Types of screws

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Old 02-09-07, 09:32 AM
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Types of screws

How do you know which screw to choose when you need one???!!!

Obviously, you need to know what material you are working on, but how do you know what size, length and type to use? Are there some basic stuff to learn about screws?

Currently and specifically I am just working in my closet. I need to know what size, length and type of screw to use to attach the closet rod brackets to the wall. I will be screwing into the studs (mostly likely wood). The rods are 6' long. Rods, brackets and flange are all chrome.

BTW: They did not come with any screws AND I took the old brackets out of the closet already along with the screws so I have nothing to go off of. I don't think it was done correctly anyway as it was falling apart.

I would love to know the basics and/or the answer on which screws I need for my "project".
 
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Old 02-09-07, 10:04 AM
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Is the closet rod bracket attached directly to the wall or is there a cleat?

Often the studs aren't in the right place for the brackets to attach to them. Usually there is a cleat [nailed to studs] and the hardware is screwed to it.

You'll want to use wood screws, the length will be determined by what you are attaching it to.
 
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Old 02-09-07, 10:26 AM
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Thanks! I will be installing cleats.

The reason I ask is b/c when you walk into a hardware/big box store, there's a whole isle full of screws and one full section of "wood" screws (and the others) that have over a million different types of screws that makes me nuts! Does the thickness of the screw matter? Except it being obvious not to use a skinny one? AND should it be a flat head...or that doesn't matter?
 
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Old 02-09-07, 10:32 AM
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The head type is determined by how the screw is used. Wood screws typically have a head that recesses into the wood leaving the screw head flat/level with the surface. Others will have a stove bolt head that sticks above whatever you are fastening.

Screws have different diameters depending on their use. Generally a thicker screw is stronger. Sometimes you need to predrill the hole to keep a larger screw from splitting the wood.
 
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Old 02-09-07, 10:44 AM
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Any reason why some are phillips and some are sloted? Basically, is this something I shouldn't worry about and just find the screw, length and thickness wise...?

Sorry...didn't think there could be so many questions about something so small!
 
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Old 02-09-07, 10:54 AM
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Every screw has it's own unique purpose although many can be used for different things.
Personally I detest a slotted screw/bolt. Phillips, hex, torx, etc. work better with my screw gun
 
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Old 02-09-07, 11:09 AM
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Hey! What's a "screw gun"???!!! I HAVE TO buy a a screw gun too? Oh darn... j/k. Yeah...I don't prefer the slotted ones. Why oh why do they make those???!!!!

Oh please don't start with hex, torx....or any other kind! I'm having a hard time as it is!

Thanks for walking me through this
 
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Old 02-09-07, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DIYaddict View Post
I don't prefer the slotted ones. Why oh why do they make those???!!

It goes back to the old days when everything was done by hand and few had many tools. A straight screwdriver will out last a phillips. In a pinch you could use a putty knife, chisel or anything that was straight and small enough to fit, even a coin. From the same era's were square nuts. A lot of the parts on early cars were fastened with slot screw head bolts with square nuts. That was before socket sets.






History lesson over class dismissed
 
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Old 02-24-07, 06:25 AM
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Wink

There is a company named McFeely's that sells hardware via catalog. They are the square drive authority. (Or so the catalog says) They have a technical section in the catalog that explains very well about screw sizing,drilling and such. You can find them on the internet and get a free catalog. They also sell tools so it is not just screws and hardware.
 
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Old 02-24-07, 09:10 AM
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I'll offer my take on what is not really a simple subject for a novice.

You first need to know how strong the screw needs to be which is the guage or thickness of the screw.
The most common guages are #6, #8, #12.
For your use a #8 screw should be adequate.

You then need to know what material you would be screwing into.
There are normally sheet metal or wood screws to choose from.

Next is the head shape with round head and flat head being most common.
If you want the head of the screw to stick out then a round head will work, if you want the head to be flush with the surface then choose flat head.
For a metal bracket you would likely want round head.

Length will be next and is sometimes a tricky one. You will need to know how thick the material is you will fastening and add to this the thickness you think the drywall is if that's what your walls are. If there is solid wood behind the drywall then you would add the thickness you would want the screw to penetrate the wood where 1 inch should be adequate for what you are doing.
Often a 2" screw will do it.

Next is the shape of the drive.
Slotted is pretty much universally hated because of how the slot allows the screwdriver to slip out.

What I am about to say next will not make some happy but here goes:
The best shape screwdriver is the socket or Robertson.
The history of the Robertson is that it was invented in Canada and was the first screw to be used in a production line on the Model T car.
The phillips screw then came a short while later because although the square socket drive was the best shape for hand installation did not work well for high speed production.
The phillips screw was then developed for it's "ABILITY TO SLIP WHEN HIGH FORCE WAS APPLIED" by automatic screw guns.

What made the phillips most popular in the US was the fact that the PL Roberstson company held the patent and they priced the royalty fees too high, considering the phillips screw had no patent.
So, in Canada the Robertson screw is almost exclusively used, except for drywall screws. These are normally installed with screw guns where the design of the phillips allow the bit to slip out easily when powered in.
Oh ya, and when we work on things that are imported from our southern cousins.

So for you a 2", #8, round head, wood, socket/robertson screw, installed with a #2 tipped robertson/socket screwdriver would more that adequately hold up your pants and shirts.
You might want to carefully mark the location of where the screws will penetrate and drill a 1/8" pilot hole which will make installing the screws easier and prevent wood splitting.

There is more to fasteners but I have to go to work now and "screw" around.
 
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