What type screw should I be using?

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Forum topic by Steve Kreins posted 01-12-2014 09:28 AM 1918 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1595 days

01-12-2014 09:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: screw types question screws binding drill-driver joining

I was putting up some braces for a shelf in my workshop. I needed it strong so I used 2×4s screwed into a stud and added a 2×4 brace w/ 45 cut on both ends as my support attached to the wall stud and attached under the horizontal piece. This is where my scrap will be kept to save floor space and it will have a significant load.

Here is the problem, I had some 3” decking screws where the thread only runs just a bit over half way on the shaft of the screw.

I could only get most to go in about 2 ” and
they would bind up. I tried drilling pilot holes and I tore up a dozen Philips bits. I got frustrated since this should have been about a twenty minute project!

Should I have used the type where the threads run the full length of the screw?*

Any ideas? I wish I had one of you guys located close so I could have someone to teach me, but this is the next best thing. Thanks for your help.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

14 replies so far

View wbrisett's profile


203 posts in 2313 days

#1 posted 01-12-2014 09:48 AM

I have some of these I use in projects like this and they go in like butter:

ProMax® NoCoRode “Plus” Dekkers™ Optimized Thread Length and Corrosion-Resistance!

I need to see what I have in my shop, but I could have sworn they use to have a #8 that was 3 or 3 ½ inches long.

View RRBOU's profile


176 posts in 2256 days

#2 posted 01-12-2014 09:50 AM

Lube the screw and it will install a LOT easier. That is a lot of screw to insert into a stud if it is not lubed. Hit the threads with wax or as I have seen done many times just grabe a bar of soap and scrub the threads prior to inserting.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2944 days

#3 posted 01-12-2014 12:07 PM

Now is the time to switch to square drive screws. You will never look back. If I have to use phillips, I drill shank holes.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View shopdog's profile


577 posts in 3450 days

#4 posted 01-12-2014 12:37 PM

Those screws should do the job. Try drilling a hole through the diagonal brace, so that the screw will pass through easily. It would help if you had an impact driver.
Or, get some square drive screws. Less chance of stripping.

-- Steve--

View Picklehead's profile


1041 posts in 1893 days

#5 posted 01-12-2014 12:55 PM

Square drive is absolutely the way to go. I use Kregg pocket hole screw for anything I can because they’re square drive and have self-cutting threads. Full-shank threads would only make it worse, and would also tend to jack the first piece away from the second piece as the screw enters the second piece. Pre-drill your first piece, lube the screw, use square drive screws with self-cutting threads.That said, it isn’t so much the screw, it’s the fact that you’re not using an impact driver. If you can possibly talk yourself into buying a new tool, that would do the trick instantly. Many good choices these days, not too expensive, especially if you already have a cordless of some type and could buy a bare tool impact driver. I use mine a whole lot more than I ever expected, not just for installing screws but also for removing them, it doesn’t trash the head of the screw, and the impact will frequently remove a screw that a regular driver would just ruin, leaving me with a new problem.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View waho6o9's profile


8163 posts in 2541 days

#6 posted 01-12-2014 12:56 PM

Spax, or GRK’s found in the big box stores work well for me.

Here’s the thread problem solved from Spax:

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2528 days

#7 posted 01-12-2014 02:44 PM

I assume your using a cordless drill/driver to drive this? If you have an impact driver use that, if not try a corded drill. Either will have more oomph for driving a big screw. Also switching to Torx or square/robertson screws like some of the other posters suggested. The other option would be to drill a big hole and use lag bolts.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View ohtimberwolf's profile


778 posts in 2316 days

#8 posted 01-12-2014 02:46 PM

I keep a small margarine container with a chunk of toilet wax ring in it. Works wonders and cheap.

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3006 days

#9 posted 01-12-2014 03:06 PM

Are you having trouble attaching to the wall studs or attaching the braces.
I use 1/4” lag screws to go into studs then you can use a ratchet when it bogs down and they are hell of a lot stronger.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4902 posts in 3924 days

#10 posted 01-12-2014 03:28 PM

ohtimberwolf beat me to the wax ring tip. I keep one in my shop fridge just for that reason.
They wont corrode a screw as some soaps can.


View dawsonbob's profile


2818 posts in 1719 days

#11 posted 01-12-2014 06:47 PM

+1 on using an impact driver. Mine (Bosch) will drive a screw like that to any depth, as long as there is wood for the threads to grab.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1595 days

#12 posted 01-12-2014 09:03 PM

Thanks for all the great input and suggestions. I’m sure I will incorporate all over time, but I found my solution at Lowes. I picked up a box of grip rite high performance composite deck screws. Came home and tried a few. Like a hot knife through butter! Square drive, awesome. I didn’t even have to apply much pressure at all.

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2649 days

#13 posted 01-12-2014 09:20 PM

I choose “star-drive” for everything because I had some bad luck removing square drives on a deck repair. I think the bits last a lot longer and the price is the same. They make them both in “construction” grade and unlike drywall screws, I’ve never snapped one yet.

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 1991 days

#14 posted 01-13-2014 01:35 PM

+1 on the kreg pocket hole screws. This is one of the things that amazingly, Amazon of all places is a great source for. You can get large boxes of them there with free shipping much cheaper than the big box or other suppliers. I have been screwing a lot of 2×4s together with them in a closet i’m building because for me it is easier than driving a nail.

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