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Screw sizes for making shop jigs

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Forum topic by Brett posted 04-24-2022 01:49 AM 710 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

693 posts in 4174 days


04-24-2022 01:49 AM

I get a little tired of having to run to the store to buy some screws in a particular size because I don’t have exactly what I need on hand.

I know i could go out and buy every size, length, and type of screw, but that’s going to get pricey.

For building shop gigs out of plywood, can you recommend a set of six or ten different screw sizes that I should keep on hand to satisfy most of my jig-building needs?

-- More tools, fewer machines.


18 replies so far

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therealSteveN

10181 posts in 2066 days


#1 posted 04-24-2022 04:23 AM

If you figure out how to have the “right” hardware every time, please post a multi step post. I’ll buy till I’m poor, and still have many a time I need to get something else. Thing is there are too many choices, and all of them are right sometime. I’ve found buying as you need, lets you keep a few sheckle’s in your pocket. Requires a bit of planning though.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Rich

8266 posts in 2081 days


#2 posted 04-24-2022 04:39 AM


I get a little tired of having to run to the store to buy some screws in a particular size because I don t have exactly what I need on hand.

I know i could go out and buy every size, length, and type of screw, but that s going to get pricey.

For building shop gigs out of plywood, can you recommend a set of six or ten different screw sizes that I should keep on hand to satisfy most of my jig-building needs?

- Brett

Depends on what jigs or fixtures you’re making. More detail is needed to answer your question.

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

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Vandon

106 posts in 887 days


#3 posted 04-24-2022 04:41 AM

Review the plan, make a shopping list, go shopping, build the jig. At some point you’ll get lucky and not have to go shopping.

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sunnybob

151 posts in 257 days


#4 posted 04-24-2022 05:44 AM

Its impossible to plan that well.
Each time you need 6 screws or bolts of a certain size, by a dozen. then you will have enough for the next job.

-- my projects can be seen at www.pbase.com/sunnybob

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Vandon

106 posts in 887 days


#5 posted 04-24-2022 05:54 AM



Its impossible to plan that well.
Each time you need 6 screws or bolts of a certain size, by a dozen. then you will have enough for the next job.

- sunnybob


Or, the job after the next job…

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1890 posts in 4341 days


#6 posted 04-24-2022 11:34 AM

As said, really depends on the job, I like the Platte River self drilling screws and generally keep #8 screws in 100 ct boxes for 5/8”, 1”, 1 1/4”, and 1 1/2”.

For anything much larger I’ve got miscellaneous boxes of 2” to 3” screws plus a big a$$ box of 1 5/8” drywall screws left over from the basement, then of course, there is my obsession to keep BS screws odds and ends in all of those little tray drawers in that damn cabinet on the bench full of miscellaneous $hit I shoulda thrown out when it was first in my hand…. but that’s likely another topic for another thread….

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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bondogaposis

6193 posts in 3843 days


#7 posted 04-24-2022 01:09 PM

I buy #8 1 1/4” and #8 1 1/2” screws from McFeely's by the thousand. That is what I use most for cabinet construction. For jigs, I don’t know. There are always knobs and hold downs and t track and bolts and wing nuts and what not that are specific to that jig. It is hard to maintain inventory for that.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

707 posts in 3226 days


#8 posted 04-25-2022 01:26 PM

I’m just a weekend hobby guy, so I try to store the bare minimum.

I’ve found 1/4-20 bolts to be the most often used bolts for jigs and their heads fit nicely in most t track (though I did get some t track from outside the US and the 1/4-20 bolt heads do get caught up in there fairly often). Remember, if you have an angle grinder, you can cut long bolts to whatever length you need.

For screws, I typically work with 3/4” and 1/2” material (plywood, mdf, osb, 1x lumber, etc.). Therefore I typically have on hand a butt load of 3/4” (1/2” to 1/2” joint), 1” (1/2 to 3/4” joint) and 1 1/4” (3/4” to 3/4” joint) fasteners in #6, #8 and #10. Then I typically buy other sizes as needed for each project. Since most home centers no longer sell small screws individually, I usually have to buy more than I need for a single project.

Eventually the collection grows and you find you need to store it all and come up with something like this:

I have them sorted by diameter. Other people prefer to store them differently. But then it becomes easy to see what you’re running low on and pick up some more next time you’re at a store.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View mawilsonWCR's profile

mawilsonWCR

60 posts in 492 days


#9 posted 04-26-2022 01:45 AM



Each time you need 6 screws or bolts of a certain size, by a dozen. then you will have enough for the next job.
- sunnybob
I’ve adopted my uncle’s approach. When I need to buy a screw, I buy a box.

-- No trees were harmed while sending this message; however, a rather large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

View Andre's profile

Andre

5291 posts in 3297 days


#10 posted 04-26-2022 05:29 AM

When I got started setting up my shop followed what Inside Passage did, purchased all common sizes of the slotted brass screws from Lee Valley from #0 to #4 and of course a set of Gracie drivers for exact fit. Any screw that requires a drill or driver has no place in the shop other than to attach a French Cleat to the wall:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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brtech

1222 posts in 4414 days


#11 posted 04-26-2022 12:52 PM

I bought an assortment (the kind that comes with a plastic drawer set). It had #6-#12 screws in a couple of different lengths, both machine and wood. If I ever came close to running out of any size, I bought a box. I must say that I’ve looked for something as good as the assortment I bought (many, many years ago), and haven’t seen one, but I have seen assortments that I thought were good enough to do what I did.

I think most of my jigs are built with #8s, in 3/4, 1, 1 1/4 and 1 1/2, plus some common pocket hole sizes.

View them700project's profile

them700project

308 posts in 2510 days


#12 posted 04-26-2022 05:20 PM

Mcfeeleys black up to 1”
Grk r4 1-1/4 and up

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

6333 posts in 4735 days


#13 posted 04-26-2022 06:23 PM

The best way is to start off with an assortment, keeping track of which screw is used the most. Then buy that particular size screw in bulk (100) per box. You not only get a better bulk price but have the right size screw when you need them. I started out buying in bulk sizes I think I needed. Today, I have screws that I hardly ever use. I recommend starting out with the assortment.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

786 posts in 3223 days


#14 posted 04-26-2022 06:41 PM

#8 screws – 1/2”, 5/8”, 3/4”, 1”, 1 1/4”, 1 1/2”, 2”, 2 1/2”

I like the McFeely’s black oxide, square drive—here’s a nice assortment > https://www.mcfeelys.com/8-flat-head-black-square-drive-screw-assortment.html

View 987Ron's profile

987Ron

4136 posts in 808 days


#15 posted 04-26-2022 08:07 PM

Tiny, small, medium, large, xlarge, and really long ones. Could not resist. Agree with getting an assortment, keeping up with it and adding as needed.

-- Ron

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