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Which nails or screws to use?

July 1, 2012 |
3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2012-06-29

I'm new to furniture making. I was just wondering how to tell which sort of screws or nails I should use depending on the wood.

My project so far will involve pine. Mostly 2x6 and 1x3s.

I don't know when i should use nails and when should i use screws?

And which type of nails or screw i should be using depending on the wood?

I also keep reading about pre-drilling a hole for screws... how do I know which drill bit to use for the screws??

Thank you for all the help!!!!

east fork spring's picture
Joined: 2011-08-31
You probably have it figured out, but...

If you're new, screws might be easier to start with. You'll have more control, and if you make a mistake, it should be easier to remedy. Wood screws often are more appropriate for simple joints for strength should they be expected to bear any stress. For visible surfaces, I'm a finish nail fan.

Nails or screw, pick a fastener of a length about three times the thickness of the material you’re nailing or screwing through or one that’s long enough to go through the first piece and at least half to two-thirds of the way into the piece you’re attaching it to. Always nail/screw through the thinner piece into the thicker one.

I also recommend putting a finish nailer and pancake compressor on your wish list. Watch the ads... you can find some pretty good bundled deals. If you're going to be doing much building, a nailer is invaluable and will save you tons of time (and putty).

As far as pilot holes go, if you go to http://engineershandbook.com/tables/woodscrewpilotholes.htm, you'll find a handy reference table for various sizes and materials. Good luck and have fun.

claydowling's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-01-26
Good Starter Guide

I was just watching part of this today: Tool Basics for Getting Started in Woodworking. Megan Fitzpatrick shows you how to use basic tools correctly, including pocket hole screws and nails. She started off not that long ago being completely ignorant about woodworking, as she shows you how to get started and how to choose the right tools.

iseeq686's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-21
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