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Essential fasteners for a successful projects
Nails, screws, plugs and other fasteners might be small but shouldn’t be overlooked! They play an essential role in any construction project and selecting the correct ones could have a great impact on your end result. There is a wide range of fastener products available, and each has defined benefits to consider.
Using the right fasteners, you will have better success with your projects. Buying the right fastener could be a challenge as there are a wide array of options and each has its specific application and advantages.
You should start by considering which material you are working with and what environment your fastener will be kept in, as indoor/outdoor applications will differ. And finally what capacity it would need to hold up, as this will impact the size, material and length needed.
The main mistake we make when it comes to fasteners is that we use “whatever we have available” to make it easy for ourselves, but in the long run this will create issues. So make sure to use the appropriate fastener for the job to get the best and long lasting end result!
Screws are a suitable fastener for many projects as it provides secure and tight fastening that can be adjusted and even removed. Depending on the material used you have certain types of screws that suit the application better.
You have wood screws to be used on wood. These screws feature an unthreaded shank next to the head allowing it to bring two pieces of wood tightly together.
The drywall screws are to be used when working with drywalls, you have screws with coarse threads that are meant to secure drywall to wood studs, and the fine thread screws are to attach drywall to metal studs.
The concrete screw is made to attach in masonry, like concrete. The cement board screws have a coating that can resist corrosion, making it perfect to us while fastening a subfloor or backboard. They can be used for both metal and wood.
Deck screws are to be used outside for decks, fencing or other similar projects. These deck screws come for different products, the two most common variants are for wood and the other for composite materials.
The lag screw, or lag bolts feature a hex head for fastening heavy components or materials that handle heavy loads.
The screw material and finish are important characteristics that determines what environment and application its suited for. Some material allows the screw to handle heavier jobs while others prevent corrosion and rust.
No matter if you are installing a shelf or hanging a picture frame in your home, you need the right plug to go with the material of the wall, but also the weight of the fixture.
Plugs used for hollow materials
A hollow material is any material that is not solid all the way through, like hollow brickwork or blocks and drywall. For these materials you should use certain plugs:
The universal wall plug is designed to mount light objects. It uses its nylon fins to create a tight knot on the back of the wall, securing the fastener and object.
Self-drilling plugs, also known as self-tapping plugs, are screwed directly into the soft material wall and its external fixing thread will secure the hold.
The spring toggle is mainly used for ceiling installations as it has metal wings that is released and pulled flat against the above surface, to secure the screw.
More known as moly plugs, the hollow wall anchors feature a screw and a body. Together with a setting tool, the body expands its wings creating a triangle shaped support on the back of the surface in which the screw is to be tightened.
Plugs for solid materials
When mentioning solid materials it usually refers to concrete, stone, solid brick or blocks. For these materials specials plugs are needed for secured fastener:
The expansion plug is designed to be inserted into a predrilled hole and as you tighten the screw, the plastic strips expands inside the wall, securing the hold.
The hammer-in plugs consists of a crew and plug, all in one. This plug is to be placed in a predrilled hole and with the strike of a hammer the plug is secured in the wall.
Also known as concrete wedge anchors, the steel bolt anchors are placed in a predrilled hole and to secure the fixing you need to tighten its nut, making it expand within the hole providing hold.
The lightweight multipurpose plug is a very frequently used plug as it can be used on most materials. But because of its bad pull resistance, it should only be used for hanging lightweight fixtures.
Like with screws, the nail is used to secure different pieces together. Also here, their material and design determines for which application it’s best suited for.
Types of Nails
The common nails are used for general construction and fastening projects where the strength of the nail is more important than the looks.
The box nail has almost the same design as common nails but with a thinner shank. This reduces the chance of splitting the wood when fixing it, but at the same time it won’t provide the same strength and are therefore not optimal for constructional applications.
The duplex nail is used for temporary work such as formwork for pouring concrete. It has two heads, one that secures it while in place and the other is for easily pulling it out and removing it.
Masonry and concrete nails are made from hardened steel and are usually short and thick. Their longitudinal grooves makes it spin when it’s driven into the material, making it able to penetrate hard materials like concrete and mortar.
A finishing nail has a small diameter shaft that reduces the chance of wood splitting and it’s small head can easily be concealed when driven below the surface. A smaller version to this nail is the brads nail that is perfect for craftwork and other woodworking.
Other ordinary nails on the market are sinker nails, siding nails, joist hanger nails, cap nails, drywall nails, roof nails, panel board nails and flooring nails. All with their different benefits.
The anchor fasteners or bolts are used to attach and secure structural components to concrete. They are heavy duty fasteners that can handle a lot of weight and are widely used for bigger projects.
It’s important to select the right anchor fastener for the job and you should consider several aspects while doing so, like the base material of the object, the type of load, the type of concrete used, the environmental conditions and the size and strength that the bolt can carry.
Anchor fasteners are divided into two groups depending on the installation requirements; the cast-in-place anchor bolts and the post-installed anchor bolts.
The cast-in-place bolts are stronger bolts as they are casted directly into the concrete material itself. They are placed in the wet concrete and gets secured while it hardens. These bolts are then categorized in different groups that all have their separate benefits and applications: the bent-bar anchor bolts (J-bolts and L-Bolts), drop-in anchor bolts, headed anchor bolts, sleeve anchor bolts, plate bolts, and swedge bolts.
The other category, the post-installed anchor bolts are installed after the concrete is laid by drilling a hole. The category includes the hammer driver pin, lag screw, toggle wing, wedge and the double expansion shield.