Quality screws for white oak - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quality screws for white oak

I am building some white oak furniture and keep breaking off screws. Screws are size 8 and im pre-drilling them to a size 10 hole and still breaking screws. Is there a brand or type of screw I should be buying. I have some silver wood screws and tried drywall screws and they break easily also. Thanks david
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post #2 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 06:34 AM
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I use GRK screws for all my cabinet installs. Their #8 r4 screws are a bugle head with drill tip. I still predrill when connecting hardwood stiles, but have never snapped one of theirs screws. (I go through probably 150-200 lbs of various size screws yearly).
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post #3 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 07:49 AM
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Are you snapping the screws before they are fully seated? Or during the final tightening?


I do not use many screws in woodworking and do not remember ever snapping one off. Have never paid any attention to brand of screws I buy.


George
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post #4 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 08:52 AM
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Stick with the #8 in a #10 hole and try using a finer (more threads per inch) screw. Screws in White oak are like screws in fiberglass. the hole has to be slightly larger.
I'm used to doing a lot of boat work and almost always use Stainless Steel screws for almost everything.. You might give that a try.
Sometimes you might even have better luck with a machine screw as opposed to a wood screw.
White oak is pretty tough stuff.
Is there some reason why you cant use a glue joint?

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #5 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 11:14 AM
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Are you sure your pre drilling your holes deep enough?
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post #6 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 11:54 AM
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Like what has been already said, Never had that happened to me. At least I cant remember it happened.

Are you predrilling deep enough?

Have you set your drill to the right torque setting?

when you pre drill are you also counter sinking the holes?

Its hard to know by a persons posts what the real answer is, can only offer a few things to look at

Oh just thought of something dont know if you are, but dont use drywall screws.

Im starting to really like torx head screws.
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post #7 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 12:36 PM
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Try lubricating the screws with wax before you drive them. A wax toilet seat ring is a cheap source.
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post #8 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
Try lubricating the screws with wax before you drive them. A wax toilet seat ring is a cheap source.

You already have plenty of the cheapest source already around your house. I just use bar soap. Works like a charm.


George
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post #9 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danrush View Post
I use GRK screws for all my cabinet installs. Their #8 r4 screws are a bugle head with drill tip. I still predrill when connecting hardwood stiles, but have never snapped one of theirs screws. (I go through probably 150-200 lbs of various size screws yearly).
I agree with Dan. GRK is the way to go. Youíll still need to pre-drill. They are the best imo. And rub each screw with a bit of soap from a bar...any brand will do. Thatís a trick my Grandfather taught me. It works great. I have a bar of soap sitting near each of my workbenches. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. And best wishes to everyone else. Tom
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Last edited by TominToledo; 11-28-2019 at 07:23 PM.
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post #10 of 34 Old 11-28-2019, 08:52 PM
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Cool Phillips screws

Hey Y'all
My first post, but I have made furniture and built houses for a living since 1972. I used dowels for fastening my furniture until I discovered screws. I countersunk the screws 1/4" and used dowels to fill in the countersink. Of course there were only straight head screws back then, so it was still not a cakewalk. I finally switched to screws made by Phillips and also use their screw tips exclusively. Since most stores only sell imported screws now, and hardened steel tips, I order from Phillips directly. Their screw tips are the best I have ever used - I won't even buy a B&D or any black metal tip.

As far as screwing into any hardwood, you have to practice drilling the right sized pilot hole, and the right depth for that particular piece of wood and screw length. It's easier to brak off a screw in a practice piece than the real thing. From experience of trying to deal with a snapped off screw, I also am very careful when I make the final push. Often I will remove the screw if I feel it's getting hard to drive. I will then take the time to redrill the pilot hole to get rid of accumulated stuff, and then screw the screw in again. I am a fan of soap or im my case an old piece of canning wax from my mom that I've been using for 40+ years.

I used screws on this chair when I designed it in 1972, and I still do, as it can be broken down and shipped. The wood in this chair is bloodwood
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post #11 of 34 Old 11-29-2019, 02:02 AM
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I'm not sure what a #10 hole is, but for #8 screws, I use a 3/16" hole in the first board for the shank, then a 1/8" pilot hole for the threads. White oak, maple, red oak, ash, doesn't matter. But you do have to go the depth of the screw. If you are 1/4" short of the screw length, that last 1/4" could snap your screw.
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post #12 of 34 Old 11-29-2019, 02:08 AM
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I have been wondering whether the drill is tapered or straight.
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post #13 of 34 Old 11-29-2019, 06:56 PM
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Try a bit specifically designed for counter sinking #8 wood screws or a universal counter sink bit with an adjustable lenth drill bit. I work with a lot of red and white oak and rearly break a screw and I use a fairly cheap sink plated screw from Mcfeely's. They are a good source for screws, counter sink bits and many other fastener needs.
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post #14 of 34 Old 11-29-2019, 07:38 PM
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Im in the "never broke a screw" camp here. I've never even entertained screw "quality" in this sense, as either its getting doweled in, or purely structural. I use deck screws and drywall screws almost exclusively. I use those self tapping pan heads for when i want some "oomf", but yeah I cant say ive ever broken a steel screw. If you're torquing that much, I'd imagine you're doing structural damage to the wood too, or not drilling properly. Hate to call this out as a technique error, but unless youre painfully unlucky with screws, then it might be time to reevaluate your techniques.


Now brass screws on the other hand.... yeesh.
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post #15 of 34 Old 11-29-2019, 11:15 PM
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It is too lengthy an explanation so I started another thread.

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/s...1/#post2082057

Rich
In furniture 1/32" is a Grand Canyon
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post #16 of 34 Old 11-29-2019, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
You already have plenty of the cheapest source already around your house. I just use bar soap. Works like a charm.


George

Soap sounds like a better lubricant, but when I tried using soap, it flaked out of the threads; thatís why I switched to wax.
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post #17 of 34 Old 11-30-2019, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys lots of good tips. Iím building a mission bed and the only thing Iím using screws on is to connect the cleats to the rails. just to give them an extra support for the glue. The rest of the bed is all mortise and tenonĎs. Ill head to Home Depot and get some of those GRK screws for sure. Iíve been drilling pilot holes to the exact length of the screw but I think I will start adding an eighth of an inch more and start using wax on My screws for hardwood. Iíve been using sappy countersink bits size for number 10 screws. I try to use mortise and tenon also dovetails on the majority of my joints. Thanks again for all the good information I will put it to use
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post #18 of 34 Old 11-30-2019, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
Soap sounds like a better lubricant, but when I tried using soap, it flaked out of the threads; thatís why I switched to wax.

You do not use soap from the hard part of the bar. You use from soft area and you will have no problem.


Geprge
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post #19 of 34 Old 11-30-2019, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
Soap sounds like a better lubricant, but when I tried using soap, it flaked out of the threads; thatís why I switched to wax.

You do not use from hard part of bar. Use from softer part and there will be no problem.


People have been using this trick for generations. My father taught me this 70 years ago.


George
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post #20 of 34 Old 11-30-2019, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
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You do not use from hard part of bar. Use from softer part and there will be no problem.


People have been using this trick for generations. My father taught me this 70 years ago.


George

My soap (new bar) doesnít have a soft spot.
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