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marriomi 06-25-2012 05:23 PM

Input for a Screw Guide Card
Hi all, been a long time lurker, just now starting to DIY more that I moved into my house.

One issue that I had encountered a few times which I hadn't figured out a good solution was 2 things. 1) knowing what size pilot hole to drill, and 2 how to read a screw size in the store and buy the proper size.

In my bordom, I created a screw sizing card about the size of a credit card, that has on it a gauge guide and drill guide to help me in store size a screw. The idea was that you would take the shank of the screw, and align it to the proper guide and you could use the chart to determine what screw you had, what size pilot hole, and if you wanted what bit for a counter sink.

Being that my day job is interaction design, I figured showing the card to more seasoned DIYers would be helpful. The back of the card I am not showing, but currently it just has a fraction to decimal, to mm conversion chart. For those quick conversions.

It is not quite finished, but I would like to at some point have them printed on plastic and have the holes at the top cut out.

I would love to hear what others think of it and more importanly would it be useful for those who have issues with screws, like I do :)


jschaben 06-25-2012 05:34 PM

That's one of those things that when first starting out, you think is so indispensable you wonder why they aren't sold everywhere. By the time you are through your first or second project, you wonder why you got it.
Pilot holes, for example, may vary a bit depending on what type of materials you are using. The only rule there is that is needs to be smaller than the threads but equal to or larger than the root of the screw. I keep a plastic drill index with my bits and use it to test the screw to the first set of threads. Then I may go a size larger or smaller depending on the material,, or,, I may just use that size. :)

joecaption 06-25-2012 06:48 PM

There's hundreds of those charts on line you can print out for free.
Or simply hold the screw up in front of a drill bit and see if it comes out the same size as the minor diameter.
I like to use my set of tapered drill bits for wood screws, that way there's full contact.
One you will need at some point is the one for what size drill to use for threading a taped hole for a bolt. There's lots of those on line to.

Millertyme 06-25-2012 07:45 PM

I have a drawer with about a hundred bits. If I'm looking for a pilot hole I just match a bit with the root diameter of the screw. It's done by eye, and I don't even know what size bit I'm using. It doesn't matter. If I put a screw in and it's feels like its snugging up to quick, then you need a bigger hole.

RandyG. 06-27-2012 03:16 PM

I buy a lot of fasteners myself and I think that's a great idea! I'd like to know what is considered proper 'thread size' to be used for which applications. Coarse vs. Thread. I'm a green newbie, and wondering - how do you figure how much torque to use to drive fasteners is there a guide out there or is it just trial and error?

mae-ling 06-28-2012 11:05 AM

Never thought of that. So maybe a good idea for some.
Although as others have said there are charts online. Do a google search.

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