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March 28, 2018
Fasteners for Home Decoration and Repair
Today, Fasteners Inc. in Denver discusses common fasteners for home decoration and repair. As an industry leader, we carry a massive inventory of the best fasteners available, and we have the insight you need to determine the best fasteners for all those jobs around your home or for your next project.
So, let’s get to it and next time you are getting ready to put up those paintings and wall hangings, you you will be prepared with the right information for a successful process.
First, you’ll need to determine what type of wall material you have. Typically, sheetrock is the material of choice for newer homes. If you’re going to hang something small, only a few ounces in weight or about 8” x 10” and less, you will merely need a nail driven at an upward angle and you should be all set.
For more substantial items that weigh more and are larger in size, you will likely need to use a screw in tandem with wall anchor to give it enough support to hang without danger of falling. These fasteners for home decoration and repair require you to first drill a pilot hole. Then you place the anchor in the wall and drive the screw into it. The wall anchor will grip, expand and hold firm.
Similar to a wall anchor, a pilot hole is first created to install a toggle bolt. However, there is a spring inside which opens up as soon as it extends into the wall cavity, creating a grappling hook effect.
Without the need for a pilot hole driven first, a wall driller is driven into the wall. You can drive a screw through it like the wall anchor or place a hanger over the head of this versatile fastener.
When drilling pilot holes for screws, be sure to use the shank diameter, not the thread diameter as your measure for what size drill bit to use. When pre-drilling pilot holes for bolts, however, use the threads as the indicator of size. It can even be slightly larger than the threads. Be sure to drill completely through.
Screws vs. Nails and Brads
Beyond fasteners for home decoration and repair inside, there are a wider variety of nails than screws for exterior projects and purposes. For this, it is helpful to know what to look for to accomplish whatever task you might have at hand.
Whether you are looking for the right fasteners for repairing outdoor furniture, decking, siding, roofing, fencing, and more, screws offer increased holding power over nails. However, nails and brads are a good choice for basic construction, especially when using adhesives. In an outdoor setting, using galvanized and stainless nails and brads is the way to go as they’re well-suited for all types of weather.
Screws are ideal to use when force is applied in many directions, such as a joint on a bookshelf. The threads on a screw are designed to grip the wood and make the joint much sturdier than it would be without it. You can think of a screw as biting into the wood and not letting go. When you’re building or repairing a bookcase, you can use only nails and glue, but the results will not be as reliable. Weight and pressure can cause nail holes to distend and eventually, the nail will come loose even with the glue as backup. To increase the security of the piece, include screws into the process for best results.
Nails vs. Brads
Identify brads and finishing nails by their much smaller heads over a nail´s wider head surface. These are great for attaching trim, baseboards, crown molding, putting furniture together and more. As the head is driven into the wood, typically with a nail gun, it naturally lands somewhat below the surface of the wood. You can then use a wood filler and paint to completely cover the head for a seamless finish.
Deck Screws vs. Lag Screws
Also on the list of fasteners for home decoration and repair is the almighty deck screw. It is versatile and helpful for a wide variety of tasks. As its name infers, it is the best bet for any deck building or repair projects. It is coated with a corrosion resistant product and does not often get stripped. Fortunately, they are less expensive than stainless steel and come in a wide range of sizes from 1 ¼”-3”.
Lag screws are built for heavy-duty use and come in stainless or galvanized. Use when working with large and dimensional lumber like 4x4s. Lag screws are great for putting together treehouses, swing sets, arbors, pergolas, and providing additional deck support.
If you plan to disassemble a project or are building a heavy-duty contraption, using bolts including Phillips oval-head, carriage, and hex-head bolts may be your best bet. They offer incredible holding power and are sized by the diameter and the length in inches. These fasteners for home decoration and repair are not used that often, but if you’re handy, you might find use for them.
Determining what length of fastener to use all depends on what you are working on. If you are joining two boards together, drive the fastener at least halfway into the board but not entirely through it, for best results. When joining at a right angle, the fastener should be at least twice the thickness of the material used. Here’s a quick example of this: use a fastener at least 1 ½” long to join two ¾” boards.
With the right information about fasteners for home decoration and repair, you will be able to complete your projects right the first time around. At Fasteners Inc., we’re here to help, and our customer service is exceptional! We aim to provide all of our customers with the high-quality fasteners they need for their upcoming home decoration projects. Contact us today to learn more and get the perfect fasteners for every job.
February 27, 2018
Are Fasteners Reusable?
As you plan a project, you may be asking yourself, “Are fasteners reusable?” If so, here are helpful tips from Fasteners, Inc. in Denver on how to determine if a fastener can be reused or not. It is always better to know ahead of time whether your fasteners are suitable to be used again or if a new set is required. Using compromised fasteners on any project will inevitably cause premature degradation, and the workmanship will be compromised. Read on to determine are fasteners reusable or not.
Fastener Drive Damage
The drive on a fastener is the slot, socket, hex hole or crossed slot in which a driver – your screwdriver, allen wrench, etc. – is used to apply torque while installing or removing. If this vital piece is damaged, the fastener cannot be reused. Sometimes, the driver will slip out of the fastener once the torque has exceeded a certain point. This is called camming out, and it can lead to permanent damage of the fastener, rendering it useless.
Avoid damage to the fastener by using a driver with appropriate torque. Too much torque will quickly deform the fastener. The drive, which is the slot and recess, needs to match the driver for best results. If you’re interested, you can check out the Industrial Fastener Institute, AMSE to learn about how deep a recess should be and just how far a driver needs to penetrate for the most effectiveness while driving.
Deciding are fasteners reusable can depend on thread wear. Extreme thread wear can occur in machine screws that are continuously loaded and unloaded. The threads can become deformed with frequent use. This increases stress on the thread load and screw thread flanks. To reduce this damage, match up the right thread material to the finish. Additionally, use pilots, chamfers or full dog points to cut down on misstarts and wear due to cross-threading.
Fatigue will shorten the reliability and lifespan of a fastener. Prevent metallurgical fatigue by making the assembled joint rigid with regards to the spring rate of the fastener. Make sure that the service load is not greater than the preload. Know your type of fastener's endurance limits. Replace them if that limit is approached and use magnetic particle inspection or liquid penetrants on assemblies in order to detect micro-cracks to avoid more issues.
Damage from Vibration
Vibration can cause several issues. It can loosen the fasteners, causing them to fall out, even get tangled with working components and cause severe damage. Otherwise, the constant movement back and forth can wear down the threads, loosening and causing fatigue. If you’re wondering, are fasteners reusable, vibration could greatly affect your decision.
Take a look at the assembly. In excessively vibrational areas, use non-metallic fasteners which have elastic attenuation in these areas instead. Additionally, supplemental locking features and self-threading fasteners can also help to dampen vibrations. These include locking washers, metal locking devices, locking threads, underhead serrations, commercial thread-locking adhesives, and plastic inserts and coatings.
Damage from UV Rays
Plastic fasteners can particularly suffer from UV damage, hence degrading and decreasing performance. Be aware of any plastic components used and be sure to provide adequate protection for them or choose another material altogether.
Seizing from Friction
The thread of your fastener can unintentionally weld to the assembly if the friction forces them together. Galling and seizing of the threads can render a fastener useless. Especially for stainless steel threaded fasteners, it is good to use a lubricator or anti-seizing compound to separate out the pressure flanks and bearing surfaces of the fastener you are using. Or choose non-galling metallurgy mating threads instead.
Seizing from Heat and Corrosion
Avoid using dissimilar materials and fasteners. Otherwise, the fastener's threads can seize from either corrosion or too much heat. Varying thermal expansion coefficients will inevitably lead to seizing. Ensure adequate clearance and use anti-seizing compounds and temperature-appropriate thread lubricants.
When deciding are fasteners reusable, this is a big one. The corrosion of a fastener’s working surface can lead to their disuse or complete failure which is a dangerous possibility. Corrosion occurs regularly when elements including sodium, sulfur, and chlorine combine with the moisture in the air to form hydrochloric acid and other acidic compounds.
Reduce the risk of severe corrosion by using corrosion-resistant fastener materials. Also, avoid corrosion by limiting the use of dissimilar elements in the close range of the assembly. Thus, you can reduce the galvanic coupling levels and lower electrochemical potential differences, which inevitably lead to corrosion. Additionally, use sacrificial coatings on the fasteners and the assemblies at risk of corrosion. These coatings will corrode first and leave the structural part of the fastener and the assembly intact.
Recessed drives (socketed, Philips, Freason, Pozi-Drive) are susceptible to the build-up of debris. Anything from grease to grit and more can find its way into the drive space and create issues while doing so. The transmission of torque is massively reduced if there is an obstruction present. Conduct tests of tightening and untightening before deciding on the specific fastener to use for your project and to avoid prematurely camming out.
Store fasteners in a location free of debris if possible. If not, use a lubricant or protective grease that will easily flush out of the fastener before driving.
Losing Locking Ability
It’s essential to document the precautions, procedures for fasteners with locking features and have their performance laid out and passed down to anyone working on the project. Thread-locking adhesives, lock washers, locking tabs, self-locking threads, are rendered useless if installed incorrectly, even just one time. The need for threads to be clean, burr-free, and intact are essential points to understand.
Hopefully, now you can answer the question “Are fasteners reusable?” with help from our re-using fasteners guide. Remember to use Fasteners, Inc. as your resource for anything concerning fasteners of any kind. We are here to help with an incredible pool of knowledge and experience. Do not hesitate to contact us about your upcoming fastener needs this year.
January 11, 2018
Fasteners for Building a Deck
When choosing fasteners for building a deck, Fasteners, Inc. in Denver has the most extensive selection of fasteners to select from and over 100 years combined experience. Our expertise enables us to offer all the products you need, whether you’re building a deck for your home or operate a business building decks for homeowners across Denver and throughout Colorado. No matter the situation, we only stock quality fasteners, giving you the ability to get the job done right.
With the massive selection of fasteners available these days, no one will say that it’s an easy decision to make. And you’ll likely find that there a few schools of thought for the various options. Bottom line, you want a new deck that’s as sturdy as it is beautiful. That means you’ll also need to consider factors such as climate, moisture levels, usage and the size of the build. So, whether you’re a novice or professional builder, let’s take a look at recommended fasteners for building a deck.
Nails vs. Screws
Each has their benefits, but nails and screws provide the builder with a different experience.
- Drive in almost as quickly as nails
- Excellent holding power as long as driven correctly
- Easier to remove as long as head is not stripped
- Missing the nail head may mar and damage the wood
- Difficult to remove nails
- Experienced builders sometimes prefer nails to screws
- Nails drive faster than screws
- Screws puddle water unless the nail is driven too deep
Sized by length, nails are either penny or d-size. The gauge of the nail, its diameter, increase as the penny size increases. Hence, an 8d nail is smaller in length and width than a 16d nail.
- Used for framing
- Have large heads with thick shanks
- Relatively hard to drive due to their bulk
- May split wood
- Similar to common nails
- Offer thinner shank
- Reduced splitting of ¾-inch wood and thinner
Spiral or Ringshank Nails
- Excellently grip of the wood
- Stay anchored
- Difficult to remove
- Offer thinner shanks with barrel-shaped head
- Use for trim
- Heartier option similar to finishing nails
- Stronger hold for finishing work
Coming in every size imaginable, a #10 Decking Screw is a popular standard screw size for building decks. You can choose from 2 ½ and 3 ½ inches, depending on the project. These screws are coated with an anti-corrosive. Usually coming with a square, Phillips, or combination head, so be sure to match the drill bit to the screw head, to avoid stripping. One can drive these self-sinking, sharp, and tapered deck screws just about as fast as a nail, so their great fasteners for building a deck. Although, square-headed deck screws drive the best.
While building your deck, you will need to fasten larger wood pieces such as posts. For this, use either a Carriage Bolt or a Lag Screw. Bolts are heavy duty fasteners and offer the capability to tighten down more, later, when the wood shrinks over time. Remember to always use a nut for these fasteners to avoid damaging and compromising the integrity of the wood below.
Other Fastener Options
Sometimes the average is just not good enough. In that case, we have other fasteners for building a deck.
Invisible Deck Fasteners
If you are going for an even finer appearance than average fasteners offer, try Invisible Deck Fasteners. With many options to choose from, you can up your decking game with fasteners that leave your new deck super clean, smooth and finer in appearance. These systems require fastening from below the deck, so are better suited for raised decks.
Often, invisible decking fasteners are used for contemporary designs with intricate patterns. They are somewhat more time-consuming and pricier, but they offer an uncluttered surface to admire. Although, deck clips are an option for working from the top of the deck, being easy to install.
Masonry fasteners for building a deck come with a pre-assembled anchor bolt that’s sleeve easily slides inside the pre-drilled hole, expanding against the sides and securing there as you tighten the bolt. To use this version, drill a hole of the same diameter but a ½ inch longer. Blow out any dust, then drive the bolt with the nut at the top of the threads. Do not allow the bolt to turn while tightening. Use soft metal or plastic expansion shields which spread out as the bolt tightens, by first drilling a hole of the same size as the expansion shield, then tighten the screw.
Speed up your deck project with help from a power-actuated fastening system. With a screw gun or nail gun, your deck will be completed even faster with fasteners for building a deck. Using either air compression, mini-explosives, chemicals, or power cell charges, power fasteners are expensive but can be rented for a reasonable price. Check out the advantages of using power fasteners:
- Can be used with only one hand, while the other hand can be used for alignment and steadying work
- A single measured blow is all it takes to drive the fastener, hence much faster
- No risk of bending or missing nailhead
- No chance of damaging wood due to missing nailhead
- Blunt tips on power fasteners rarely split wood
- Reach difficult spots easily
- Some power guns can be custom set to countersink the fasteners, leaving them perfectly flush for a better finish
Typical Fastener Sizing
With all of the fasteners for building a deck out there, it is worth noting the most common fastener sizing. This will help you get a quick start without making a big mistake doing it.
5/4 Decking with 2 ½ coated screws
12d Ringshank/Spiral nails
6d, 8d, 10d galvanized finishing or casing nails
Now that you know about some basic fasteners for building a deck, you can get started right away. The dedicated team at Fasteners, Inc. is ready to help out whenever you are ready to get started. Our vast inventory and friendly service will ensure that you find the perfect fasteners for every project.
December 19, 2017
How to Choose Wood Screw Length
At Fasteners, Inc. in Denver, we believe that knowing how to choose wood screw length is going to help you determine a better fastener to use and hence create a better product. We’d like to share some tips on just what to look for, depending on your specific project.
The American Wood Council offers a Connection Calculator that determines connector capacity. Be sure to check it out along with this guide to find out how to choose the right wood screw length for your upcoming carpentry projects.
There are two main types of screws for fastening wood out there. Utility screws (also known as deck screws) and steel / stainless steel screws. A utility screw is a workhorse; it’s used for framing and outdoor carpentry, coming in a range of materials, including corrosion-resistant metals. They work great with chemical-treated wood and are sold by the length.
On the other hand, steel and stainless steel wood screws are used for more precision woodworking projects including indoor furniture. They have a thicker body and are identified by length and gauge (thickness). Larger gauges are thicker, smaller gauges are thinner.
The main goal when choosing the right wood screw is to use one that is long enough and stout enough to secure the boards together efficiently without splitting the wood or poking through the other side.
First, drilling a pilot hole with countersink bit is the ideal scenario when working with hardwoods. Softwoods, on the other hand, probably do better without a pilot hole, as the screw gets its holding power via the wood fibers. Softwoods are less prone to splitting, so letting the screw grip the wood without a pilot hole will increase the screw’s holding strength.
Lateral Pressure vs. Withdrawal Pressure
The ultimate purpose of the piece you are constructing will determine the type of wood screw to use. If the piece will be subject to lateral pressure (pushing down or against), it is advisable to use a thicker screw.
If the piece is subject to withdrawal pressure (pulling apart), then you will want to make sure that the screw is long enough to withstand those forces. In this case, 1-1½ inches of screw thread should go into the receiving end. Obviously, avoid poking through to the other side of the board while doing so. If this is the case, then use a shorter screw but compensate by using more of them.
As a general rule, attaching two boards across the grain requires a shorter screw than when inserting into end grain, which requires at least two inches of screw thread into the board.
- For a sheer strength piece, use a ¼-inch lag screw
- Use #8 diameter utility or deck screw for most tasks
- Use 1¼-inch screw for basic tasks such as attaching ¾-inch boards across the grain
- Have on hand some 2½-inch utility screws for using into end grain
- Use 3-inch screw for 2x boards for into end grain, for a stronger connection
Hopefully, now you know how to choose wood screw length for your next woodworking project. At Fasteners, Inc. we are ready to help determine what wood screw you need and offer a wide assortment of fasteners for every project.
December 2, 2017
Bolts and Thread Galling
At Fasteners Inc. in Denver, we would like to share some pointers on bolts and thread galling. Thread galling is also known as cold welding and although that may sound like a good thing, it’s actually not! Once galling has taken place, the only way to get the bolt out again is to split the nut. Thread galling happens when the heat, pressure, and friction of a bolt being fastened causes it to seize to the nut, unable to move in or out again. If you’ve only secured the nut halfway, this can be very frustrating.
What actually happens during the process of thread galling is that the microscopic surfaces of the bolt thread have high points. Generally, they are passed over without incident, but sometimes those high points are too high, and they get sheared off increasing heat and friction. This in turns builds upon itself with more heat and friction, to the eventual point that it seizes and no longer turns.
Fine and damaged threads are particularly susceptible to thread galling. Most often, galling happens with titanium, aluminum, and stainless steel, especially when using lock nuts. These fasteners come with a protective oxide coating to prevent corrosion. Sometimes that film can get rubbed off or get scraped off. When that happens, the layer is no longer there to prevent metal on metal contact. This greatly increases friction, hence heat, and the chances of thread galling when fastening bolts with nuts. On the other hand, hardened steel bolts, particularly when plated with zinc, seldom gall.
Prevention is the key when it comes to bolts and thread galling. Here are a few tips.
Clean and Undamaged
Make sure that you are using clean and undamaged bolts, especially when it comes to fine threaded bolts. Check each one as you get ready to use it to ensure that there are not particles stuck in the threads and that the threads are even and aligned.
Stop if Galling Starts
Stop immediately, if you notice extra friction while fastening. Wait a couple of minutes for the nut and bolt to cool down, then back it out and start fresh with a new set.
There are a number of lubricants for this very purpose on the market. They are called either anti-seizing or anti-galling. Some nuts offer a waxed finish in order to prevent galling before it starts.
Even though we like to work at a quick pace, slowing it down a bit is going to help avoid galling. With less heat and friction happening, you will see fewer instances of thread galling. In some cases, it is best to avoid using power tools when working with stainless steel and nylon insert lock nuts.
Avoid Pulling Together Joints
Remember, that bolts are not made to bring joints together. Joints should already be held together (use a clamp if necessary) before using a bolt to fasten. Otherwise, your chances of thread galling are substantially increased. It’s worth the extra effort to avoid thread galling at all costs.
Extra Caution with Lock Nuts
When working with nylon insert lock nuts and torque nuts, they generate a significant amount of heat and friction. Try to keep your speed down or consider switching to an alternative locking mechanism.
Now you have a real handle on bolts and thread galling. And you’re better equipped to have a successful project without this issue to deter your results. Count on the experts at Fasteners, Inc. to help you not only find the right fastener system but be more productive by avoiding thread galling.