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Thread: Screws questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    859

    Screws questions

    I've come to realize that my screw selection is limited and very disorganized. I'm always looking for one that fits my needs but I never know the size of the screw I'm using. I have my Kreg pocket hole screws organized in a container but not any other screws.

    My plan is to restock and organize so I'm curious what screw sizes/types you guys use? Which screws should be in every woodworker's inventory? Most of what I have now are drywall screws or odds and ends left over from my father (he passed away in 1980) so the odds and ends are mostly junk and its hard to find enough screws that look alike for a project.

    Thanks for your help with this.
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Berwick, PA
    Posts
    43
    For me, Robertson [square drive] screws whenever possible. I read an article years ago on the history of Robertson screws and how the Phillips head came to rule in the US ... easily googled by anyone interested. I just like them because they stay on the screwdriver. And the Robertson #3 screwdrivers are great for removing cammed-out Phillips #2 screws.

  3. #3
    I like the GRK r4 screws but most like Spax. These will cover 1-1/4-3+"

    For 1/2-1 ive been using spax(sont love these theyre not like the larger ones theyre bit soft and phillips)

    I like these because when i need more lowes and homedepot carry them.

  4. #4
    I prefer the Robertson heads with a 6" driver in the drill chuck but also use phillips because I pre-drill 2 holes to allow the screw head to do the holding, so phillips aren't a problem for me. I have a plastic screw organizer similar to this single decker but anyone is welcome to put a 4 drawer under the Christmas tree with my name on it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Houston, Texas area
    Posts
    995
    McFeely's has a nice assortment of #8 screws that I bought last year. You can get them with or without open organization bins. I bought boxes of 1 3/4" and 3" to complete their collection.

    I've used all of the sizes this past year: if I have the right size I use it rather than something a little short. These are SHARP screws that drive very nicely.

    #8 suits my needs most of the time, otherwise its into the misc bins or off to the hardware store.
    Mark McFarlane

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    859
    I like the Robertson head screws as I have bits for them and that is what Kreg uses for their pocket hole screws.

    The star drive are okay but I never seem to have the correct driver around when using those.

    Maybe the Philips is the way to go and always pre-drill and countersink before driving in the screw.

    Thanks.
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    859
    Quote Originally Posted by mark mcfarlane View Post
    McFeely's has a nice assortment of #8 screws that I bought last year. You can get them with or without open organization bins. I bought boxes of 1 3/4" and 3" to complete their collection.

    I've used all of the sizes this past year: if I have the right size I use it rather than something a little short. These are SHARP screws that drive very nicely.

    #8 suits my needs most of the time, otherwise its into the misc bins or off to the hardware store.
    So, #8 screws in 3/4" - 3" along with some #6 and #10 would make a good starting point. Nearest HD is about 5 miles away from me so I would rather not have to run out all the time to get the correct screw. I don't need hundreds of screw but I would like to keep say 50 of each type I use on hand. Just trying to figure out which types to stock.
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Oakley, CA
    Posts
    322
    I like to use Torx head if the screws are large enough. That winds up being mostly for the construction like a deck or something. Also for regular woodworking if I can find them. If not available, then square drive. But even square drive aren't available for the small stuff like #4 or #6 which is the realm of phillips. So just buy everything in sight. :-)

    Wayne

  9. #9
    I buy by the box when I need some, then I have stock when done for another project down the road. I don't try to get a range of screws because most will never get used. Fortunately Robertson screws are the most common sold here and I don't have to deal with Phillips much. While I have some drywall screws about my preference are floor or deck screws for general use.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,083
    I like Spax screws if I can find them. But the screws I reach for most often for home repairs, temporary fixes, and non-woodworking home projects, are Simpson 1 1/4 stainless self-tapping screws. They seem to work for a variety of purposes that I think other people use drywalls screws for.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    19,540
    I keep mine in adjustable bin-size tackle boxes. These store in racks (I have about 3 dozen boxes with screws, tack/nails, hinges, project parts, etc. The screw boxes have a bit of adhesive measuring tape attached to the lid for quick size confirmations.

    Screw Measure (2).jpgScrew Measure (3).jpg

    Anything that can, comes in Robertson drive. I keep flat head and washer head in 1/8" increments from 1/2" through about 2" and then in 1/4" increments to 3-1/2" or however they come when I am restocking. Trim head scres and truss head screws aree kept in reasonable numbers as well, Small brass, small colored, etc. there is no "right" answer; what you do in your shop will determine what you need to keep around.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-19-2019 at 12:30 PM.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,799
    I am generally "standardized" on Robertson/Square drive screws across the board and buy from McFeely's. The few things I buy locally, such as "deck screws" for construction either have combo square/Phillips or Star/Torx heads. I don't spend money...ever, if I can control it...on Phillips head screws any more outside of drywall screws used for drywall where the nature of that recess is appropriate for the use. I've pretty much trashed all the odd assortments of various cheap screws that were lying around in favor of being more organized.

    I mostly use #8 screws for woodworking purposes and most of them are in the 1.25", 1.5" and 2" lengths, but I keep .75" and 1" available for when they are appropriate. I also keep #6 screws for utility and have heavier #10 for certain tasks that benefit from the beefier fastener, but in smaller quantities. I originally bought them in the yellow zine coating, but have transitioned to black oxide simply because I'm anal and like that color better. I use wall mounted storage bins for organization.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    220
    I am on the opposite end of the spectrum and have far more screws and fasteners than I will probably use in a lifetime, and I'm always buying more. The fastener I choose usually depends on the project. For rough work I like GRK screws, although a hardware chain near me also carries Scorpion screws which tend to be thinner and sharper and go into the wood better without a pilot hole. For cabinet work I use black oxide from McFeeley's, I have a huge stash from years ago when I bought a couple of their "assortments". Pocket hole screws are the "Super-8's" also from McFeeley's for most applications, but I have a good assortment of them as well. Drywall screws are for drywall. I store everything in a variety of Harbor Freight/Tractor Supply (Storehouse) organizers, which are very similar to the Stanley organizers. Also have a bunch of Stack-On organizer units. Everything is organized by type and size, although the GRK screws sit in their own little covered bins because I like them.

    https://www.stanleytools.com/product...anizer/014725r
    Jon Endres
    Killing Trees Since 1983

  14. #14
    I've switched to Spax wood screws in #8 size. I usually have 1" to 1-1/2" lengths on hand.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  15. #15
    I use McFeely's. I have mostly #8s, which I buy in either 100 for most things or 1000 boxes for the 1 1/4" and 1 1/2". In #8 I'll keep 3/4", 1 3/4", 2", 2 1/2" as well.

    I also have 1/2, 3/4", 1" and 1 1/4" of #6s and a few larger #10s. I use drywall screws for drywall, and get deck screws locally from the orange borg. I try to avoid collecting random hardware in favor of having better organization; since most of the random things I won't actually use in a reasonable time frame and I don't want to hunt for things.

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