6 Tips for Drilling Wood Screws

drilling wood screws into wood

Wood screws are specially designed and treated to be used with wood. They create a stronger fit that will last longer than generic screws or nails. Using these special screws takes some practice. Read on for several tips on drilling wood screws.

1. Drilling Pilot Holes

Some builders do not use pilot holes when using wood screws. This can be a mistake if you wish the wood screws to go into the wood straight. A pilot hole is drilled using a bit much smaller than the diameter of the screw. It creates a channel in the wood that the wood screw will follow. Creating pilot holes depends on the type of wood you are using. If you are using hard wood, then you would create pilot holes equal to the size of the screw's thread. In soft wood, it is half the size of the screw's thread.

2. Using Woods Screws of Appropriate Length

When you are attempting to join two pieces of wood together, it is important to use wood screws that are the correct length and up to code. Measure the thickness of the boards being screwed together. The length of the wood screws should 1/8-inch less than the total thickness of the wood being joined.

3. Using Screws of Appropriate Size

When you use wood screws to attach two pieces of wood together, you expect them to hold. Many people think that using a screw with a larger diameter will give them a stronger bond; this is both true and false. A long screw with a smaller diameter will hold wood together better than a short screw with a wider diameter. Wood screws indicate their thread diameter by gauges. This means that wood screws with larger gauges will be thicker than those with smaller gauges.

4. Coating Screws for Hardwood

Hardwood is great to have in the home, especially for décor, but screwing into hardwood is difficult to do because of its density. A simple solution is to coat the wood screws with beeswax or soap. This lubrication will help the screw go into the hardwood faster and smoother. It also helps to prevent wood screws from breaking. This does not work with grease or oil, and you should remember to clean off the wax before you stain or paint the wood.

5. Preventing Loose Screws

Screws tend to work themselves loose after a while. Friction from movement can cause screws to back out of the wood. You can stop this by placing the wood screws on a flat piece of metal and using a hammer to slightly bend the threads down. The screw will now enter the wood but won’t budge.

6. Removing Rusty Wood Screws

Rusty screws look horrible, and they have little strength. If you are having trouble removing the screws, touch a hot soldering-iron to the head. (Make sure to use heat-protective gloves when using this tool.) The heat causes the metal to expand, and then the screw will cool, causing it to contract. This makes it much easier to remove the screw.