Who does not like a beautifully done wood furniture piece, like a teakwood table, a gleaming mahogany chest of drawers or an old comfortable rocking chair. While the type wood we use, whether teak, sisso or sal determines its aesthetics and durability, what gives the furniture its functionality is the screws, nuts and bolts that bring it together.
Think about it — without these we cannot fix channels for drawers, handles and shelves in a cupboard or the armrest to the sofa. With the price of solid wood going up, the furniture we build must last a lifetime. Good quality screws, like brass machine screws, may be a minor details, but these ensure that we our furniture remains strong and durable.
Brass machine screws
Machine screws are a fairly recent development, possible only after machining was developed enough to make precision parts. Even the simple wood screws actually came only after metallurgy itself developed. Before this, primitive forms of glue or wooden dowels were used to attach wooden pieces, while making furniture.
Metallurgy was clearly the starting point. It is during the birth of metallurgy that blacksmiths found ways to cast metal, even small shapes like a nail. This was the primitive screw, a long metal spike which had to be hammered in and which could hold two pieces together. But it was far from the screw we have today.
The turning point came when spiraling grooves were introduced around this simple nail. This is where we first starting making screws. The brass wood screw is still among the most common screws in many wooden implements and furniture.
The next turning point came with machining. Now we were able to manufacture screws that were highly precise, giving the spirals a very definite specifications. Brass machine screws were an evolution of the brass wood screw, something which carried precision and could be customized according to function.
The common screws found today are brass wood screws, brass machine screws and stainless steel screws.
Brass machine screw Vs Brass wood screw
The brass machine screw has a thicker body that does not taper like a wood screw. It is stronger and far less likely to break when being drilled into a body. Moreover, the threads screw are cut by a machine so that the passage of the screw is easy and it tightens as it meets the head.
In a wood screw the cuts are made by thread rolling machines. Unlike the machine screw, a wooden screw experiences higher stress as it is drilled in. We often have wood splintering and pullout can be quite damaging. Machine screws, on the other hand, are much more effective. They tighten easily and are better able to resist pullout by the hardwood.
Why use brass machine screws?
Brass machine screws may have come a little late, but they are fast becoming preferred for people working with all kind of installations, whether wooden or metallic. Here are just some of the reasons that make brass screws so popular:
Anti-corrosive: Brass has a very resistance to corrosion. Moreover, its composition can be changed to increase its resistance to corrosion. Certain varieties of brass are developed to withstand highly hostile environment. This makes brass suitable for all kind of environments — from outdoor to hot and humid indoor conditions.
Aesthetic: Brass is actually used widely for its aesthetic appeal. The mellow-colored brass is perfect for furniture pieces where the utilitarian steel would be jarring. In some furnishing, brass screw-heads are actually featured as a visual point.
Anti-germicidal: Brass has high bactericidal properties, which means that not only does it withstand any corrosive effects of pathogens in an environment, it can actually kill these. Together with its anti-corrosive property, this makes brass ideal for all kind of environments, such as in marine use.
Ease of use: Many people actually prefer the brass machine screw because of the ease of workability. Simply put, it is just easier to work with. The screw goes in smoothly without undue stress and tightens as soon as it fits in. It is also easy to pullout without heavy damage.
Easy to cast: Brass is soft and has a low melting point. This makes it a very easy metal to cast. Not only does it help in recycling the metal, it also makes it an easier metal to undergo machining. This also make brass machine screws very economical.