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27 votes
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Why do I go through so many philips bits?

This is an extremely common phenomenon and there's nothing you can do to prevent it entirely. You seem to be well aware of the standard bit of advice going back to the days of slotted screws, that ...
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25 votes
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What are the advantages of countersinking screws?

Counter-sinking prevents murder. (that is, wood grain murder) Driving a screw into a hole that isn't counter-sunk will have a very small point of contact, which exerts brutal sheer forces and tears ...
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20 votes
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How can you make a regular screw into a self tapping screw?

Any screw can be modified to make it self-tapping and the process is surprisingly easy. All that's required is to create one or more cutting edges and the clearance needed for the swarf, and the ...
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18 votes

Joining wood at an angle

If you'd like to go the glue-only route, a lock miter might be just the thing. They are available as router bits and make a profile similar to this photo: I could not say for certain whether the ...
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16 votes
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Are there specific types of screws I should use for woodworking?

Just to get it out of the way, this is the conventional/traditional wood screw: In the past it would always have been flat-head (now also called slot-head), and as a result when making a piece in a ...
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15 votes
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Embedded nut for using machine screws?

Face mounting A standard hex nut (or a square one if available) can be inlet into the surface of a board to accept a machine screw or bolt coming in from the other side. Normally when face-mounted a ...
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13 votes
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What alternatives are there for pocket screws?

Not a direct answer to your question but thought I'd add that if you can find a screw of suitable overall form but it's unfortunately not self-tapping you can modify them so that they are. Any screw ...
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12 votes
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Tiny core bits for broken screws

Yes, there are hollow screw extractors like you describe, such as these two examples: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/set3hollowscrewextractors.aspx http://www.amazon.com/WoodRiver-Screw-Extractor-...
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12 votes
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How to make proper pilot holes

For most hard woods using a pilot hole the size of the shaft of the screw should be good enough to prevent splitting, since it is the shaft that would be 'pushing' out on the wood. There are some ...
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12 votes

What are the advantages of countersinking screws?

You can buy countersink bits for your drill or hand-driven countersinks. Countersinking helps you set all the screws to a consistent depth without any danger of splitting or denting the wood. The ...
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12 votes
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Advice for setting screws in dense wood

Your milage will vary. I think it will depend on a lot of factors beyond the wood - type of screw used, screw head, method of driving them, temperature, etc. Some ways to make it easier to drive and ...
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  • 4,796
12 votes

Joining wood at an angle

Using a plow plane, you can quickly and easily make a groove and tongue joint like this: If you want more stability, you can make that a dovetail, either starting from the groove and tongue or using ...
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11 votes
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Making fake/pseudo plugs or caps

It's called a plug cutter. (source: rockler.com) image shamelessly stolen borrowed from Rockler Cut your plugs from a scrap piece of whatever you're making your project out of. Also, a screwdriver ...
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11 votes
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Rusting nails on purpose

Metal patinas are a whole art unto themselves. I have used ammonia for brass, made stains with vinegar and so on. Sculptors spend a lot of time on this topic. Assuming your nails contain iron, then ...
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11 votes
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Is this a self-drilling wood screw?

Those are screws that are made to drill their own hole. The cutout bit at the tip is specifically made to bite into the wood more effectively. One tip with screws like this: a lot depends on the ...
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  • 835
11 votes

Why do I go through so many philips bits?

Unfortunately, the angled tip on Philips bits causes them to climb and slip, and round over their edges and/or strip the head of the screw. Often if you buy a pack of screwdriver bits for your drill, ...
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11 votes
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Best way to hide counter sunk screws

Consider to remove the screws and perform a counterbore or use a forstner bit to the depth of the screw head. Select the diameter to match your selected wood plug diameter. Return the screw, glue in ...
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10 votes
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What is the name of the hardware used in these MDF joints?

What you have there The names of those are Cam Fittings, Furniture connectors or Flat pack connectors or variations of those phrases. These are a favorite amongst economical furniture suppliers (IKEA ...
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9 votes
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Joining wood at an angle

A biscuit joint would allow you to join these pieces without any screws while providing more strength than a joint where only the faces are glued together. Typically you require a special tool, a ...
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  • 4,796
9 votes

Why do I go through so many philips bits?

Another thing that might help: although the brand of goldscrews that I use are described as being waxed/lubricated, for demanding jobs, or to max out cordless runtime, I use a smear of petroleum jelly ...
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8 votes

How do I identify the appropriate size fastener for my application?

One major issue you should take into account is the weight being supported by the fastner. Most manufacturers will publish weight/load tables for their fastners, such as Quik Drive's table. That ...
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8 votes
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What size pilot hole should I drill for for a specific size of screw?

Less than thread diameter (8mm), minimum inner shaft diameter. The larger you go the easier it'll be to screw in but the less the threads will bite. Go as small as you can muster without splitting the ...
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  • 5,521
8 votes

Why do I go through so many philips bits?

Hammer drills are designed for working with masonry. Since you're driving the screws into lumber, you really don't need the hammer action for this job. Switch to a standard drill (or, if your hammer ...
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8 votes
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What are aluminum wood screws that break easily used for?

Pretty much anyplace you'd use sheet aluminum outside. Think roofing and home exterior finish work... they are used to attach the aluminum trim used to surround the roof, or on a home with aluminum ...
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8 votes
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Do you need to countersink self-countsink screws

So my question is, do I need to countersink these screws? Since these are going to be used on the floorboards and overlaid with another layer of subfloor sheet, so long as you screw these in enough ...
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8 votes

Can you identify the screws used in my folding chairs

It's called either a 'Sex Bolt' or a 'Binding Post Bolt'. Here's a page with some - https://www.grainger.com/category/ecatalog/N-1z0dryp
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  • 511
7 votes

Rusting nails on purpose

You could soak it in vinegar. I know that steel wool dissolves in vinegar and completely rusted.
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  • 4,146
7 votes

Tiny core bits for broken screws

Sounds to me like you are describing a use for screw extractors (source: asklaptopfreak.com) Your drill needs to have the torque in order to get them in what's left of the head or shaft. They are ...
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  • 20.1k
7 votes

Mullion Brass Grommets?

The washers you're looking for are "countersunk washers" or sometimes "brass screw cups". Here's an image from Lee Valley: and another from High Torque: Unfortunately, the countersunk versions that ...
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7 votes
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What joining methods would be best for the legs and other areas of a height adjustable desk?

In the linked design (above) for the desk they use butt joints and they use screws to construct the legs. But I was wondering if it would be better if I used wood glue. For some joints screws can be ...
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