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Old 01-17-2010, 09:20 PM   #16
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What size pilot hole for 3" deck screw?


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Originally Posted by Goldglv View Post
Using a Makita 18v lithium ion driver/drill to put these screws in. I will try wd40 or candlewax. So what size pilot hole should I use?

What kind of wood are you using that can stall out an 18v Makita?

I had some old southern yellow pine studs that I couldn't get #10 four-inch screws into without pilot holes. IIRC, pilot holes for any mechanical fastener in wood can be 90% of the diameter of the fastener without compromising the strength -- just pick a bit by eyeball. Or you can buy bits sized for screws and use the bit for the size of the screw. #8 or #10 for 3-inch (depending on if they're #8 or #10 screws).

You should use decking screws, not drywall screws.

You can also drill a full sized pilot through the top piece. I might do that if I was working in oak, for instance, especially near the end of a small piece of wood.

I get my screws at Lowes and Home Depot. I don't know if there are better screws available, or what would make them better. The ones I get go in and hold the wood together, and that's all I need them to do. Occasionally (a few times in a five-pound box) I break them off as they're going in. Usually it's because I'm running them into a knot, or that old southern yellow.

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Old 01-17-2010, 09:45 PM   #17
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What size pilot hole for 3" deck screw?


drill a hole the same size as the screw in the first 2x ( called clearance hole ) then drive it right home. usually a 3/16 clearance is a good size

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