So we have talked about Fasteners (nails, nuts, bolts, screws, washers, etc.), in general and last time about metal fasteners. This time I want to talk about wood fasteners.
There are many different types of nails and screws for use in wood, in the market place and it can be very confusing knowing what to use. Though I said I was not going to talk about nails, they are a major fastener when talking about fasteners for wood so they are getting mentioned. The other thing is that the rules for screws also pertain to nails.
Wood screws are those with the winding corkscrew threads. The threads on wood screws begin at the very tip. That way, the fasteners will “bore” into the wood and hold the objects together better. Any fasteners that you see with the winding corkscrew threads are meant to be used with wood.
Screws are made for many different applications. They can be coated and rated for outdoor use and many other special applications or just plated steel. They are a much better solution than nails in many applications, as they will not pull out or work their way loose. The great thing about using screws instead of nails is that you can remove and re-use the screws and the material they were screwed into. When you try this with a nail there’s always the possibility that the nail will bend or tear the material as it is being removed.
As you know screws come in many different sizes, so you need to be sure to purchase and use the correct size for the job you’re undertaking. A good rule to remember is the thicker the material the larger the nail or screw. The basic rule of thumb (though not always possible to follow) is that two-thirds of the fasteners length should penetrate the second piece of material. Another thing to remember is if you’re nailing or screwing into hardwoods or close to the end of the material then make sure to pre-drill the nail and screw holes first.
Other types of fasteners for wood:
Self-clinching fasteners provide strong, quality threads in particle board or P.C. boards. Broadly defined, a self-clinching fastener is any device, usually threaded, that, when pressed into the host material clinches itself into the mounting hole. The way it is designed prevents the fastener from rotating in the host material once it has been properly inserted. Thus, self-clinching fasteners become a permanent part of the panel. They are used a lot for cabinets sold in a box for assembly by the home owner.
Nuts and Bolts are also used in wood construction when connecting structural members. Bolted connections are used when it is necessary to fasten two elements tightly together, especially to resist shear and bending, as in column and beam connections.
A big clue as to the use and function of fasteners can be found in their threads. Still, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different fasteners out there on the market to choose from. By knowing the differences between the threads, however, you should be able to choose a fastener for your job at hand that will work fine for you needs.