How to Pre-Drill for Fasteners

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Sometimes even careful hammering or screwing can crack wood. Prevent cracks by pre-drilling wood with instruction from an experienced remodeler in this free video on how to pre-drill for fasteners.

Part of the Video Series: Home Maintenance Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chris Palmer. Today, we are going to talk about pre-drilling wood so your fasteners don't crack it. More often than not, it's better if you pre-drill when you are driving a screw or even a nail through wood to fasten it; particularly, if you are screwing or nailing near the end or the edge of the wood, or if the wood is a really brittle species of wood. Or when the wood has a straight tight grain. All these things make it really prone to cracking. Here's a piece of Doug fir with a nice straight grain. Look what happens when I try to drive my screw without pre-drilling. This crack went halfway down the board. The proper way to do that would be to make a nice hole first. Here's, here's the fastener I want to use. And here's the appropriate bit. Now, if you look at the screw, not counting the thread, that should be about the diameter of your drill bit or even a little bit smaller. That way, there's plenty of thread cutting into the wood to keep a nice strong connection. Go ahead and drill your hole. And pull out the drill bit. You drive in your fastener and sink it and it should be a really clean crack free attachment. Just like that, no cracks. Thanks for watching I'm Chris Palmer. That's how you pre-drill for your fasteners.

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