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Old School
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24,017 Posts
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See Warning**

A tool used correctly is much more efficient, and produces good results. If one wants to totally demolish a phillips head when driving a screw, there are a few tips I can give. First use the fastest speed your tool has. Second, manage to be off the line of the screw, that is maintain a slight angle to the screw. Third, try to have minimal pressure on the screw bit into the screw head. Fourth, after the screw has seated, leave the bit spinning in the head.

Other tips for disaster: Don't bother to take the time to predrill any holes. Having the screw split the wood is only a minor setback. Having the screw skip off the starting point will allow your bit to nicely plow into the wood and leave a distinct pattern of the bit. Better than that, you could be lucky enough to have the bit skip off the screw and plunge directly into a portion of your hand causing you to bleed all over the work.

Another tip of the day for those who like metal objects falling on their face, is not to predrill for holes above your head. Try to keep the screw on the cool magnetic bit/holder for overhead work, and manage to do it directly above your face. Try to hold several screws in the freehand while doing this so they can also fall into your face.

For the muscle bound grip of steel craftsmen out there, holding heavy parts or ill fitted parts with one hand and driving screws with the other is a real time saver and proves clamps aren't really necessary.

It's not necessary to take the time to figure out what length screw should be used. Make sure it's a little long so it will poke through the other side giving maximum grip. There's holes to fill anyway.

Make sure short screws keeps spinning when fully seated. This assures that they won't go any deeper. Countersinking may be a useless step. Having protruding screw heads are so much easier to find.

For maximum bodily injury, work so that the screw/driver is pointing at your face or body.

**Warning: These are tips from a been there done that guy that should NOT be followed, or tried.
 

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johnep
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2,140 Posts
Oh dear! I have been guilty of all these. Usually use a hand driver rather than electric unless lots of screws. My B&Q driver does not have a variable clutch. In fact only realised the advantage of this from watching a Gary Streidler video on pocket holes. I do have a battery drill which does have a clutch but a bit bulky in tight spaces.
Found stainless steel screws to be more liable to burr over.
Did splash out on diamond coated bits but found just as easy to pick up a pack of silicon steel bits at a market and using a new one for each job.
johnep
 

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979 Posts
Well said, and have done all of the above!:thumbsup:...I recently helped a friend face screw (3500 ss square drives) a deck and I have to say the advent of the battery op impact drivers is a blessing when it comes to this application. I found the only way to counter act the frustration of a stripped out head on a 2 3/4 " screw for the eight time is to take said screw immediately after removal and gently touch your buddy exposed knee with it.
 

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Better than that, you could be lucky enough to have the bit skip off the screw and plunge directly into a portion of your hand causing you to bleed all over the work.
Is that where the star shaped scars on my left hand came from?
 

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johnep
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2,140 Posts
Many years ago it was suggested to me to put a dab of carborundum paste (sold for valve grinding) on the head of a screw.
johnep
 

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Whoever invented the slot-head screw should have been lynched!!!!
Square drive and Robertson screws are different.Some of the so called "square-drive" screws aren't tapered like a Robertson.

I seem to recall a whole half hour documentery on Canadian T.V. about the Robertson screw. Strange, but true. When we Canadians come up with something like the Robertson we like to pat our collective backs!!!:laughing:
 
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