How-To: Get screws to hold in end grain

Craft & Design Furniture & Lighting
How-To:  Get screws to hold in end grain


I’m not a carpenter by training, but I have built a lot of simple furniture, and blogged about a lot of simple furniture, and one of the rules of thumb I’ve picked up from the pros is that threading screws into end grain is a big no-no. Wood is not an isotropic material, because of the grain, and is relatively weak in that direction. But sometimes putting screw in end-grain is the best/simplest way to do things, and until I saw this simple trick from, the only way I knew to do it was to use a barrel nut or some other relatively unusual and expensive fastener designed for the purpose.


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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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