/screwing.html

    Outside of going the Confirmat route I have had good success following these guidelines:

    - Reserve all your BORG screws for junk projects that require no strength or reliability; in effect, use them up as quick as possible and do not buy them again, throw them away or give them to someone you don't like. You will be time and money ahead. DAMHIKT.
    - Buy good quality screws at about $3 - $5 per 100 in most cases. McFeely is a favorite because they generally have some offer as you checkout (some useful like free shipping if you buy a blah-blah, some not, like free plastic bins in a size you don't use or want to use). They also offer some well thought out "bundles" and many special purpose screws.
    - Choose a straight-shank, coarse-tooth screw.
    - Drill an appropriate sized pilot hole a bit longer than the screw (the screw should not bore itself into the MDF).
    - Make a slight countersink where the holes align for joining the pieces (this prevents a poor fit due to MDF's tendency to 'volcano'.
    - Use your clutch (or a light touch) so you don't over-drive.

    That's about it. Works for me.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-24-2008 at 05:41 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the help guys.

    Chuck

  7. #7

    McFeeley's

    I have used McFeeley screws for years and have NEVER snapped one off. Doesn't matter what kind of wood.

    My 2 cents

    Jack

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    A bar of soap works just as well and is a lot less messy to carry and handle than the sticky toilet bowl wax.
    Soap??? What's that there new fangled stuff? Do you have to have running water to use that?

    I'm just kidding of course. I have used soap in the past, and you are right, it does work just as good.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
    Bob Wiggins is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    It seems we have let the some of the older proven methods fall by the way side. Possibly from haste or maybe from pure lazyness.

    I've never heard mention on a show or read lately the word anchor hole but everything seems to need a Pilot Hole. But if we'll drill an anchor hole the minor diameter of the screw or maybe a few thousandts smaller and a pilot hole a few thousandts larger than the major diameter of the screw most of the screw problems will be solved. Let the screw head do it's job.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pilot - anchor holes.JPG  
    Last edited by Bob Wiggins; 01-25-2008 at 11:14 PM.

  10. #10
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    I have been using Deerwood Fasteners with nibs, 1 1/4", 2" and 3" for at least 5 years. They work well but I buy them in large boxes. The 1 1/4" as I recall comes 4000 in a box? This may not help but it is what I use. Cannot tell you what joy it is to have the head break off of a screw!!!!!! You have to experience it for yourself.
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