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Foolish mistake (screws through the benchtop)

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Forum topic by Murdock posted 1064 days ago 1460 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Murdock

107 posts in 1118 days


1064 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: workbench fir plywood question

I attempted to attached the top of my new workbench tonight and now have screws sticking up through it, the pointy end.

I used pocket holes from the bottom with 2.5” screws, the rails are fir 2x and the top is 2 layers of 3/4 plywood.

I did several test pieces before I began and should have had the screws ending 1/4” before coming through but it turns out that the rail material was softer than I expected and I ended up driving the screws all the way through the top and now they stick out by 1/8 and 1/4 inches. Of course I had the whole unit upside down while doing this so I didn’t notice it until I turned it over and cut myself on one of the screws.

If I back out each of the screws and put a shorter one in the same hole can I expect it to hold, or will the hole be large from the original screw?

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein


16 replies so far

View rance's profile

rance

4130 posts in 1795 days


#1 posted 1064 days ago

I’d certainly try replacing them with shorter screws. If the holes can’t be HEALED, then you may be adding a new ‘feature’ on the other side. Oh, and for that softer material, soak the material with CA glue to harden it up a bit after removing the long screw & healing the holes, but before installing the shorter screws.

Hey, little butterfly inlays might look right nice on that top.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View tomd's profile

tomd

1750 posts in 2404 days


#2 posted 1064 days ago

Slip a sliver of softwood into the holes after you remove the long screws to take up any slack.

-- Tom D

View ocwoodworker's profile

ocwoodworker

204 posts in 1638 days


#3 posted 1064 days ago

The tapered tip is only a short portion of the screw. You should be able to shorten the screw and not have a problem.
If you find that it is too loose you could always ream the hole and insert a glued dowel and then re-drill the hole. Hope it all works out.

Cheers

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View Murdock's profile

Murdock

107 posts in 1118 days


#4 posted 1064 days ago

Thanks for the help guys, I am going to pick up the shorter screws tomorrow and give it a go.

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7443 posts in 2282 days


#5 posted 1064 days ago

Bolt cutters are useful for shortening screws. In cabinet work, screws are
needed in such fine increments for so many specific applications, it is hard
to keep all sizes on hand and some very useful screws aren’t available at
normal hardware stores. Thus the art of screw-cutting. As long as you’ve
got a pilot hole, the screw doesn’t need a pointy end.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1272 days


#6 posted 1064 days ago

Can you go with a shorter, one size larger screw?

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View Murdock's profile

Murdock

107 posts in 1118 days


#7 posted 1064 days ago

Loren – good idea but no bolt cutters

Saddletramp – Also a good idea, I’ll see what they have for diameters at the local hardware.

Thanks

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7443 posts in 2282 days


#8 posted 1064 days ago

Hardened screws can usually be broken off pretty easily as well, in
a pinch. This comes up on installations and other jobsite work often
enough.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1703 days


#9 posted 1064 days ago

Sounds like you over-drove your screws. Did you lower the setting of the drill clutch? I usually set mine to 12 – 14 depending on the hardness of the wood. You want the screws to seat firmly, and then stop.

Were you using the right pocket screws? The Kreg system uses truss head screws (the screw heads look like they have a washer). I once tried to use a different type of pocket screw and had a problem similar to yours.

You can probably save your work by backing out the screws, gluing a filler like a matchstick into the threaded part of the hole, and carefully re-driving your screws.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Murdock's profile

Murdock

107 posts in 1118 days


#10 posted 1064 days ago

Sawkerf
I no doubt over-drove the screws. The clutch on my drill is stiff so I had it set to 8, but it never triggered, I stopped when it “snugged up”

I was using the Kreg brand screws, they happen to be the “weather resistant” kind since I had some left over from making window flower boxes last year.

The matchstick or larger screw size is what I am going to try, headed to the store now to get the shorter screws

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2280 posts in 1560 days


#11 posted 1064 days ago

You can also use a belt sander to shorten them.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Murdock's profile

Murdock

107 posts in 1118 days


#12 posted 1063 days ago

The shorter screws seem to be working great, top is showing no signs of being loose and the holes are hardly noticeable as the closed up on themselves as the screws were removed.

Thanks again for all your suggestions

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6176 posts in 1435 days


#13 posted 1063 days ago

Just plane them smooth with a good hand plane…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1274 days


#14 posted 1063 days ago

... or nearly smooth with a bad hand plane.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View AlbertaJim's profile

AlbertaJim

47 posts in 1063 days


#15 posted 1063 days ago

If the old holes do bother you you could always make new pocket holes from the bottom side and then cut some plugs from a contrasting wood and make the old holes a design feature.

-- My Boss was a carpenter

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