Purchased - Wood screws

Proposal Type:

Peter Roberts - WoodyDusty

Currently we have big boxes of mixed screws. Having looked through these last night, most are non-general screws that aren’t useful for the average project. It’s also not generally advisable for people to be rummaging through a big box of spiky metal.

I would like for these to be stored in the metal recycling container at Tameside household recycling and instead for woodworking to stock a few basic countersunk screws of various sizes. They won’t work for everything, but for a huge proportion of projects they work, and if a member wants something more specific they can buy that.

Proposed Purchase:

(Updated from unsuitable trade pack following JC’s comments below)

Screwfix links
3.5 x 16 (200 Pack) - £2.29
3.5x30 (200 pack) - £2.38
4x50 (200 pack) - £4.29
5x70 (100 pack) - £4.59


Toolstation links
3.5 x 15 (200 pack) - £1.80
3.5x30 (200 pack) - £2.29
4x50 (200 pack) - £3.34
5x70 (100 pack) - £4.29


Proposed Installation:
There needs to be storage and open for suggestions. Part of this proposal is getting rid of the lucky dip boxes. I very much do not want to increase clutter and in my strongly held opinion the affectionately named tetanus boxes have to go.

<£15, with ongoing consumable cost

Funding type:
Fully funded by Hackspace

Health & Safety
Less concern that people will cut themselves or get diseases from the boxes of mystery screws

Micro Proposal <£50 - 2 Board Members and 2 Members

Supporting Board Members:

  1. Joe Christian
  2. Dominique Tink

Supporting Members:

  1. Peter Roberts
  2. Tom Howe

Heya Peter,

Funnily enough I had a fever dream about this last night.

Not going to lie, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for the lucky dip box, but you’re right, you have to dig through it for 10 minutes to find 1 useful screw, so maybe you’re right and it is time to call it a day on that.

One of the ways i’ve found we amass junk is by buying multipacks of things and all the useful ones going, then buying another multipack, and on and on it goes. Instead I would propose we agree say 3 sizes of screw and buy individual units of them that can be replaced as and when needed.

I realise your proposal is for individual boxes, but they’re sizes that aren’t much use outside of a building site, and they’re actually rather expensive for what you get as they are premium screws. It might be a bargain for the quality of screw you’re getting, but I don’t think our members need structural grade screws. I do agree that we should be providing a basic array of consumables on a fair use basis, for the handful of screws every project needs here and there. While it is also nice to have them all 5mm, this is pretty chunky and not really needed for most projects.

I’ve had a quick look on screwfix and toolstation and would probably suggest the following:
30mm - good for fastening battens to sheet materials
50mm - generic decent size
70mm - alright for most things that 30 and 50 don’t suit

I’m loath to include 100mm length screws, as there’s actually very few projects you’d ever use them on, as evidenced by the box of long screws that never gets used that’s already in the space.

Screwfix links
3.5x30 (200 pack) - £2.38
4x50 (200 pack) - £4.29
5x70 (100 pack) - £4.59

Toolstation links
3.5x30 (200 pack) - £2.29
4x50 (200 pack) - £3.34
5x70 (100 pack) - £4.29

I’d like to see these go on the consumables list as well personally, but that would be decided at a members meeting. I’m aware there are members who don’t believe the hackspace should be providing this level of consumables, but I think it should be providing a basic selection of stuff: glues, screws, wires, nuts, bolts, thread, etc. It is on a fair use basis - aka get your own if you’re using a lot - and sure someone could abuse this, but they’d get away with £4 worth of screws at the end of the day, it’s really not worth limiting everyone elses making experience for it.

Sorry for the long reply. I’m unfortunate enough to spend every day of my professional life looking at data sheets for wood screws.

Joe - half with a members hat and half with a board hat on.

All good points. My original rationale for that set was I thought it would be good if all screws were the same diameter. However I didn’t look at the lengths which I realise now are definitely unsuitable.

I’ll update the purchase proposal with your suggestion, but add an extra size down in addition (3.5x16) as these are useful for screwing brackets etc. into the faces of sheet material.

I would add to your ‘10 minutes to find 1 useful screw’ point that it takes longer every time and it was surprisingly evident last night that the most useful ones had been scavenged already.

At home we tend to store screws in containers like these

Not sure it’d be good for the hackspace though, as we could end up with folks taking out the containers and not putting them back / tidying up etc.

Joe suggested these. Seems like it could work well KCT 72pc Garage Wall Mount Tool Organiser Set with Storage Bins | DIY at B&Q

Personally I use a budget version of those fatmax ones from B&M ( Cheap Tool Storage & Shelving | Tool Containers & Shelving Units (bmstores.co.uk) )

I store other items in my wall bins but largely because with the screws it’s helpful to bring all of them everywhere I’m working. Doesn’t seem so necessary for the space.

On the other hand the tackle boxes prevent dust gathering.

Another option is buying a tackle-box style set (e.g.TIMCO Solo Woodscrews - Mixed Tray: Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools). I have a torx set like that, and it would solve storage also.

Final option is we just use the cardboard boxes. They’re a standard size and it’s then super clear what’s supposed to be in each box. Personally quite keen on this one because in the context of the hackspace, boxes with the exact info about each screw would be really helpful, as well as potentially discouraging people mixing inferior or non-matching screws in.

Can even make fancy storage for them:

The 1lb Boxed Screw Storage Rack : 6 Steps (with Pictures) - Instructables

+1 board member for the screws. I’ll add them to the consumables list - tbc at the next members meeting.

This is a great idea! Happy to support as a second member. Wonder if it’s worth buying a variety pack as you’ll get 12+ different sizes so more likely to find the perfect fit, and it’s already in a nice organiser case. We can always restock particular sizes if we find they’re highly popular.

780 assorted screws for £8.79 Countersunk Pozi Screw Pack | Toolstation
Or 1000 assorted screws for £17.99 https://www.screwfix.com/p/goldscrew-pz-double-countersunk-woodscrews-trade-case-grab-pack-1000-pcs/99867

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bump @Fnhalluk @DominiqueTink

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It may be worth looking at this screw purchasing / sorting system that project kamp developed for their community:

It seems to be a really well-thought-out system, which allows for trivial screw re-ordering, use and re-use, and avoids the pitfalls of the bucket-o-screws sorting system all spaces tend towards.

Absolutely !
+1 board member

My preference after some consideration when I originally looked at this was just storing the screws in the cardboard boxes they come in. This discourages mixing and means the labels are very clear. The Project Kamp thing looks decent but we have a near infinite number of PZ2 drive bits, screws are cheaper (judging by a quick browse of toolstation, roughly 50% of the cost per size, and then roughly 50% of the cost per 25 pack of driver bits, too) and we have links to products so I think we can stick with the previous list.

Storage would be nice, but I think plain open shelves with the screw boxes on is fine (possibly with the addition of labels under each screw box so you can easily see if a category is missing) and does have advantages over a built system because

  1. Everyone who makes those sorts of things are already very busy
  2. Having the boxes they were bought in makes it clear it’s not that vague screw it’s exactly what it says on the box.

Hot gluing the screw to the front of the boxes isn’t a bad idea, however.

Apart from anything else there’s a ton of organisational stuff to be done for other things so my preference is just keeping this purchase proposal as simple as possible.

Yeah i like the hot glue screw idea. Genius!

Thanks Dominique.

Purchased since Peter’s on Holiday. Will be installed in the space in the coming days hopefully.

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All done and installed in the space. It’s not the best shelf, so if anyone has a better idea, please crack on.

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