There are very many different shapes and styles of fasteners available on the market these days. With regards to screws alone, there is a type of screw for every different kind of material and application that you could possibly imagine. Moreover, each individual type of screw is typically available in a range of sizes from short to long and narrow to thick. However, it is very important to use the correct screws, not only for the job at hand but to suit the specific kind of building material you are working with. In this article, we will attempt to explain why it is so important to use the appropriate fasteners by using chipboard screws as an example.
Particleboard, or ‘chip board’ as it is often called, is made from a combination of wood chips and adhesive and for this reason, is termed an ‘engineered’ wood because it is manufactured as opposed to being grown naturally in tree form. The adhesive in particle board is usually a type of resin that is combined with the wood chips to make low, medium or high-density boards. Chipboard is considered to be a soft ‘wood’ in general although the high-density variety is a lot stronger and less pervious to moisture than the medium and low variants.
Particle board is a lot cheaper than natural wood and for this reason, it is very popular as a substitute for genuine solid wood, which, needless to say, is very expensive these days. Because particle board is so cheap it is often used in places where it will not be seen like under flooring or in kitchen cabinets where it is typically covered with melamine.
The problem with particle board is that, unlike solid timber, it does not have a true grain meaning that normal screw fasteners designed for wood do not really work well. Chipboard screws are so called because they are specially designed to cater for the softness of particle board. They have a deeper thread that allows them to grip better and they tend not to strip as badly as some other kinds of screw fasteners. Having said that, you should still be careful not to tighten them too much as there is still a chance of stripping.
Chipboard screws look like ordinary countersunk screws with the exception of the deeper thread hence it is wise to make sure you have the correct type before you start using them. Apart from their deep, coarse threads, screws designed for chipboard possess a fairly thin shaft that helps to stop the board from splitting as this kind of wood is wont to do. If you get the kind of chipboard screw that is self-tapping you should be able to screw it directly into the wood without Initial drilling a pilot hole through many people prefer to earn a pilot hole no matter because it lowers the odds of dividing or the twist moving in skew. Some even have ribbing around the screw head to assist in the removal of particles during countersinking.