Sometimes we need to make a wooden structure quickly and without too much complications, and in these cases the wooden mortise and tenon joints are discarded. That is why this time we are going to see how to make a wooden structure, or a wooden frame, by assembling strips with wood screws.
So, in this post I will show:
Making joints with wood screws
To make this structure or wooden frame I have already cut all the strips I need: four equal vertical strips, four equal long crossbars and four equal short crossbars. And because the wood strips are rectangular in cross-section, not square, I’m going to use wood screws of two different lengths. We can see those wood screws in the pictures, together with the wood drill bit I’m going to use to drill the pilot holes.
As for the wood screws that I’m going to use to join the strips, these are flat-headed but with a V-base. The problem is that that V-base can act as a wedge and split the wood if I insert it too hard into the wood. It would be better to drill a small hole instead of the countersink we will see later, and insert a screw with a flat base. Then it wouldn’t be danger of it acting as a wedge. But hey, those are the wood screws that I have and those are the ones I’m going to use.
So, the procedure I am going to follow to make the joints with the screws is as follows:
I put a board on top of my workbench and I put one of the short crossbars on top of the board. But notice that the crossbar is sideways. I screw several pieces of plywood around the crossbar so that it does not move, and I put the strip that will be vertical also sideways on the board and in its corresponding position with the short crossbar.
Now I can drill a pilot hole.
Yes, written like that it looks like a mess, but in the video I think you can watch perfectly how to make these joints with wood screws 😀
Now I move the vertical piece aside, and I finish drilling the guide hole in the mark left by the drill bit in the head of the short crossbar. The problem is that these thin wood drill bits are not very long and they don’t make a long enough pilot hole for the 9cm long wood screws.
To finish assembling these joints with wood screws I just need to countersink the hole so that the head of the screw is below the surface of the strip. Then I apply glue and insert the screw while pressing one piece of wood against the other.
Making the wooden structure
Now, following the technique we have just seen for making joints with wood screws, I am going to finish making the wooden structure. First I finish making the sides of the structure with the vertical pieces and the short crossbars. And then I finish assembling the wooden structure by joining the long crossbars in the same way. We can see in the video how I have to modify the position of the stop blocks as needed.
It should also be noted that the strips I use are not of square section, but of rectangular section. That’s why I have to be careful when drilling the guide holes, so that they are centered on the head of the back strip, even if the front strips are sometimes a little off to one side.
How to hide wood screws
Now, if we want to have a more nice wooden frame or structure, after assembling the strips we can hide the screws with wooden dowels. However, to hide the screws we must drill a wider hole in each guide hole to about 1cm deep. That hole must have the same diameter as the dowel, witch must be slightly wider than the diameter of the head of the screws.
Then, on a drill bit of the same diameter as the dowels that I am going to use, I mark the depth to which I want to drill. In this case I use the insulating tape trick as a depth stop. I remove the screw and I drill the hole. I put the screw back in. This time it will go in deeper, with the head hidden into the hole I just drilled. And I glue one end of the dowel into the hole. Now I just have to wait for the carpenter’s glue to dry, then I cut the part of the dowel that sticks out, and I sand the surface to be smooth and nice.
In this case I did not hide the screw heads, as this wooden structure is not for a piece of furniture, but for a garden project. But well, the important thing in this post is that in the end I managed to assemble a fairly sturdy wooden frame or structure. And also, by making the joints with wood screws, I made it in a very easy and quite fast way.