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Pilot holes for small screws

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MattyT

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I'm making a trinket box for my niece and I've almost finished it. Its 15 cm long and I just need to add the lid. I was thinking of adding two small hinges. If I add two small hinges, do I need to drill pilot holes or can I use multi purpose self tapping screws?
 

John15

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Hi Matty,

Best to drill a pilot hole for ease of fitting the screw and also to avoid damaging the screw and use brass screws rather than self tappers for appearance sake.

John
 

MikeG.

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Yes, absolutely. Screws in small stock can split the wood easily. Be enormously careful about locating the pilot holes correctly.
 

custard

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Yes to pilot holes no matter how small, but also if you're using brass screws you should firstly pre-cut the thread with a steel screw of the same size, and you should also wax the thread on your screws.

This may sound like a load of faff but from bitter experience I can assure you it's way more faff dealing with a sheared off brass screw!
 

Just4Fun

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custard":tnvnx2yj said:
This may sound like a load of faff but from bitter experience I can assure you it's way more faff dealing with a sheared off brass screw!
Also even if you don't shear them off brass screws in tough wood are all too easy to chew up so they look awful. DAMHIKT. Starting with steel screws reduces the chances of this problem happening.
 

woodbloke66

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custard":1ijmf075 said:
Yes to pilot holes no matter how small, but also if you're using brass screws you should firstly pre-cut the thread with a steel screw of the same size, and you should also wax the thread on your screws.

This may sound like a load of faff but from bitter experience I can assure you it's way more faff dealing with a sheared off brass screw!
Yup, it's a long winded faff, but this is how it's done - Rob
 

custard

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The other problem today is that almost all the brass screws you can buy are Chinese rubbish made from a dirt cheap grade of brass that's softer than cream cheese.

I don't know of a single European source of quality brass screws anymore, and the days of being able to spec really odd screw sizes are long gone. Consequently I either import American brass screws, or I hunt around for "new old stock" from quality British makers like Nettlefolds. Problem is both routes cost an arm and a leg!
 

thetyreman

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you can use the square awl on softwoods, that works well for me, I still drill pilot holes on hardwoods though.
 

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