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Which screws do you use?

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Chris Knight

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Some momentary frustration caused by trying to remove some El-cheapo screws installed by a previous owner of Maison Waterhead prompts me to ask what folk round here use for screws?

If I knew all the varieties in use, I'd set up a poll but at present there seem to be so many possibilities I'm not sure how to set one up.

I have become enamoured of the Spax type screws sold by Axminster as T-Star. They seem pretty strong - I have only had one shear off in use and that was when I was really pushing my luck and the torx type head means that there is no "cam-out" as a powered driver gets to work.

Apart from brass screws that I want to show in the finished work, I have totally given up on the traditional slotted woodscrew - except for using up my stock of pretty indiiferent quality screws of this type (where oh where did the gross boxes of GKN unplated steel screws go?).

I also like the kind of screw sold with pocket hole jigs (Mc Feelys - lovely name!- with a square drive) The square drive also resists cam out and they are super for self tapping ability. McFeelys sell other kinds of screw but they won't ship less than $100 worth to the UK unfortunately. (BTW, I love using a pocket hole jig and these screws for making mockups of furniture. With a pocket hole jig, a nail gun and scraps of almost anything it's dead easy to knock up a rough model of what I want to build in a half hour or so).
 

Alf

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Up the proverbial creek
waterhead37":2isrd5d8 said:
where oh where did the gross boxes of GKN unplated steel screws go.
Umm... I think quite a few of them maybe found in a southwesterly area. :D

I confess, I tend to use Screwfix's goldscrews except on "proper" projects when it's brass slot-headed all the way. I can't honestly justify anything fancier, especially as I've largely given up power driving screws anyway. Sorry, not in the least helpful. :( Funny though, I have a very strong feeling I'd seen an ad in one of the mags for a UK supplier of square drive screws. Wishful thinking maybe, 'cos I can't find it now.

Cheers, Alf
 

Neil

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Hi Chris,

I use boxes and boxes of Spax screws and I'm in agreement with you that they are pretty good. I would say that 'Chez NeilCFD' could rival 'Maison Waterhead' for extremely naff screws used by previous owners, but I'm sure whoever has the house next will be singing my praises when they find Spax screws everywhere...

For outdoor projects I've started using the stainless steel spax-type screws with the Pozi heads sold by Screwfix:

http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro ... 9&id=11342

They are pretty good considering that they about 1/2 the price of the stainless steel Spax screws sold by Axminster.

The only other screws I use are the solid brass round-head slotted variety.

I keep meaning to get a pocket hole jig - any recommendations?

NeilCFD
 

Noel

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Spax pozidrive and Olympic square drive, all sourced from the local hardware shop.

Rgds

Noel
 

Midnight

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I tend to use the Quicksilver twinthread screws from Screwfix, unless the screwhead's gonna show, in which case I use traditional slotted brass.
 

Aragorn

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For anything that doesn't show I use pozi-drive and I get throught 1000's of them a month! Never have any problems.
When it shows - solid brass slotted screws every time.
Mostly order from Screwfix or local hardware store.
 
A

Anonymous

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Possibly this may seem a little strange but I try very, very, very hard to avoid screws and nails in any projects I make and at present can only remember ever using screws to hold hinges on.

However, around the house when fixing things to walls etc. I use what the Americans refer to as 'dry wall' posidrive screws that I bought from B&Q in a box of 1200 for £9.95. If visible I use brass slotted.

Tony
 

johnelliott

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One day I ordered some Spax screws from Axminster. When they arrived they were the Torx type. I checked, yes, I had ordered the wrong ones. Thought I would give them a go anyway, found some Torx bits. Glad I did. They are absolutley brilliant! I will never go back to pozidriv!
Try them, you won't regret it. Someday all screws will be Torx. You will need T15, T20 and T25 bits to cover most normal WW uses.
Square drive are great as well, but wouldn't work in small screws as well as the Torx does.
Did I mention that Torx screws are really good?
John
 

Aragorn

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A high recommendation!

But...

What will happen in 15 years time when the Torz has corroded a bit and gone rusty and had 5 coats of gloss over the top - how will you every get it out!
With my work I regularly have to carefully remove old screws (slotted ones in a mess are the worst!) Pozi drive are never a problem. But I don't fancy trying to dig old paint out of a Torz head!

Just a thought!
 
A

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Well, as a "build it once and walk away" kind of woodworker, I'm yet another fan of the Torx head SPAX screws from Axminster. I couldn't believe the improvement in using these over any other screws I've used.

I've already driven more screws with one Torx bit than I've ever managed with a Pozi without having to replace it due to cam-out damage. No looking back.

AG

P.S. If it comes to having to clean dried paint out of them in the future, I'll no doubt eat my words...

P.P.S I got a set of bits from Axminster and have regularly used all those JohnElliot suggests plus T10 too.
 

Dr. Thrax

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If I use any screws on a project I hide them under a wooden plug, apart from hinges etc when I use slotted brass. The biggest problem I find when using any screw is getting my hands on decent bits. I've tried all sorts from lots of different suppliers, if anyone knows of any good, long lasting bits that don't wear out too soon, let me know :wink:
 

Aragorn

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Dr.
I do a lot of general carpentry and use plenty of screws for this work. I looked into better and better screwdriver bits for a while but found that they don't last relatively longer the more you pay (if you see what I mean).
I use mostly pozi no.2s and I buy the bits in pack of 10 and just chuck them when they are worn. They're so cheap it doesn't seem worth paying twice as much for a bit that lasts only 50% longer.
 

Bean

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I use Spax, Screwfix Gold screws and if the show Slotted Solid Brass, I have not had one break yet as I push a steel one in first.

As good as they are I share Aragorns feelings about getting old toex screws out if they have had a coat or two of paint


Bean
 

Midnight

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Possibly this may seem a little strange but I try very, very, very hard to avoid screws and nails in any projects I make and at present can only remember ever using screws to hold hinges on.
Strange or not..... that makes 2 of us....

I tend to use the screws mainly for shop cabinets or jigs.....etc...
 

Dr. Thrax

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Aragorn":278rxlda said:
Dr.
I do a lot of general carpentry and use plenty of screws for this work. I looked into better and better screwdriver bits for a while but found that they don't last relatively longer the more you pay (if you see what I mean).
I use mostly pozi no.2s and I buy the bits in pack of 10 and just chuck them when they are worn. They're so cheap it doesn't seem worth paying twice as much for a bit that lasts only 50% longer.
I must admit I've over spent of 'gold' bits from Screwfix etc in the past but reading your reply I think I'll just stick to the cheap ones and bin them when they are done, or keep them to add to brass resin filling projects, a little 'bit' extra weight goes a long way in selling something that doesn't actually weigh what it does :D
 

Noel

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Agree on the pozidrive bits, not worth paying a fortune for diamond encrusted, durillium, super non cam out bits, or whatever the latest nonsense is. A ten pack chew can for a few quid now and again, chuck them when they're done.

Rgds

Noel
 
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Screwfix turbogold for gash, not important stuff. Brass philips head from Screwfix for most other stuff. Brass slot heads for screws that'll show on 'heirloom' pieces (to quote tailed Norm)
 

woodburner

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Self drilling/countersinking ones from Screwfix (Turbosomethingorothers?) or twin threads from the same source if I might need to take them out (both pozidrive). Slotted brass ones if they'll show, and chocolate ones from Gnomebase if I'm really desperate and can't avoid it.
 
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