What screw diameter / type to use for building my wood stand using 2x4’s?

joe-ejs

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Hello.

I am preparing to build a new tank stand using 2x4’s. My question is what screw diameter and size is best for using to screw together 2x4’s. I see they come in 8/9/10 diameters and am not sure which is best although I assume the size 10 is the largest. Also, is there a specific type of wood screw I should use for this application? I wasn’t sure if one thread is better than another at holding wood together at a high load weight


any advice is much appreciated
 
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mdb_talon

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I think you will be fine with any of them honestly. I use #9. As far as the type the most important thing is using an actual wood screw. Sometimes I see people using drywall screws or other specialty screw and that is where you end up having issues.
 

Jeepjeep_0

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I used 3” deck screws, resistant to rust. Be careful if you countersink or bury the heads you’ll get the tip coming through the other side.
 

Lost in the Sauce

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I highly recommend SPAX brand fasteners. Diameter is less important than length. You want All the grab you can get. They also counter sink themselves.

If you choose a thick shank, id highly recommend pre drilling your holes. Lumber is getting absolutely CRANKED through the milling and drying process as the cost of the commodity raises. Fast drying times mean the lumber is more brittle and prone to cracking and splitting.
 
Zoanthids

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I would spend the money on some type of deck screw for the reasons above, also the torx bit is harder to strip and grabs great. Also get an appropriate sized pilot bit or you'll risk splitting the 2x4.

I took the time to wood glue all my joints on my last stand and it was rock solid when complete. Takes a little more time and makes a little mess but is something to consider.
 

redfishbluefish

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Look, this isn't rocket science. The screw is NOT there to hold the weight of the stand. If designed properly, all the weight is transferred directly through the wood portions of the stand, down to the floor. The screws are there to simply hold the wood pieces together....extremely minimal forces on the screws. Quite honestly you could simply use nails and all would be OK. Anyway, when I built my RocketEngineer stand I used a 2 1/2 inch exterior screw (I think #9). Now when you buy this one pound of screws, make sure you hold your hands over your head when you check out because they are robbing you at a cost of around ten bucks for a pound of screws. The cost has skyrocketed over this past year....not to mention the cost of 2x4's at over $8 a piece.
 

NabberNate

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Honestly I wouldn't rely on screws for sheer strength. Find a way for the wood framing to lay on top of another piece of wood when possible. For convenience however #8 - #10 is plenty fine but I usually like screws with a washer head to hold things nice and tight. Honestly I use my Kreg 2-1/2 all the time anything more than that I get RSS or spax. Below is a great choice readily available.

 

Lost in the Sauce

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Look, this isn't rocket science. The screw is NOT there to hold the weight of the stand. If designed properly, all the weight is transferred directly through the wood portions of the stand, down to the floor. The screws are there to simply hold the wood pieces together....extremely minimal forces on the screws. Quite honestly you could simply use nails and all would be OK. Anyway, when I built my RocketEngineer stand I used a 2 1/2 inch exterior screw (I think #9). Now when you buy this one pound of screws, make sure you hold your hands over your head when you check out because they are robbing you at a cost of around ten bucks for a pound of screws. The cost has skyrocketed over this past year....not to mention the cost of 2x4's at over $8 a piece.
To someone who doesn't build things, this may not be rocket science, but it can still be a very daunting task to build a stand, right down to fastener selection.
 

mike550

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I like using a Kreg jig and their screws. The pocket screw looks good when finished and there seems to be a lot of strength to the connection.
 
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Staghorn

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I would do a #9 or #10 exterior screw. And you should predrill because if your screwing close to the edges of any of the 2x they may split. And as mentioned above if your screwing 2 2x4 together parallel where they total 3” thickness you will need to use 2 1/2” screws or angle your screws otherwise the tips will poke out. Anywhere where you are screwing them perpendicular where the thickness equals 5” or more I would use 3” or even 3 1/2”. Also make sure all your pieces are put together as square as possible otherwise you stand will be uneven where it contacts the floor. Make sure your horizontal pieces that hold the tank up are on top of the legs and the legs go strait down to the floor. If you have another horiz piece interrupting that vertical column to the floor make sure there is no space between the pieces so it’s just like 1 solid piece connecting the bottom of the tank with the floor. Good luck and post a picture of the finished product.
 

Billdogg

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I'm a big fan of Kreg pocket holes and screws as well. They are designed to pull the pieces together and are very easy to work with. As redfishbluefish said, the screws are not there to support the weight of the tank. They are there only to hold the pieces together until the glue (you are using glue, right???) dries.

I've built many stands over the years - using nails, drywall screws, deck screws, and now with PH screws. None of them ever had a problem, at least in part because they were all properly glued together.

Enjoy the learning experience. Even if not perfect, the rocket engineer style stand is so overbuilt that it allows for even the newest of woodworkers to make a very solid stand. Just be sure to take the time to pick the very best lumber you can, and then allow it to acclimatize to your homes ambient humidity for a week or two before use. That will help prevent any warping/twisting that can occur with dimensional lumber.
 

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