Friday, July 1, 2016

This is boring, so go screw....

Trying to find quality wood screws today is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Many years ago when I was a student at the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts I noticed Master Lowe had tonnage when it came to vintage slotted wood screws. Phil always lectured me and emphasized a restorer always has the right screw.  Well guess what  I love "SLOTTED" raw steel wood screws.You know the good old MADE IN THE USA wood screw that was made with pride.  There was even a time when screws were made with threads that would cut the skin on the tips of your fingers. Many users would complain about this issue, but really they never understood the reasoning why they were so sharp. Sharp threads gave the "maker" assurance that the two pieces would mechanically bonding together and never loosen.   
Today wood screws are weak, fragile, and begging to be stripped and broken.  Which leads me to the purpose of this blog post, the importance of using the proper countersink and tapered drill when boring holes for screws. Like many products made today finding quality countersinks with a tapered drill can be difficult. I have tested many and broken a ton. But than there is the W.L. Fuller bits made proudly in USA in Providence, RI.  

W.L. Fuller Co Inc. is a family owned, third generation, manufacturer of the best Countersinks, Counterbores, Plug Cutters, Taper Point Drills, Brad Point Drills, and Step Drills. All made 100% in the U.S.A. today. With over 60 years experience manufacturing tools to cut woods, plastics, and metals, we can recommend and supply the tools you need to get the job done while saving you time and money. All of our products carry our “Satisfaction Guarantee”. Most orders are shipped the same day they are received. W.L. Fuller Co Inc. also stocks and distributes woodworking tools from other U.S. Manufacturers.  (Copied and pasted from W.L. Fuller website)

For 15 years I've owned this basic set and it has served me better than any similar product. I have since added bigger sizes to the basic set for wood screw sizes #12, 14, 16, 18, and #20 screws.  But for most of you the set showcased is all you need.   

I am also a little fastidious on having everything looking as perfectly as possible, so I use a stop collar on my countersinks.  The stop collar ensures consistency. If that wasn't bad enough I also clock my screws so they all point the same way.

Lastly if you ever need to make small plugs, than simply remove the tapered drill bit, use a short length of drill rod that fits in the corresponding countersink, tighten the set screws, mount the countersink in drill press and bore away. Endless supply of plugs.




  1. Fuller is right around the corner from where I live. I've been using their screw/countersink drills for years.

  2. I've had the basic Fuller set for 35 years. It's still good as new.

    BTW, I never knew what the stop collar was for til now :)