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Old 12-21-2011, 07:35 AM   #1
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best exterior screws?


Need to rebuild my wood fence gate. The screws were all corroded - I used the gray color construction screws rated "exterior use" but I guess under the florida heat and rain they didn't hold up. So I tried the stainless steel decking screws thinking that will be better,that is a square drive one from Home Depot and my drill just chewed up the square socket as it drives them deep into the pressure treated lumber. I would like to be able to back them out as I need to align the gate. If I reduce the torque on the drill then it won't go into the PT lumber. Too much hassle to predrill everything.

Any thoughts? Any tougher stainless steel screws?

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Old 12-21-2011, 08:01 AM   #2
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You shouldn't be stripping the screws out unless you're not holding the screw gun tight enough to the screw.

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Old 12-21-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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best exterior screws?


or at an angle or something wrong with the bit (wrong bit or damaged), but I'm also guessing human error.

I general though stainless isn't as rigid as regular steel by a little bit. I have no idea what grade of stainless you are using, but I can guarantee you there are stronger grades. The other thing to watch out for is stainless isn't always good around salt water. Ever wonder why there are no Naval ships made out of stainless?
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by forresth View Post
or at an angle or something wrong with the bit (wrong bit or damaged), but I'm also guessing human error.

I general though stainless isn't as rigid as regular steel by a little bit. I have no idea what grade of stainless you are using, but I can guarantee you there are stronger grades. The other thing to watch out for is stainless isn't always good around salt water. Ever wonder why there are no Naval ships made out of stainless?
They all sank because they used the wrong screws?
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:00 AM   #5
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best exterior screws?


Square head screws require the right bit. You can't use a standard Phillips screw bit.

But my vote would be stainless.....unless your right on the coast, salt should not be a problem.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:19 PM   #6
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best exterior screws?


stainless steel is your best bet for exterior use next would be epoxy coated ones ... they come in green or brown, if your screws are stripping out one of two things are occuring.. you have a bad robertson bit which isnt a exact match to the screw or your not perfectly aligned to the screw with your bit.

another thing to consider is your not drilling pilot holes, stainless steel is softer than standard screws and are more prone to snapping off

stainless steel is the only affordable type of metal which should be used around salt water, i live directly on the coast and its the only thing that holds up when near salt water. now if your building a boat thats going to be in salt water the best fastener would be silicone bronze scres
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:22 PM   #7
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Most newer cordless drills are equipped with a clutch, which can eliminate this problem. Set the clutch by twisting the ring near the chuck to the smallest number. Try driving a screw. If the clutch releases (you'll hear a ratcheting noise) before the screw is fully driven, move the setting to a higher number. Choose a setting that drives the screw not flush but slightly recessed before the clutch releases. Also using square or star-drive screws and bits reduces the tendency for the bit to slip off the screw head. Also I would pre-drill or use a countersinking drill bit.
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:19 AM   #8
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best exterior screws?


Galvanized Self-Tapping Wood Screws are what I would use.

Why you may ask?

Answer is simple. Don't have to pre-drill crap, and the galvanization will present high resistance to rusting. And your fence will be destroyed long before those screws go bad.

I'd use 8d for the verticles, and 16d's for your horizontal supports into the beams or "fence posts".

PS to keep your fence from rotting prematurely, I'd recommend that you use a stain on your fence, or prime and paint it when its finished. That, or use already pressure treated wood.

Also, your bit slips because it's the wrong size. It should be completely snug, correct shape. and you should be tight, 90 degrees into it, and be applying pressure with your body weight.

Also, I wouldn't use stainless, because if you stain your fence, the stain will corrode the steal. No joke, stains have a high sodium content, and have acidic content. It's how stain keeps mold/rot out of your wood. Don't use stainless, they wont last long. You may as well use iron screws if you plan to paint or stain the fence when its done. And if the wood is already pressure treated, the chemical used for it, will destroy the steal. That is why you want galvanized self-tapping, because the aluminum coating for the galvanize will save it from being destroyed.

HOWEVER, if I could choose, I would go 8D and 16D Galvenized Nails. Why nails? They aren't as brittle as screws are. Screws will literally break overtime/when given too much stress. They have no "give" compared to a nail, which is flexible, less rigid, and can easily be put back in via a hammer.

If I were you, I'd go with Galvanized Nails.

EDIT:

Also, believe it or not, but a Galvanized Nail will have better grip inside the wood. They are harder to pull out, then they are putting in. And they are harder to put in than the vinyl coated sinkers are. Because the coating digs into the wood like an anchor. It's why a house will have hundreds of pounds of galvanized nails during initial construction. (I know, I've built one from the foundation up)

You can also get a Pneumatic Nail Gun, and strips of Galvinized Nails, and put the galvi's in via pneumatic Nailgun. You can build a 100X100X100x100ft fence in less than two or three hours once the posts are in using that. and the job will last for a decade if not two decades easily.

Last edited by BigGuy01; 12-22-2011 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:07 AM   #9
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best exterior screws?


Galvinized screws are no longer exceptable to be used in pressure treated wood. They need to be ACQ approved.
Stainless is not a hard materail and I've often had the same problum with the heads stripping. I switched to Ceramic coated deck screws and it no longer happens.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Galvinized screws are no longer exceptable to be used in pressure treated wood. They need to be ACQ approved.
Stainless is not a hard materail and I've often had the same problum with the heads stripping. I switched to Ceramic coated deck screws and it no longer happens.
Those would be ceramic coated self-tapping wood screws. (That's how they would be labeled at the store to locate etc)

That's odd, when were galvinized self-tapping wood screws deemed not ACQ approved?

In residential, and commercial development, those are the primary screws used to anchor things into a house, or to secure boards and assemblies which by code, require both galvinized nails, and galvinized wood screws. (Such as the base board for a deck, you're required to use 32D self tapping galvinized wood screws to put it into position, with galvinized nails 2'' on either side 16D)

And per building code, Galvinized is the favored with screws and nails for construction projects.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:54 AM   #11
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Pressure treated is now treated with copper, copper and steel do not get along.
Just look at the tags on any piece of pressure treated wood.
I have not used galvinized screws for years.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:51 PM   #12
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best exterior screws?


Take a look at
http://woodfencefittings.com/store/w...te-hinges.html

I've used those hinges and brackets before, pretty nice, the actual brackets will hold under the force of your drilling and prevent the screw from getting embedded in the wood from your post and rail.

Those use the self-tapping screws like "BigGuy01" previously posted. From my experience they too work the best. If you really are having trouble, I have, in the past, drilled the holes, filled them with "Gorilla Glue" and then popped a screw in the rail and slapped it in the post with a clamp and I have yet to have to replace one of those...

Good luck on your Project!!

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