lubricating screws...

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by joeford, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,912
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Location:
    st. louis, illinois
    i like a bit of a fight when I'm bolting parts together... gives me a little more confidence that things will stay put down the road. BUT... I've also broken off more than my fair share of screw heads...

    I'm thinking about lubricating the screws on my current build... but won't that also make things easier to come apart? the lubrication works both ways, right? would i be better off just opening the pilot holes a bit more vs keeping things more snug and lubricating? any tips?

    also... I'm aware that this topic is a giant "that's what she said" joke
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    20,552
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
    I use canning wax. I just rub it on the threads. Find a pilot hole chart for screw size. Fender imperial size is #8. You'll notice in the chart that softwoods go down a notch from hardwoods. That's relative to wood density though, not necessarily wood hardness. Some conifers would be harder to put a screw into than some hardwoods. Here's an example chart:

    https://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-information/wood-screws/Wood-Screw-Pilot-Hole-Size.aspx
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  3. Hobs

    Hobs Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    193
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Use beeswax to lubricate them. They will go in easier, but it doesn't seem to make them loosen on their own. Oversize pilot holes will weaken the connection between the threads and the wood.
     
    joeford, djh22, Deeve and 1 other person like this.
  4. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,501
    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Yup beeswax...even Ivory soap will work in a pinch.
     
    joeford, djh22 and coloradojeff like this.
  5. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,244
    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Location:
    United States
    beeswax
     
    joeford likes this.
  6. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Posts:
    12,313
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Location:
    44°55'09.9"N 79°25'39.1"W
    Admin Post
    I use conservators wax. I found a small tin of it in my basement years ago (it was probably there when we bought the house) and didn't know what it was for so decided to use it to lubricate the screws on my guitar projects.
     
    joeford likes this.
  7. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    162
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I draw the screw threads across an old candle. Doesn't take much.
     
  8. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    711
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Paris, France
    Wax, or soap... Candle wax, beeswax. Don't use grease or oil.

    You need to take some extra time to drill your pilot holes just the right size. It depends on the wood, make some tests on scraps of wood before. You don't wan't an oversized pilot hole, but when working with harder woods (ebony, maple, roasted woods) your pilot hole should not squeeze the core or the shank of the screw, it has to be just right to accomodate the core diameter of the screw.

    Remember that it's the threads that are holding the screw in the wood.

    One trick is to have a few drill bits with slight differences in diameter.
     
    joeford and howardlo like this.
  9. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    3,313
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    They won't work loose. Think how much torque it takes to drive the screw in. This deforms the material around the thread as well as cutting the negative. The contact pressure on the threads will hold against the piddly amount of vibration a guitar generates.

    Lube it up!, don't go in dry and fast ( Fnarr! )
     
    joeford likes this.
  10. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    856
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK and EU
    Worth saying again: special care with pilot holes in roasted maple. It splits so easily.
     
    joeford likes this.
  11. intensely calm

    intensely calm Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    121
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    Bee's/candle wax and/or bar hand soap. (not the pump hand soap, too oily)

    I typically pre-thread each hole using a sacrificial screw that has been wax'd.
    get some threads in the wood before final assembly, makes life easier.
    Saves screw heads, and there are fewer slips and scratches.

    If the wood has been used and abused, the hole is loose but not to the extent of needing a drill-n-plug -
    I may wick CA into the wood hole then wax a screw and thread it in.
    Let it set for a short bit and remove the screw before the CA completely sets.
    The slight waxing will allow the screw to be removed easy enough.
    The CA will harden the threads in the wood... sorry a bit off topic
     
    joeford and magicfingers99 like this.
  12. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,376
    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Location:
    atlanta
    I wax the whole guitar and put the screws in dry, I think it saves time waxing all those screws, but sometimes it gets out of hand and I wax the car and the appliances and the countertops and the floors and never get around to the guitar.....
     
    joeford, EsquireBoy and MickM like this.
  13. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,204
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Big D
    upload_2019-10-2_9-48-36.jpeg

    Use this, the nice smell is an extra benefit!!
     
  14. Verne Bunsen

    Verne Bunsen Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,129
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sonoran Desert
    I use bar soap.
     
    matmosphere, joeford and RodeoTex like this.
  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    11,523
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    I use whatever's in reach.. usually TreeWax, Minwax Finishing paste wax, or the "go to" Bee's Wax. which is pretty much the industry standard among furniture makers...

    and.. for those that are not "lubing" the screws... Whut, You Nutz... :p always drill a pilot hole and lubricate the screws into all but the softest woods....

    and the screws that come with most parts are at the bottom of the list in quality... throw 'em away unless you just plain cannot find replacements from somewhere like McMaster-Carr.. they are constantly expanding the varieties they carry, but good old Stainless Steel works for most of us.... the Cheep stuff can strip, or snap off faster 'n you can say, "Dawwgone, I hate it when that happens".

    r
     
  16. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,669
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Yes, lube always. And I just end up buying a Callaham screw pack so I have at least enough to finish a build. If I were building more than one-offs, I might try sourcing my own.
     
    joeford likes this.
  17. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,542
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Wax, I just use Burts Bees Wax in the tube! Guitar components have no reason they should loosen up.
     
    joeford likes this.
  18. 1bad914

    1bad914 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    526
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    Location:
    Michigan
    A bar of white ivory soap is on the ledge above my bench. Use it for every screw going in wood, never had them come loose because of the soap.
     
    joeford likes this.
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    73
    Posts:
    11,523
    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Yeah, like those strap buttons, and jack cups.... :p

    rk
     
    joeford and Piggy Stu like this.
  20. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    10,108
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Bar soap or candle wax always. I just keep it wrapped in waxed paper in my toolbox tray.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
    joeford likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.