Avoiding wood splitting while drilling
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    Default Avoiding wood splitting while drilling

    Hi,

    I'm making a jewelry box for my granddaughter and need to avoid the pine splitting when I attach the hinges.

    Should I use self drilling screws?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrycrowther View Post
    Hi,

    I'm making a jewelry box for my granddaughter and need to avoid the pine splitting when I attach the hinges.

    Should I use self drilling screws?
    No, use a twist drill slightly larger than the centre section of the screw thread.
    Beeswax on the screws too, because they will be small and delicate

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    The concept you are seeking to learn about is called a "pilot hole".

    Steve

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    There are tapered bits specifically for pilot holes for wood screws.

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    One cant beat s small bench drill press for such work. You may find yourself doing much more work with such a machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Illinoyance View Post
    There are tapered bits specifically for pilot holes for wood screws.
    Against conventional knowledge, I will recommend against this practice. Being a former boatbuilder, I have drilled many thousands of holes with tapered drill bits and countersink- This works fine on softwood, or big work- although I have never noticed the slightest improvement in holding power ascribed to the taper.

    The problem is that a tapered drill bit is, in essence, a cylindrical wedge, with a screw feed (the flutes). It is very easy to have the bit pull into a delicate part, or near the end of a part, and split the wood.

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    Clamp a piece of sacrificial wood to the backside(inside?) of the box to prevent blowing out the backside of the hole.

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    Been using this set. Drill bits are tapered to five different screw sizes. Adjustable collars and plug cutters. Typical use:

    A Honduras Mohogany bookshelf with black ebony plugs.

    W.L. Fuller Inc.

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    Throw away the wood screws and use sheet metal screws. Then drill a standard hole.

    Pete

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    +1 for Pete's suggestion!

    Sheet metal screws hold way better than wood screws. Just about every piece of furniture I made in the last 40 years was assembled with #12 phillips sheet metal screws, black oxidized for sexiness. Except for visible hardware, hinges and such, used slotted brass wood screws. Just looked better to my eye, especially with the slots lined up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crzypete View Post
    Throw away the wood screws and use sheet metal screws. Then drill a standard hole.

    Pete
    Or just drill a hole anyway. Tapered drills have their place when dealing with 10ga and larger screws but seriously, we are talking a box hinge here- screws likely 5ga or smaller.

    One could also use a bradawl, quicker and better holding power IIRC. Very old fashioned though


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