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Old 05-03-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
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Construction screws - interior framing


I have been doing some framing recently and I basically use two types of screws.

For repairing trusses and gusset plates I have been using 10d nails and adhesives.

For wood to wood wall framing I typically use PrimeGuard 3-1/2" screws. Those are rated for exterior use but I can't find anything else. However, when putting in the middle plates sometimes I cheat and use drywall screws. Those are all with phillips head.

Recently I bought an impact driver so I tried Sparx screws which can take both phillips and square drives and I found the impact often chew up the screw head of the Sparx screws. Especially when I am driving at an angle and it tends to slip off.

I saw some screws that has this "Star" drive bit.

Then I saw others with a "Spider" drive bit.

I am a bit confused. I don't want to buy one of everything to try. Especially if I stick with one I need to buy a bunch of driver bits long and short.

So question is what's the best for interior framing using an impact drive?

Philips head? Square? Star? Spider? Other?

To me best is competitively priced, rust resistant (in case driven into pressure treatment bottom plates that may contain moisture), easy driving and minimum slip off.

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Old 05-03-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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I'm no framer but my vote goes to Robertson (square) head screws. I use them all the time when I install backing for fixtures, etc...

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Old 05-03-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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Construction screws - interior framing


I'm not even sure why your using screws instead of nails when it come to just framing framing. Screws can snap off under a side load, nails do not.
ACQ approved nails work just fine in pressure treated wood.
And nails are by far are less expencive.

Drywall screws should never had been used, there to brittle and would snap off if anything moved.

When I do use screws I've been using nothing but torqe head decking screws.
Nothing wrong with sq. heads, it's just most decking screws come in torqe.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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The square heads are less likely to 'slip' when you screwing them in....

But I have to agree with Joe....nails would have been better.

I only use screws when I need to hold something together and there is a chance of pulling loads. In a majority of traditional framing, the nails are there to keep things aligned...the weight of everything above helps to push it all together.

I'm still learning but as I make progress on my 2-story addition, I'm understanding more and more why some things are done the way they are.

In other words, no need trying to re-invent the wheel....that has been done many times over....

Glue? Except for floor sheathing, I can't see any reason to use glue....
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamicuse
I have been doing some framing recently and I basically use two types of screws.

For repairing trusses and gusset plates I have been using 10d nails and adhesives.

For wood to wood wall framing I typically use PrimeGuard 3-1/2" screws. Those are rated for exterior use but I can't find anything else. However, when putting in the middle plates sometimes I cheat and use drywall screws. Those are all with phillips head.

Recently I bought an impact driver so I tried Sparx screws which can take both phillips and square drives and I found the impact often chew up the screw head of the Sparx screws. Especially when I am driving at an angle and it tends to slip off.

I saw some screws that has this "Star" drive bit.

Then I saw others with a "Spider" drive bit.

I am a bit confused. I don't want to buy one of everything to try. Especially if I stick with one I need to buy a bunch of driver bits long and short.

So question is what's the best for interior framing using an impact drive?

Philips head? Square? Star? Spider? Other?

To me best is competitively priced, rust resistant (in case driven into pressure treatment bottom plates that may contain moisture), easy driving and minimum slip off.
Why are you.not using nails? No reason at all to use screws for framing.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Construction screws - interior framing


I use screws when building partition walls and not exactly sure if that's the final location of the wall. Certainly not drywall screws though. When it's done, I'll shoot a few nails into it.
For load bearing and shear walls, I always use Fastenmaster screws (headlocks or timberlocks) when I need to hold something together, otherwise nails.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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as above never drywall screws. they can only really resist tension (pulling them out) and not shear at all. (screw one into a stud and try 2 things, try to pry it out using the claw of a hammer, and on another one, just hit it straight down (towards the floor) with the hammer). it will take very little force to snap it off, versus breaking the shank by pulling.

anyway....i use the star drive exterior screws when needed, star drive allows you to put enough torque to either break the shank or drive it straight through the wood, whichever comes first.

generally I try to only use them when framing strange things, like knee walls with top plates, the screw lets me set the angled end just right, so i can fire 2 or 3 toe nails at top an bottom after that.

wood structures are going to move a fair amount...shrinkage, expansion, settling, wind...etc....and nails are preferred.

screws are the choice for subfloor and deck boards because they MUST be held down tight for both performance and saftey. they will for all practical purposes experience NO shear load in that setting, and you typically use a ****-ton of them anyway so a single point failure is not a big deal.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:09 PM   #8
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i agree with every ones earlier posts. NEVER USE DRYWALL SCREWS FOR STRUCTURE. they are for hanging drywall. not for hanging things in drywall. i'll use them occasionally in a pinch for pocket hole joinery or for putting together on site jigs but thats it

as for the star shaped screws, their called torxs screws or grex. they are better suited when using a impact driver, most composite decking materials come with color matched screws that are torx screws
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
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BTW...if you go with the t-25 torx screws (my rec) then get the milwalkee torx driver bits...they hold up extremely well.

the bosch bits or dewalt bits get worn out too quickly (all that torque that is now being used is very hard on the bits).

and yes, impact driver....although I find regular drill much faster for removal (like if removing 50 screws from a subfloor panel)
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:54 PM   #10
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your right about the dewalt bits.. they dont last at all, i find the opposite regarding the bosch ones compared to the milwaukee ones.. .. however alot of the time it can be the screw itself , if they arent machined perfectly the slightest difference can mean the differance between driving 50 screws with a bit before its worn out or driving a 50 lb box worth
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:44 PM   #11
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I guess the reason I prefer using screws instead of nails is I have better control with screws.

With screws I can predrill by holding the pieces or clamping the pieces in place, then drive in screws precisely where I need them.

With nails, and usually I would use a palm nailer with a large compressor, so it's a hassle to move it to the location I need it, and when I drive it sometimes the impact of the nailer would move ever so slightly the position of the piece I am nailing and end up a bit off. To pry the nail out is more work then backing out screws.

For truss repair and gusset plates I always use PL Premium adhesive to get the load distributed evenly and 10d nails.

For wood wall framing I use construction screws. Sometimes I cheat on the middle plate with drywall screws.

But I think from reading this thread, I should do some nails as well. I already have screwed everything together. So nothing to prevent me going room to room and pound nails IN ADDITION TO the screws. They are already screwed in place so nails can't shift them. Wish I had a nail gun though.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:41 PM   #12
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Am I the only one who has noticed that he is repairing TRUSSES?

Don't you have an engineer approved design for fixing the trusses?
With nails, screws and glue?

You would be taking on a lot of liability yourself if you do not.

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Old 05-05-2012, 06:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyGump View Post
Am I the only one who has noticed that he is repairing TRUSSES?

Don't you have an engineer approved design for fixing the trusses?
With nails, screws and glue?

You would be taking on a lot of liability yourself if you do not.

Andy.
Of course. I am a drainage engineer so I am no expect, but I have several buddies who are structural engineers and advised me how to fix things. Trusses are fairly simple to calculate.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:29 PM   #14
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Well...alrighty then.

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Old 05-05-2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamicuse
I guess the reason I prefer using screws instead of nails is I have better control with screws.

With screws I can predrill by holding the pieces or clamping the pieces in place, then drive in screws precisely where I need them.

With nails, and usually I would use a palm nailer with a large compressor, so it's a hassle to move it to the location I need it, and when I drive it sometimes the impact of the nailer would move ever so slightly the position of the piece I am nailing and end up a bit off. To pry the nail out is more work then backing out screws.

For truss repair and gusset plates I always use PL Premium adhesive to get the load distributed evenly and 10d nails.

For wood wall framing I use construction screws. Sometimes I cheat on the middle plate with drywall screws.

But I think from reading this thread, I should do some nails as well. I already have screwed everything together. So nothing to prevent me going room to room and pound nails IN ADDITION TO the screws. They are already screwed in place so nails can't shift them. Wish I had a nail gun though.
Have you tried using a hammer and nails?

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