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Keep stripping out screws. What can I do?

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Forum topic by trainwreck posted 1231 days ago 8816 views 0 times favorited 73 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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trainwreck

43 posts in 1290 days


1231 days ago

OK….kiln dried 2×4 studs, 2 1/2” wood screws. I am drilling a pilot hole, but as soon as I get through the 1×4 to the 2x, the screw strips out. What gives? I’m building some lawn chairs for around my fire pit. These 2×4’s are making me crazy! Thank God for vise grips, but man! I just wanna screw! LOL

Suggestions?


73 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7234 posts in 2247 days


#1 posted 1231 days ago

You have to really put your shoulder and weight behind the
drill when driving long screws. I’ve shown this to enough people
who’d never thought about it to conclude it isn’t common
knowledge. In high-resistance screwdriving situations I
get the butt of the drill right up on my chest next to my armpit
or right behind my shoulder.

Square drive screws are another alternative. They are a little
hard to find but they will pretty much end your problem.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1449 days


#2 posted 1231 days ago

When you say “2 1/2” wood screws” do you mean drywall type screws or zinc plated screws with the hefty shank?

If you are stripping out the slot because of increased friction on the shank of the screw, there would be three solutions:

1. Smaller shank

2. Predrill with a tapered bit

3. Lubricate the screw

If I have one degree of uncertainty about a screw installation, I wax the screw. I use toilet bowl ring wax, but Grizzly and others sell stuff in a large caliber Chap Stick container (I have actually used Chap Stick on an install where I had forgotten my Ikempucky—another brand name of wax for screws).

Oh, and a fourth: Your bit may be worn out. As it wears, it gets sloppy and angled, and wants to ride out of the slot. Even if good quality bits cost twice what a drug store brand costs, you’re what, out a coupla bucks?

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View trainwreck's profile

trainwreck

43 posts in 1290 days


#3 posted 1231 days ago

I have been putting my weight behind the drill and making sure it’s straight and inline with the screw. Looks like a trip to the hardware store for me for some square drive screws and a driver bit, huh?

View jeepturner's profile

jeepturner

920 posts in 1391 days


#4 posted 1231 days ago

I would question the type of tip you are using first. Is it the best match for the screw? I modify my bits by grinding off the very tip of a Phillips bit. My theory being that the very tip provides no traction to the application of torque. The wings of the bit must be fully engaged.

Hope this helps.

-- Mel,

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1773 days


#5 posted 1231 days ago

BIG fan of Lee Barker’s #3.

I bought a toilet wax ring, and stuffed it into a plastic “can.”

Before driving long screws, I shove the screw into the can, coating the threads with the wax.

DRAMATIC reduction in torque required to drive the screws > longer battery life, on cordless drivers > never strip them out, any more :-)

-- -- Neil

View trainwreck's profile

trainwreck

43 posts in 1290 days


#6 posted 1231 days ago

My bit fits perfectly into the screw, and it is a new bit, but it’s cheap, I think—it was a gift from my father. The screws are 8×2 1/2 and coarsely threaded. They says they’re steel, but I’m pretty sure they’re plated with something. Actually, as I look at them more closely, it looks like I can use a No. 2 square bit with them, so maybe I’ll just try that and report back!

View patron's profile

patron

12957 posts in 1940 days


#7 posted 1231 days ago

maybe you need those ‘deck screws’
the ones that come in brown or green
they are hardened
much better than standard screws
in the isle with the rest of the screws
and a box has the right drive bit for them

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View trainwreck's profile

trainwreck

43 posts in 1290 days


#8 posted 1231 days ago

OMG! I had a 2 square bit. That thing is my new best friend! These babies go through like butter! Thanks guys!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3343 posts in 2559 days


#9 posted 1231 days ago

I have a small fridge in the shop, so I keep the bowl ring in the fridge when not in use. They can get kinda messy during Mississippi summers if not kept cool. Bowl ring seal=cheapest screw lube goin’.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Stormin's profile

Stormin

192 posts in 1388 days


#10 posted 1231 days ago

I was down in the states a while ago and see they have a screw that is a cross between a Phillips and a Robertson should be a real dandy.

-- I started off with nothing I have most of it left

View trainwreck's profile

trainwreck

43 posts in 1290 days


#11 posted 1231 days ago

So I’m making 4 lawn chairs which means 40 slats for the seat/backs. Drilling pilot holes in an assembly line fashion….no problem except I melted my bit because I was going so fast. LOL

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1449 days


#12 posted 1231 days ago

Stormin, there’s a general rule I find that applies impressively often in my world: If it’s made to do two or more things, it probably won’t do any of them real well.

I find that true of the combination head screws. Allowing the space in the center for a Robertson bit subtracts surface for the Phillips head and vice versa. I have a large box of these, 1 1/2” long, silver zinc, and they’re yours, just come pick them up!

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5399 posts in 2027 days


#13 posted 1231 days ago

Re: the toilet ring
Mine is in a “borrowed” Tupperware container. (she’s got so many, she’ll never know).
When doing a job with screws, I just stick a bunch in the ring. Keeps them handy, off the bench and lubricated.

David’s suggestion for screws is right on! If the chairs are for outdoor use especially.

Another good screw is ””Timber Locks””:http://www.castlewholesalers.com/TIMBERLOCK-6-Screws-Box-of-50.html But, I think 6” is the shortest. I’ve used them up to 10”. They have heads that require a socket type driver, like metal roofing screws. Threads up about 1/3 and then, a smooth shank. Great for timbers.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View TheOldTimer's profile

TheOldTimer

221 posts in 1685 days


#14 posted 1231 days ago

I agree with Lee, when you go to Home improvement store, buy a toilet wax seal and lubricate the screws, a good cheap solution.

-- TheOldTimer,Chandler Arizona

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

155 posts in 1658 days


#15 posted 1231 days ago

Go buy some SPAX screws at the big box store. Drill the pilot into the 1×4 if you wish with a nice countersink. Then drive them in. SPAX do not need to be pre-drilled. You can drive a SPAX into end grain Maple without drilling a hole first. You can choose one with square, phillips or SPAX heads.

-- Les, Arkansas, www.woodthatrocks.com

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