Why I threw out all my old woodscrews

In my 40+ years of woodworking, I’ve managed to accumulate quite a lot of hardware. You know what I mean — all sorts of screws, nuts, bolts, etcetera, etcetera. Most of which sat in a box and was never used. The funny thing is, I was stupid enough to move them when we moved out of state a few years back.

When I set up shop in my new location, I decided it was time to sort out all that hardware and get it organized. I had acquired an old, heavy-duty file cabinet that was designed for index cards. This meant that the drawers were only about 6″ high. I thought this would be perfect for storing hardware. To store the hardware, I used some small containers that were used in the days of film photography for holding 35mm slides. They fit perfectly in neat little rows in my file drawers.

So I set about one Saturday finding all the boxes, bins, and plastic storage cabinets full of hardware. I organized all the fasteners by type and size. Woodscrews, machine screws, sheet metal screws, bolts, and everything in between. Each found a home in a little container in the file drawer.

But as I progressed through this reorganization, it occurred to me I had a wide variety of traditional slotted or Phillips-head woodscrews. I’ve vowed long ago to give up slotted screws because the screwdriver always seems to slip at the most inopportune time, ruining or scratching my project. So I set those aside to give away to fellow woodworker friends.

In a previous post, I mentioned how I had used modern woodscrews to repair an antique cabinet. The ones I had grown to like and use are made by GRK Fasteners. I like them so much, I really didn’t see the need to keep any of my traditional woodscrews. So I set the remainder of those aside, too. I did manage to keep all the brass woodscrews, and I have a separate collection of pocket hole screws.

So my friends benefited from my culling of the hardware. I took inventory of the GRK R4 screws I had on hand then purchased additional sizes to round out my collection. I’ve got most sizes from #6 x ½” to #8 x 2″. If I need other sizes for a project, I’ll buy a box only as I need them. The other great thing about these screws is that they come in handy, reusable snap-close containers. And they fit perfectly in my file drawers.

GRK R4™ Multipurpose Star/Torx Screw GRK R4™ Multipurpose Star/Torx Screw
In addition to a Torx-head design that eliminates cam-out slippage, these innovative self-countersinking bits feature six cutting pockets beneath the head and sharp, saw-like lower threads.
GRK R4™ Multipurpose Star/Torx Screw

Why do I like GRK screws so much? Well, first of all the Torx head means I can drive them home without fear of cam-out. I can use them with an impact driver. They’re self-drilling, so you rarely need to drill a pilot hole. (You’ll still want to drill a pilot hole if you’re near the edge of a workpiece or working with hard woods.) Finally, little nibs under the head form their own countersink. This makes assembly go much quicker.

My suggestion is to spend a few hours (or a day or two) going through your hardware and give away what you don’t really need. And step up to a modern woodscrew.