Anyone who is interested in woodworking, whether for business or for pleasure will know about wood screws. They are the most commonly used method of fixing together wood to wood providing a clamping force to really strengthen a joint. They can be used for a variety of other reasons too like attaching hinges, in hardware, locks and other objects which are not made only from wood.
Although there are lots of different types of screws they are not all suitable to be used with wood. Wood screws are created with an aggressive thread to really grab hold of the wood, but there are lots of different varieties with different gauges, lengths, heads and drive types.
Types of Head on Wood Screws
Wood screws will usually have either a slotted head (aka a flathead) or a phillips (aka a cross head). These have been the standard in the industry for many years although more recently some woodworking screws have a square head philips which is a combination of the two types. They tend to have a better grip when used with a power or cordless drill.
Shapes of Head on Wood Screws
There are three common head shapes when it comes to wood screws. Round head screws with a rounded top with is flat on the underside which are particularly useful for fixing thin objects to a wooden surface. Flat head screws are useful for fitting into tapered recesses like the holes on hinges and are flush to the surface after fixing. Oval head screws on the other hand are a combination of both previous types with a tapered bottom which is akin to the flat head screws but the head is slightly rounded.
Gauges of Wood Screws
Wood screws are measured in gauges which indicate the diameter of the thread. Basically larger gauges mean thicker screws. A small gauge wood screw may measure a 6 gauge (a little thicker than 1/8 inch) and a 12 gauge will measure a little less than a quarter of an inch.
Lengths of Wood Screws
The final major difference between different types and sizes of woodworking screws is the length. The majority of lumber yards or home centers in America have screws starting from around a half inch in length up to around 3 inches.
Other Things to Consider About Wood Screws
The majority of wood screws are manufactured from hardened steel although some types may be made from brass or stainless steel. Some may have been treated with coating in order to prevent corrosion of the screw. It is worth remembering that some of these coatings can cause staining on some of the different types of wood.
If you want to use wood screws to fix two pieces of hardwood it is always a good idea to pre-drill the hole and make sure that you counter sink the screw. If you don’t do this it can cause cracks and other problems in the future.
It is also important to remember not to use a screw which is longer than the two pieces of wood you are fastening together or it will stick out at the back. Those are the basic things to remember when you are using wood screws for your woodworking projects.