How To Drill Pilot Holes And Countersink Fixings And Screw Heads In Wood And Metal

When you want to hide a screw in woodworking, you need to either use a series of drill bits to make first the plug hole, then the clearance hole for the screw to go easily through the first piece of wood, then the pilot hole for the threads to grip in the second piece of wood. I suspect the hot cold cycle, and the continued drying out of the wood is the cause. For treated wood, use a screw that meets ASTM A153, or has an ICC Evaluation Service (ES) listing under AC257. Because of their relatively large diameter and large, coarse threads, lag screws have a tendency to cause splits when used in softwood. Drill the holes on the locations where the screws will be placed and drive each screw into them.

Furthermore, cellulose is tougher than lignin, a fact demonstrated by the relative ease with which wood can be split along the grain compared to across it. With screws installed, daub a small amount of glue around the inside of the plug hole with a toothpick, then insert a plug. The Nozzle attaches to any interior or exterior 4 or 8 ounce bottle of Titebond® wood glue and any 4, 8 or 16 ounce bottle of Elmer’s® wood glue. The trim needs very little support so the small heads are not a structural problem. So unless you’re planning to paint the wood rather than stain it, that won’t work.


A box of 200 screws will fix approximately 8-10m2 for boards approximately 180mm-200mm wide. Cut a piece of wood that matches the damaged section, then glue it in place an clamp it. I’ve seen some people just screw handrails straight on through the top and then fill the holes with wood filler. The absolute best for staying bonded to the wood is the Abatron products though.

And even then, they are usually the last option I think of. Perhaps its a bit elitist, but I do feel that pocket screws cheapen” a piece. Anyone who does wood repair should have a tube of this sitting in their shop or garage. Screws have now become so strong, effective and available, that they allow ordinary folks to build serviceable, attractive and simple furniture. Once a screw has been inserted, apply wood glue to a dowel and insert it into the screw hole (Image 1). OK, so the wood grain is the ‘wrong’ way around, but on a pallet wood project this is a practical ‘middle solution with wood filler at the bottom and using a plug cutter/drill set at the top.

Hidden fixings for decking are a neat way to enable your deck boards to be perfectly spaced, secure and free of screw or nail holes. With the drill press humming away the plug cutter slices through pine like it is butter, but the heat build up from all that speed seizes about every other plug in the cutter and snaps it out of the surrounding wood. You should also make sure that your screws are countersunk into the surface of the deck to avoid the risk of injuring bare feet. The larger manufacturers have done the required testing to establish code compliance for strength and corrosion resistance with treated wood (via Evaluation Reports).

When nails are 16-penny nails are installed in a toe-nailing fashion it is usually easy to fill the nail holes, but not so easy with screws. Use a hand-held belt sander with an 80-grit sandpaper to level off the brass screw head so it’s even with the surrounding wood. Hold the chisel at a fairly low angle and so the blade is parallel to the wood grain of the plug. I removed the wood deck that was attached to the house and it revealed some rotten wood.