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  1. #1

    driving screws through wood without a power drill

    I am trying to figure out how to use a hand drill (not powered) to drive 3 in wood screws in order to join two 2x4s.

    Seems like a simple operation but I feel like I must be doing something wrong - I can make very very little progress before I can't physically move the screw anymore, even with a pilot hole drilled (which I had similar problems with trying to do by hand...). What am I missing? I'm using an "eggbeater" style hand drill, and trying to use drywall screws. What is the optimal position to drill from (should the drill be pointed to the ground or parallel to it while drilling)? Should I be trying to "spin" the mechanism as fast as a power drill? How much force should be necessary with proper tools and procedure (should it take arm strength like a power drill or closer to your whole body weight?)?

    New here, hope this hasn't been covered elsewhere - I looked before posting.

    Couldn't find any youtube videos either, but maybe just because I don't know how to search for it exactly. Anyway, any help or direction is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Head to the grocery store and look for GulfWax. It's a box of parafin used by folks that make their own jelly, It is basically a block of wax. Drag the screw across the wax before you twist it into the wood. That will lubricate the threads and allow you to get them set.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bifidus View Post
    I am trying to figure out how to use a hand drill (not powered) to drive 3 in wood screws in order to join two 2x4s.
    I hope you mean you're using the hand drill to drill the pilot and clearance holes, NOT to drive the screws!!

    The key is properly sized pilot and clearance holes. The screw should slip through the first piece with little or no resistance (clearance hole) and thread into a pilot hole in the second piece that is slightly smaller than the root diameter of the screw. Sharp drill bits help too.

    A bit brace works well as a hand-powered "cordless screwdriver."

    p.s. I use 2 1/2 inch screws to join two 2 x's. Plenty long enough, IMO.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the quick responses. I was trying to drive the screws with the drill (somehow thinking it was just a manual version of the power drill - as I said, i'm very new to this).

    Funny, I was thinking the opposite if anything: that bit braces were keen on boring holes, and the smaller hand drill would be for driving screws and smaller bits.

    My bits are pretty crappy (ace brand), so that's probably contributing to my problem.. I thought they'd at least work once!

    Boy, so every screw you drive by hand is a three part process with two bits and another tool? Didn't realize what I was getting into... a power drill sounds very tempting.

    again, thanks for the help.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bifidus View Post
    Boy, so every screw you drive by hand is a three part process with two bits and another tool? Didn't realize what I was getting into... a power drill sounds very tempting.
    Plus, if you're using flat-head screws, you will want to cut a countersink too (so there are 4 steps, including the driving). I use a battery drill (ssshhh!) with a taper-point bit/countersink combination: One drilling process for clearance hole, pilot hole, and countersink.

    The egg-beater will drill holes ok (use light pressure and back up frequently to clear the chips from the flutes of the drill bit), but it's not designed for driving screws.

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