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Forum topic by TMcG posted 05-10-2010 01:51 AM 2375 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TMcG

191 posts in 2469 days


05-10-2010 01:51 AM

So this is about as basic as it gets but I am having “issues” with simple drilling, counter-sinking and screw size/installing.

Not sure I know why but the drill/countersink combo I have always seems to be smoking, is now a black/blue color and even a No 2 square head screw is twisting off before hitting bottom.

Is there some secret magic tip or tool I’m missing here ?

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org


15 replies so far

View Stevinmarin's profile

Stevinmarin

838 posts in 2543 days


#1 posted 05-10-2010 02:11 AM

Yeah, sounds like a dull bit. What kind of wood are you using? A really hard wood, such as maple, can also be the culprit, especially when used with a dull bit.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers. http://www.WoodworkingForMereMortals.com

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TMcG

191 posts in 2469 days


#2 posted 05-10-2010 02:22 AM

The bit was brand new ! The task at hand was securing a hardwood fence (oak) to a plywood base so I guess the qualifies as hard.

It all seems a whole easier when you’re watching video’s ! :-)

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2542 days


#3 posted 05-10-2010 02:25 AM

I only use one type of screw and I never drill a pilot hole. If you are familiar with the Kreg pocket hole system then you know that they sell their own screws for use with their pocket hole system. Those screws are great and I use them for everything (not just pocket holes). They are, in effect, self-tapping because they have a cutter at the tip of the screw. Because of that you don’t need a pilot hole.

They also have a square drive head and those heads slip very little.

Use fine thread for hard wood and course thread for softwood.

If you want the head countersunk below the surface, just drill a shallow hole with a 3/8th bit.

As I like to say (with a grin) – “Nothing beats a great screw”.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Brandon Hintz's profile

Brandon Hintz

53 posts in 2477 days


#4 posted 05-10-2010 02:56 AM

Based on the description it sounds like a combination of things; hard wood, pilot drill not set deep enough, countersink either dull, not spinning fast enough, or not clearing chips . You could try speeding up the drill or taking less of a bite at one time allowing the chips to clear, extend the length of the pilot bit to just shorter than the screw length, and putting some lube on the screw as mentioned above bar soap actually is a pretty good lube for screws too.

-- Potential is limited only by imagination

View Abbott's profile

Abbott

2570 posts in 2772 days


#5 posted 05-10-2010 03:15 AM

I use beeswax and just barely dip the tip of the screw or drill bit into a small jar of it I keep in the shop. It makes a tremendous difference in the amount of force (very little) you need to use to drive home a screw into hardwood. It is also good for lubing drill bits. Just a tiny dab is all it takes.

I make my own screw lube by bringing a pan of water to a boil on a hot plate in the shop. Then I cut a chunk of beeswax and drop it into a small tin can or coffee can. The can goes into the pan with the boiling water which melts the wax. I then add about 25% to 30% naphtha to a small jar (I eyeball this amount) and fill the jar with the melted wax. I stir it up with a small stick and set it aside to cool. You now have a long lasting supply of screw and bit lube because a little bit goes a long, long way.

Caution: Keep the naphtha away from flame, it’s flammable.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2599 days


#6 posted 05-10-2010 03:54 AM

It’s burning because you’re not clearing the chips, and the bit’s breaking because either the hole is too small, or not deep enough. You’ll also break screws when screwing hardwood together if you don’t use a clutch.

This will tell you what size holes you should be drilling.

http://www.mcfeelys.com/docs/screwposter.pdf

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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TMcG

191 posts in 2469 days


#7 posted 05-10-2010 12:23 PM

Thanks gents, sounds like it’s a combination of things, grease up some, slow down, back off etc..

On the screw front, where do you obtain your hardware other than HD or Lowes ? Is their hardware low quality as well ? Surely not.

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

452 posts in 2473 days


#8 posted 05-10-2010 04:23 PM

This is pretty basic, but make sure the hole through top part is large enough for the screw threads all the way through the part so it slips and pulls the parts together. If the threads bite into both parts and you try to really tighten them together, screws can break.

Make sure the screws themselves are of good quality. I usually use drywall screws unless I need something especially decorative. They can break, but not as often, they come in Fine or Coarse thread and are available most everywhere.

Like Richgreer, I like the selfdrill feature of Kreg, or Face frame screws. The thread\Drill portion on the black face frame screws I use alot is larger than the smooth part near the head, so once the threaded part is drilled through, the shank part slips in the hole and allows the two parts to be pulled together.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View TMcG's profile

TMcG

191 posts in 2469 days


#9 posted 05-11-2010 01:39 AM

I think I might be using coarse thread screws and oak, so that would be a bad combo.

The “appliance” in question is one of these

How does one go about testing a countersink drill for sharpness ?

So here’s another “I don’t quite get it” question, the chart and the Insta bit set both specify a 9/64 pilot hole for a #8 screw yet when I use that size the #8 has no bite, so how’s that work then ?

Think I’ll have to find a source for those Kreg screws, too many votes to ignore !

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

452 posts in 2473 days


#10 posted 05-11-2010 02:00 AM

I think you may be better off with a fine thread screw. The pilot hole should be the diameter of the “root” of the thread or a hair bigger to give the threads something to bite into. Just hold the bit in front of the screw and see if you can see threads on either side. The coarse thread may just be pulling the threads out. Drill a smaller pilot.

I hardly ever drill a pilot hole into the second piece of material. Maybe hardwood to hardwood, but just atttaching something to a piece of plywood’s face. Screwing into plywood edges you would want a pilot hole but a real small one, just to prevent splitting of the ply. Just drill a clearance hole through the first and countersink it. Then set your clutch to stop at a certain pressure, working your way up until you almost break the screw.

Amana makes a nice set

I was trying to find my favorite one on line but don’t remember the name of the manufacturer. I bought it a Higgins lumber a long time ago. It is a two piece split countersink, carbide tipped, that unscews using small allen wrenches and fits a range of pilot drill sizes. I have had it for years and use it all the time. I will go look to see if there is a brand name on it.
countersink
There’s what it looks like, no brand name on it though.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Brandon Hintz's profile

Brandon Hintz

53 posts in 2477 days


#11 posted 05-11-2010 02:02 AM

If I am remembering my chart correctly 9/64 is for #10 for the 1/8 is for #8 in hardwoods

-- Potential is limited only by imagination

View TMcG's profile

TMcG

191 posts in 2469 days


#12 posted 05-11-2010 02:11 AM

Thanks Michael, appreciate that and the Amana link.

Brandon, you’re absolutely right, so that’ll be one more tick in the idiot box ! :-)

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2599 days


#13 posted 05-11-2010 02:50 AM

You shouldn’t be using tapered bits with square drive screws. Strike 3.

Tapered bits are for old style wood screws, where the thread tapers into the shank. Modern straight screws will get too tight at the bottom of the tapered hole.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

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TMcG

191 posts in 2469 days


#14 posted 05-11-2010 03:08 AM

LOL, well there you go. And now I know, and I sure know a whole lot more than I did before I started this thread, this is an amazing forum.

Thank you all.

-- http://wood.mcgivern.org

View Abbott's profile

Abbott

2570 posts in 2772 days


#15 posted 05-11-2010 03:25 AM

I used the counter-sinks shown above for many years. Lately I have changed to the Dewalt counter-sinks…

Click

...which have been working very well. The bits are much more robust then the other type of counter-sinks I had been using. I use tapered counter-sinks and square drive screws with no issues.

I also like to dip about a 1/16” to an 1/8” of the end of the screw in a beeswax lube (mentioned above) for especially hard pieces of wood which makes them drive like silk.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

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