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Screws in oak

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Blackswanwood

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I need to attach an oak table top using buttons. Is it okay to use passivated woodscrews or do I need to use brass?
 

Droogs

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wouldn't recommend it myself, save up and get SS or brass
 

marcros

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I have used eBay in the past, simply because a box of suitable screws would last me a lifetime and you can probably buy the half dozen or so you need from there.
 

Nelsun

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One of my local suppliers sells SS screws individually which is great for one off jobs. Not sure how commonplace that is but it's a big saving compared to buying boxes of a given size. Or eBay is likely a viable alternative.
 

Hornbeam

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I always use brass, but if using brass make sure you pilot drill holes and preferably use a steel screw first to cut a thread and then replace with the brass. Brass screws can sometimes shear very easily
 

Phil Pascoe

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I wonder how valid that is now - it worked with slotted screws as the thread form was the same. but the thread of modern pozi screw is different. Probably as good just to ensure an adequate pilot hole.
A bit of wax or oil on the screw doesn't hurt, though.
 

That would work

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Slotted brass, anything else feels slightly wrong for decent furniture. But use steel of same type to make the thread first as mentioned above.
 

John15

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+1 for getting small quantities of brass screws from Ebay. Make sure you order the correct thickness as the gauge numbers are different to steel screws.

John
 

Mike Jordan

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In order to have corrosion problems you would need a high moisture content in the oak to allow the acid to attack the steel screws. If you are using seasoned timber I recommend a pilot hole and a very small touch of grease to make the screws run in sweetly.
If you were using green timber or even making a garden gate it would be worth buying the correct grade of stainless screws (316 marine grade)
Brass is not strong enough for the job and you will risk breaking the screws ( it's normal practice to run a steel screw into quality work and then replace them with the brass to avoid breakages) sorry, I missed a couple of the previous posts that already told you that!
Mike.
 

ED65

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Blackswanwood":20s12mni said:
Is it okay to use passivated woodscrews...?
Typical domestic interior use? Quite possibly.

If you want to go with stainless as a safer bet this thread from way back might be worth a look: Screws and Oak.
 

thetyreman

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brass looks good in oak, it's ideal for this particular job with turn-buttons, it looks a lot more professional as well when you polish the screw heads and line them up.

+1 for making a pilot hole, if not the oak will rip the head off the screw, it's happened to me a few times now :D
 

MikeG.

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Passivated doesn't last 5 minutes in oak. Sorry. You're better off with the shiny steel screws than passivated, but you shouldn't really use either. SS or brass........and both break readily.
 

Sean Hellman

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I would use stainless, but remember that they will probably never come out again without the head shearing off. Unless pre drilled and pre screwed.
 

Suffolkboy

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Brass if people can see them taking the advice of previous posters.

Stainless if they are hidden.

Probably not relevant but if you are worried about the strength of brass screws on other projects but want to hide the screws you can always dowel them.

Just make sure to line up the grain. Looks awful otherwise.
 

Keith 66

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Screws into oak, depends where & what application. Stainless steel screws come in two grades A2 Or in old money 304 grade which is a cheap commercial grade, It will discolour & rust slightly if outside.
A4 or 316 which is marine grade & far more durable. The main problem with stainless for marine applications is it relies on the oxide layer to resist corrosion, in acidic woods like oak for say boat keels etc it can get crevice corrosion & can actually corrode & fail faster than if you had used ordinary steel.
Other option though expensive is Silicon Bronze these are fully corrosion resistant & similar strength to Stainless steel.
Fo me i would not countenance driving a steel screw removing it & replacing with brass, if time is money use stainless or if its a special or critical job Silicon bronze.
Bear in mind Sil bronze is very expensive & if you drop half a box on the floor i guarantee you will be scrabbling in the shavings for every last one!
 

Steve_Scott

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Keith 66":3uj9o15n said:
Screws into oak, depends where & what application. Stainless steel screws come in two grades A2 Or in old money 304 grade which is a cheap commercial grade, It will discolour & rust slightly if outside.
A4 or 316 which is marine grade & far more durable. The main problem with stainless for marine applications is it relies on the oxide layer to resist corrosion, in acidic woods like oak for say boat keels etc it can get crevice corrosion & can actually corrode & fail faster than if you had used ordinary steel.
Thats not correct. 304 and 316 are both high chromium nickel stabilised austenitic grades with good corrosion general resistance. All stainless steels rely on the chromium to preferentially oxidise and create an adherent oxide layer that prevents further corrosion beneath it. Either grade could be left outside and wouldn't rust/tarnish in normal conditions.

Where 316 differs from 304 is with the addition of some molybdenum, at the expense of chromium, which improves resistance to chloride pitting and crevice corrosion (somewhat interlinked mechanisms). 316 would typically be specified in any environment where chloride is expected (coastal areas, ship building but also swimming pools and anywhere where chloride bleach might be used to disinfect (food prep).

I do question the quality of some stainless screws which appear to be mildly magnetic, which indicates the microstructure is not entirely austenitic. To be fair, I've not looked into the origin of A2/A4 classification but its fastener specific... I wonder if this naming nomenclature is to allow loosening of American/European standards that work perfectly well for every other application and therefore the supply of poorer quality product? Perhaps I'm being too cynical...
 

Phil Pascoe

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Can anyone remember the last time they saw a nice table and thought hold on a mo, I'd better crawl under it, lie on my back and see whether the screws are mild steel, brass or stainless? Can anyone remember the hours they've wasted removing the screws in old buttons? The whole discussion is rather academic. :D
 

AJB Temple

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The iron / steel in oak thing is interesting though. I was unaware of the silicon bronze screws. Will check that out.

Re steel in oak. The oldest part of my house is about 400 years old -timber frame. It it has some seriously big iron reinforcing brackets in places. These will be a good deal less than 400 years old but well over 100 years as will the large number of metal nails. In an indoor environment these have survived perfectly well and have not materially discoloured the oak (which is rather dark now). I wonder if the tannin action diminishes as the oak ages.
 

AndyT

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I think you have just provided evidence that wrought iron has better corrosion resistance than many steels in current use.
 
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