waxing screws before screwing into outside wood?

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Old 10-28-07, 11:03 PM
J
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waxing screws before screwing into outside wood?

Long (looong) ago I spent a summer helping out a neighborhood fixit man.
When we would screw things (like gutters) into the wooden outsides of a
house (soffits, shingle siding, etc) he would drag the screws across a
wax block a couple of times to get wax in the threads. He said
this had two purposes. 1. to make the screw go in easier
and 2. to seal the wood and the opening, to prevent moisture from
capillary'ing in between the threads and the wood. I've
never seen or heard of anyone else doing this, so I
was wondering if anyone else had? And if so (or even if not) is this a
good idea, or was he full of it?

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-29-07, 03:54 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Using soap or wax on the threads of screws do make them go in a little easier. Still only second best to predrill and countersink with the proper bit. The wax will provide only minimal seal against water, and shouldn't give you a warm and fuzzy feeling about waterproofness. I like using soap on the threads when driving screws into hardwoods in the shop, but never use it for keeping water out.
 
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Old 10-29-07, 10:40 PM
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Thanks, kinda what I thought, although at first blush it does sort of make sense.

So what would one do for that warm and fuzzy feeling about waterproofness?
 
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Old 10-30-07, 03:19 AM
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Caulk and/or paint should seal it up good - don't know about the warm fuzzy feeling
 
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Old 10-30-07, 03:51 AM
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I agree with Marksr. If it is on an exterior application, especially in brick, mortar, stucco, or other infiltratable surfaces, I put a dot of paintable silicone on top of the predrilled hole prior to inserting the screw, then wipe off the excess after it hits home. Final caulk and paint will help keep the water out.
 
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Old 10-30-07, 10:21 AM
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OK, can do that. Will the silicone be drawn into the screwhole as the screw is drilled in? Or does it just seal between the screwhead and the wood surface?

My immediate use is going to be an outside electrical box onto one corner of the hous, and an antenna mast clamp into the back eave. And then gutters next summer. But I was curious in general, as well.
 
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Old 10-30-07, 11:22 AM
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Put the paintable silicone directly on the screw threads. Then it will be drawn into the screwhole.
 
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Old 10-31-07, 07:26 AM
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Soap, unfortunately, will tend to attract moisture facilitating the rusting of screws. Consider using wax instead.
 
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