WML : Fasteners Are Engineer’s Best Friend

While we are on the subject of screws, here’s another thing that I learned about fasteners. As any know-it-all who pays attention to things like that I looked up why screws with what we called cross-shaped screws in the USSR are called Philips screws in the US (I wonder what they call them in other countries) are called so. Of course the answer was one web search away in the Straight Dope Classic Why did this guy Phillips think we needed a new type of screw?

I also purchased One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw used at Amazon. I learned that the screw and the screwdriver is a rather recent invention, interestigly enough one of the very few tools not known to the ancient Chinese.

Useless trivia aside, I hate both slotted and Phillips screws. Of course I would not even think of using slotted screws for anything other than period-correct Craftsman style or Art Deco hardware such as cabinet pulls or outlet covers. But the common Phillips screws, with their falling off from the bit (even the magnetic one) and stripping (not the good bachelor party kind) drive me absolutely nuts.

The solution? I bought a couple of boxes of hybrid Phillips/square screws from Rockler. You can use the regular Philips driver, or you can use a special square one. The benefit of a square bit is that the screw does not fall of the bit and does not strip easily. The kit also includes a bottle of suggestively named Rockler Screw-Lube. The paper box is rather sucky and unusable – the partitions lift up and the screws mix.