I hate brass hinge screws! #1: I HATE EM!!!

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Blog entry by DouginVa posted 02-10-2013 10:28 PM 2995 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Why don’t the high end brass hinges for boxes, small cabinets, etc. come with screws? The hinges are great but this makes you go out and find the correct sized brass screw. And the screws are too damn soft and break off.

I’m not trying to be a brute with them. I drill an appropriate sized pilot hole on a test piece of wood first to make sure the screw will glide in and out without breaking. I usually tap the hole with a steel screw to be on the safe side. And then I screw the brass screws in by hand on the project and about half the time they break when their just about to seat.

Then ya got to extract the screw, use a wood plug to till the space and start all over again. And when it’s a narrow piece, like a 1/2” or so piece the screw extractor comes dangerously close to blowing out the sides of the box or what ever it is that you’re connecting the hinges to. Or if it’s the hinge mortise you might have a semi-circular break one of your clean mortise walls. If you’re lucky your project isn’t ruined by this.

I’m ready to give up on brass hinges and screws.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

24 comments so far

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3725 days

#1 posted 02-10-2013 10:37 PM

Right on brother…AGREE 100%

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 4990 days

#2 posted 02-10-2013 10:38 PM

Try getting brass plated steel screws. Look of brass and strength of steel. I get mine at Craft Inc. online.

-- Tom D

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4523 days

#3 posted 02-10-2013 11:31 PM

try wooden hinges with a brass rod to connect them to, then to screw them down just have yourself a nice big box of steel screws for every time you need them…just my 2 cents

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3818 days

#4 posted 02-10-2013 11:41 PM

I hate them too. You would think for the ridiculous prices they charge they would include either an extra few to replace the ones you will undoubtedly break, a set of steel ones to size/thread the pilot hole, or the perfect bit for the pilot holes. Brass screws suck, that is my story and I am sticking to it.

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 3636 days

#5 posted 02-11-2013 03:15 AM

1. drill pilot hole
2. use identical steel screw first to form thread
3. remove steel screw and replace with brass screw

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View DouginVa's profile


503 posts in 3493 days

#6 posted 02-11-2013 03:17 AM

Big Yin;

I did. Read original post.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3910 days

#7 posted 02-11-2013 03:36 AM

Doug, Now you see why I use only wooden hinges! LOL

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Grandpa's profile


3264 posts in 3895 days

#8 posted 02-11-2013 03:44 AM

Been there and done that. Broken screws and where do you get the new ones? I found mine in our TruValue hardware store. They have since closed so …...who knows. Try a fastener place that specializes in such. I got a steel screw with brass plating. Don’t know why they didn’t package those with the hinges.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22187 posts in 4896 days

#9 posted 02-11-2013 07:44 AM

Nobody would by their hinges is the screws weren’t any good {;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Earlextech's profile


1163 posts in 3910 days

#10 posted 02-11-2013 04:08 PM

I would add two things. Make sure that the screwdriver is “exactly” the correct size for the screw head and coat the screw with soap, this will create less friction when twisting it in and therefore less heat. Heat/friction is the enemy is this case. Brass is so soft a little heat can make the difference.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4868 days

#11 posted 02-11-2013 04:14 PM

+1 to Earlextech – lub the screws with (bees)wax or equivalent to help reduce the friction on those delicate brass screws.

This (brass) is one of those cases where drilling the correct pilot hole can make all the difference. If you drill too small of a pilot hole – even if you use steel screw as a “get’er ready” step, the steel screw still has the strength to resist the wood and push it’s way in, but once removed -the wood retracts back to it’s previous state at which point it may be too small of a hole for the brass screw to go in safely. – so – try using 1/64 bit larger for pilot

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1673 posts in 3884 days

#12 posted 02-11-2013 04:16 PM

I am with you, the soft screws suck, I always run a steel screw in all the predrilled holes first, then replace them with brass screws. I also hate the cost, the wood hinges are very cheep.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View a1Jim's profile


118200 posts in 4797 days

#13 posted 02-11-2013 04:18 PM

I suggest the same process as Big Yin, plus buying quality brass screws from Places like Horton Brass.


View DouginVa's profile


503 posts in 3493 days

#14 posted 02-11-2013 06:33 PM

All good suggestions, most of which I’ve tried….and failed.

“a1Jim”, I’ll have to look in to Horton Brass, or the brass plated steel screws like “tomd” recommends.

My original brass hinges were of good quality but I just found Brusso hinges and they do come with their own screws…..and a steel screw to use as a tap (I assume)! But they’re even more expensive than the first pair I bought.

I think I’ll end up finding a company on line that sells brass plated screws in bulk packs and use the less expensive (but still expensive, just not as expensive as Brusso) brass hinges.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 3636 days

#15 posted 02-11-2013 06:33 PM

Rub real beaswax onto brass screw threads then screw in

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

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