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Friday, September 18, 2015

Listen up: Why screws will make your DIY projects better

By contributing partner and guest blogger, Mark Clement - MyFixItUpLife


Save time, save money, and rock out on pro-work and DIY projects. Yes, you too can fall in love with a screw.


Spax Multi-Material screws are time savers and money makers for pro and DIY projects. One screw: Many, many uses.


It’s not an ad. Just the truth:

In one project—framing walls in a basement remod—using SPAX® 3-inch x #10 Multi Material Screws saved me hours on connections that I’d normally use three different fasteners for—deck screws, gun nails, and (gag) concrete screws. Because I can use one screw that performs well in many places (like me), I save time by both doing things quickly, and NOT doing other things at #$%^&*  all. Let’s talk about that negative space for a minute…

Bottom plates.  Basement walls’ bottom plate must be fastened to the concrete. I’ve used concrete screws (when can you ever find the screws, bit and nut-driver on the first try: Answer—never) and drive pins. They work periodically too. Generously, 50% of the time.

SPAX® Multi-Material screws crush the other fasteners’ success rate and ease of use. A 5/32 hole through the plate into the concrete and the SPAX® bores into both wood and concrete and connects solidly. And I’m not chasing around after a fasteners and a nut driver I rarely use because I’m using the fasteners I already have in my pouch.

Complicated stuff.  I use them fastening complicated remodeling assemblies. Despite what you may think of Mike Holmes screwing everything together, while I haven’t asked him, I’m willing to bet it has more to do with this than some weirdness of using screws when nails would work. Framing basement walls in an old house is a bit beyond typical DIY projects because it is so complicated, but stay with me DIYers and learn something.

I could nail gun, but complicated, multi-plane walls and soffits have so much happening in so many planes of space it’s hard to see it all until you’ve got something whacked up there to look at. Once you’ve got a few hunks of wood in place, however, you can look at it and ‘edit’. Add a block, adjust an angle, realize there’s a pipe in the way and so on.

Nails go in one direction. But screws go in both. If you screw it together, you can make the edits (take the thing apart) without losing wood or fasteners to the recip saw. Nevermind the time and energy required to take things apart. (It’s so nice, ‘cuz we do it twice! is a familiar remodeler’s refrain.)

DIYers: This is one trick to take your DIY projects up a notch. It won’t make you a pro, but it’ll make you a better DIYer.

Oddball stuff.  I also use them connecting oddball stuff like neo-angle walls that require toe-nailing (fastening at an angle). There’s no long drywall style screw (gawwwd they suck) or deck screw on the planet I’ve been able to do this with without pre-drilling, but with the SPAX® Multi-Material Screws I  literally get it threading into the wood, then tip it over to the angle needed and send it home. The serrated edges cut the wood and all but eliminate splitting.

So back to the punchline.  At the beginning of my day of DIY projects or building work I load my pouch with one fist full of screws, from one box in one place and then use them all day. The time savings and efficiency is explosively good to me. I can throw out the concrete fasteners I rarely use anyway and streamline my fastener storage. Again, time saved. I’ve even used them to temporarily hold a deck ledger against a concrete threshold before proper fastening.

I’m not kidding. I’m hooked. And this doesn’t even count using SPAX® washer-head screws in DIY projects like pallets. Check that out here.

Using SPAX® Mutli-Material screws for bottom plates in a basement remod. Drilling the pilot hole first with a rotary hammer.

SPAX® Multi-Materials work better—and by better I mean they’re faster, easier to use, require less set-up and actually fasten—than dedicated concrete screws I’ve used.

Using the same screw I used to for concrete to ‘toe-nail’ wood-to-wood.

SPAX®’ Multi-Material Screws are my go-to for just plain ole fastening too. They drive fast, the connection between bit and screw head is great and the head releases the bit tip—hyper not like a number of star-drive styles I’ve used where you have to wiggle the bit tip free because it locks into the screw head.


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