Tips for Drilling and Inserting Wood Screws
When it comes to building furniture, using screw joints is easier and faster than glue joints. But drilling and inserting wood screw joints is not as easy as it looks. As the term suggests, wood screws are best for drilling and working with wood.
Unlike the usual nails or screws, they have a better fit and they last longer, too. It takes a lot of skill and practice to use them, so make sure that you know how to do it properly.
Also Read: How to choose the best screwdriver for work?
Tips on How to Drill for Inserting Wood Screw
Drilling a wood screw is harder than most people may think. But don’t worry because here are some tips on how to drill and insert wood screws:
Drill the Pilot Hole
Some people do not bother to drill the pilot hole before using a wood screw. This is a big mistake. Unless you drill a pilot hole, you will have a hard time drilling straight into the wood.
When you drill a pilot hole, you create a part where the wood screw can follow. Your hole should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the wood screw.
Before you drill the pilot hole, consider the type of wood you are working on. If the wood is soft, your pilot hole should only be half the size of the thread of the screw.
But if the wood is hard, your pilot hole and the thread of the screw should be equal in size.
Use the Right Length
Whenever you plan to join two wooden pieces together, you should see to it that your screws are correct in length. How thick are the wooden pieces that you plan to put together?
Your screws should be one-eight of an inch thinner than the total thickness of the wooden pieces.
Use the Right Size
If you think that a screw with a bigger diameter is better for joining wooden pieces, think again. Remember that your goal is to ensure that the two wooden pieces will hold together.
It is better to use a longer screw that has a small diameter than a shorter one with a big diameter. The former will be able to join wooden pieces together better.
Take note that the threat diameter of wood screws is indicated by gauges. The larger the gauge, the thicker the wood screw will be compared to one that has a smaller gauge.
Coat Screws for Using Hardwood
While hardwood looks great for home decoration projects, it is also thicker and harder to work with. To remedy this, coat your wood screws with soap or beeswax before drilling into hardwood.
This will help you drill into hardwood in a quick and easy manner. The beeswax or soap coating also helps in preventing the screws from breaking.
Don’t forget to wipe the wax off; otherwise, you might stain the hardwood. Furthermore, don’t use oil or grease as these could stain the hardwood.
Prevent Screws from Getting Loose
After some time, the wood screws tend to get loose. This is because frequent use and movement can cause them to move out of the wood.
If you want to prevent wood screws from becoming loose, put them on a flat, metal piece first. Then, bend the screw threads a little with the use of a hammer. When you insert this screw into the wood, it will not move or budge so easily.
Remove Rusty Screws
Not only do rusty screws look bad, they are also weaker than before. Make sure that you check for rusty screws every now and then. You can use a soldering iron if you are having a hard time in removing rusty screws.
The heat from the iron will cause the metal to expand and the screw to contract, making it easier to remove. Of course, don’t forget to put on a pair of heat-protective gloves before you do this.
Use the Right Kind of Bit
There are different kinds of drill bits, depending on the kind of hole you want to make. For drilling small to medium-sized holes, use a twist drill bit. But if you want to drill holes that are wider than 10 millimeters, use an auger bit instead.
Meanwhile, if you want to drill a shallow hole that measures up to 30 millimeters wide, use a Forstner drill bit. If the diameter of the hole is wider than 30 millimeters, then use a holesaw instead.
Check if the Bit Fits the Screw
As simple as it may sound, some people fail to check if the drill bit fits the wood screw perfectly. This results in the bit slipping out in the process.
Take note that the screws that have the best grip are Torx screws, while crosshead screws are better than slotted ones.
Use the Right Speed
Make sure that you use the right speed in drilling. If you drill too fast, your wood might overheat and get burn marks. In contrast, drilling at a low speed will result in an untidy hole.
Use a Clamp
To keep your workpiece from slipping as you drill, use clamps to hold it in place. Put a scrap board under the workpiece to protect it and your work bench from damage.
Clamps are also useful for preventing the tearing of fibers as you drill.
Check Your Hole Size
The size of the hole will depend on the kind of work you want to do. As mentioned earlier, your pilot hole should be smaller than the diameter of the screw by about one millimeter.
In contrast, if you are planning to join two wooden pieces together, your holes should be larger than the diameter of the screw by one half or one millimeter. This way, the thread of the screw will be able to hold well.
Indeed, working with wooden screws is not as easy as it seems. It becomes even harder if you are planning to work with hardwood. But by following these tips, you will get the hang of drilling and inserting wood screws in no time.
Aside from following these tips, you also need to consider your safety during any drilling project. Wear heat-protective gloves and masks when using drilling equipment. By doing so, you can protect your workpiece and yourself in the process.