Bolts and screws and nails oh my!

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Forum topic by JustaLilJoinery posted 08-24-2013 03:25 AM 1159 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JustaLilJoinery's profile


31 posts in 1752 days

08-24-2013 03:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jigs hardware fasteners materials store purchasing tips

I’m just finishing off my last online order of t track etc and before I clicked BUY, I thought about fasteners.

I don’t have a lot on hand and I want to be able to just start building since I have some uninterrupted time coming up and would like to get into the ‘Zone’ and not have to stop and run to the store for anything. Once I actually looked I was shocked at how many finishing nails and drywall screws that I have and almost nothing else! (well nothing where I could even find more than 3 or 4 matches – which to me seems useless in terms of building some multi-functional jigs)

I was wondering, when you are making mostly jigs for your projects (because this is what I will focus on before my projects) what are the 5 top, best or most frequently used fasteners that you use?

My jigs will be a lot of 1/2 and 3/4” birch ply some particle board (1/4 and 1/8) as well as 3/4 hardwoods which is mostly scrap given to me by a friend who works in a molding manufacturing joint. I also have some melamine leftover from my kitchen reno that I’d like to use up where that nice finished surface will be handy. Off the top of my head, it’s 3/4” – I’m just thinking that knowing what general materials I will use for the jigs would narrow down the fastener types.

Looking for any suggestions that aren’t simple nails and screws if you have any tips. My tips for what they are worth are to collect some bearings when you come across them cheaply as well as high quality skateboard wheels from boards that are either damaged or sold at second hand shops and magnets from anywhere – things you take apart to salvage, computers (my first building profession) as well as ladies who try to clear out their craft supplies on CL.

Anyways, any short list of some minimums to have on hand are appreciated.

-- Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped. -Hubbard

4 replies so far

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3227 days

#1 posted 08-24-2013 05:15 AM

If applicable to the jig being built, I use pocket screws. They really bite into the wood. Drywall screws work well also…especially the coarse threaded ones.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3239 days

#2 posted 08-24-2013 06:47 PM

I use a lot of drywall screws despite what the woodworking community says about them. They claim drywall screws are brittle and will snap when driven. This is true. They were designed to attach drywall to wood or metal studs, not wood to wood. You can use them if you follow some tips. 1. Use a clearance hole the diameter of the screw. 2. When driving under power, keep steady pressure on the screw tip and maintain speed; don’t drive in bursts. That’s when you will snap off the head. 3. Use a lubricant on the threads; wax or soap works fine. 4. Use coarse threads for soft woods, particle board, plywood and fine thread for hard woods. Note: drywall screws are designed to snap at the head, so that’s where you have to take care. Once the head is flush with the wood surface, stop driving. In hardwood, the hole should be countersunk.

View waho6o9's profile


8189 posts in 2573 days

#3 posted 08-24-2013 07:01 PM

Adjustable hold downs sliding on T-tracks come to mind.

Bessey have some that adjust automatically to different thicknesses
of material. I have several and they’re money well spent.

View JustaLilJoinery's profile


31 posts in 1752 days

#4 posted 08-24-2013 09:10 PM

waho6o9 – those are some pretty hold downs. I think the ones I have (and ordered) are a little more utilitarian but I will keep in mind if I get more.

Thanks for the input – I ordered a few of each knob that I liked too and will cast multiples on my own…I love the adjustments available using knobs.

Drywall screws are normally the only fastener that I have onhand all the time. Must be from the renos. Did my own kitchen and moved a closet…but I know I do need some more proper fasteners for the new level of materials that I’m going to be using.

Any suggestions on the types of metal fasteners…I know that a lot of small scale stuff uses brass but brass accessories in scale are so..well 70’s…

-- Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped. -Hubbard

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