Here’s the long and the short of it, screws that is

On a recent project I worked with a lot of 1/2″ material. Most hardware is intended for 3/4″ stock. So the obvious problem is that most of the screws supplied were too long. Now you can buy shorter 1/2″ screws, but when you mortise your hinges, 1/2″ screws are still too long.

Mortised butler hinge

Mortised butler hinge

So what do you do? You cut down the screws (I know what you’re saying, but that’s another post!) Here’s how I did it after trying to clamp the screws in a couple of different vices to no avail.

All you need is a scrap piece of hardwood, I used red oak. Drill a hole in the wood that’s equal to the shank size of the screw, screw in the screw like this and clamp the wood in a vise:

Screw into hardwood and clamped in a vise.

Screw into hardwood and clamped in a vise.

Then cut off the length with a fine hacksaw blade.

Cut with a fine tooted hacksaw.

Cut with a fine tooted hacksaw.

Then file the point with a file to get rid of any burrs that WILL wallow out the hole. Be sure you file it!

File to a point.

File to a point.

I suggest you pre-drill the holes in your project, and establish the threads before installing the cut screws.  While it’s a bit meticulous, especially when you need a lot of short screws, this method works great!

Long screws (left), cut screws (right).

Long screws (left), cut screws (right).

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