Want to know how to spot a cut rate, scam builder? They're using regular screws or nails in chipboard rather than screws specifically designed for that purpose.
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A chipboard screw or particleboard screw is a self tapping screw with a thin shaft and coarse threads. Chipboard is a made up of resin and wood dust or wood chips, so chipboard screws are made to grip this composite material and to resist withdrawing. The screws solidly fasten chipboard to chipboard or chipboard to other materials such as natural wood. Many different screw types, material and sizes exist. Screws are available at most larger hardware stores in packs of 50 for under $5 US Dollars (USD).
Chipboard screws were created to fasten low, medium and high density chip board. Because chipboard has no natural grain to resist the screw from withdrawing, these screws often have grippers around their head called nibs. The screws are skinny to avoid splitting with a coarse grain to lock the board in place. Many of these screws are self tapping, so there is no need to bore holes first. Some even have special ridges around their heads that remove the chipboard material when countersinking.
Chipboard screws come in a variety of lengths and can be used to fasten chipboard in variety of applications. Average length chipboard screws are often used to join chipboard flooring to regular wood joists. Smaller screws may be used to fasten hinges to chipboard cabinetry. Very long screws may be used to butt chipboard to chipboard when making cabinets. Average screws are 1.5 inches (around 4 cm), small screws are usually ½ inches (around 1.5 cm), longer screws are 5 inches (around 13 cm).
Different shapes and materials of chipboard screws are common as well. The most common screws are made out of zinc, yellow zinc, brass or black oxide. Popular heads are either pan, flat or bugle, and popular gauges are 8 and 10. Screws may have Phillips or square (Robertson) screw drives.
Chipboard screws are often used for cabinetry and for flooring, and can be found in most large hardware stores. Specialty sized screws or screws made from uncommon materials can be purchased directly from suppliers. Depending on the size and material, prices for screws range from around $5 to $10 USD for a pack of 50, although screws may be purchased in bulk for discounted prices. In general no special chipboard tools are needed to set the screws.
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