Picking the right screw [gauge]

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by Spikes posted 08-16-2018 08:05 PM 647 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Spikes's profile


125 posts in 854 days

08-16-2018 08:05 PM

Dear all,

noob woodworker here, still working on setting up my space. I’m trying to figure out what kind of screws I should use and, as usual, after days spent asking the same question to google I find myself with a lot more information in my head, but largely the same doubts.

The main pattern I encountered boils down to:
- length should be 1/2 to 3/4 of the “bottom” piece
- gauge #8 for most things carpenterish, with some #10-#12 for larger construction jobs and #6 for “finer” woodworking (cabinets?).
- head is best if torsion or square, or hex head, avoid philips
- use stainless steel

first off, does that make any sense to you? Second, and this is the more direct question I was trying to answer… I’m screwing a 3/4×4x8’ ply panel into a bunch of metal bars on the wall to hang tools off of it… how would I choose which gauge of screws to use so that the panel won’t come off 2 months from now?

thanks as usual,


-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

4 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


13442 posts in 3188 days

#1 posted 08-16-2018 08:38 PM

For wood to metal I would use self tapping sheet metal screws.
Wood to wood I eyeball and use whatever looks right. 90% of the time I use #8 screws. I only use #10 or larger for outdoor projects. #6 for 3/4” screws. I’ve gone over to using Spax or GRK although I have occasionally used deck screws. Only time I used stainless is on my boat.

-- Rick M,

View Rich's profile


5713 posts in 1397 days

#2 posted 08-16-2018 08:48 PM

+1 on GRK and Spax. Probably 90% of the screws I use are #8×1-1/4” which are perfect for working with 3/4” stock. That said, I rarely use screws on anything but jigs and fixtures. My furniture and cabinet projects use traditional joinery or sometimes biscuits when doing face frames. My residential doors don’t use fasteners at all, just mortise and tenon.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View wuddoc's profile


359 posts in 4526 days

#3 posted 08-16-2018 09:53 PM

McFeely’s specializes in fasteners and I believe is now owned by McMaster-Carr.

Here is further information on wood screw types including heads, points, etc. from McMaster-Carr.

-- Wuddoc

View Spikes's profile


125 posts in 854 days

#4 posted 08-17-2018 02:27 PM

thanks guys, it’s always useful to come here and double check on stuff.

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics