Hand Tools

Subject:
Another important factor missing from discussion
Response To:
Sorta yes.... ()

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Friction

Only a fraction of the force applied to a screw winds up applying pressure where it is needed. I have never seen coefficients of friction of the material used in metal vs wood screws, I can't say which is better, but I can say the friction loss is substantial.

It was unclear from the original question and its clarification whether the question is a general one or specific to a moxon vise. And wood vs metal is not even the primary variables to be considered in selecting a screw. For example, when I built my utilitarian vise my concern was not wood vs metal. Rather it was what diameter screw would be practical diameter and how coarse a thread could I use to make adjustments rapid. I bought 2 steel bolts for a dollar. A wood screw 1/2" diameter was not practical in this size. If I thought I needed a 2" diameter screw for some reason a 2" diameter metal screw would be equally impractical.

Wear is hardly an issue for either. I "temporarily" replaced a plastic idler pully on our drier with one turned from maple and 40 years later it is still spinning just fine. I used Mack Headley's bench when in that shop and his metal vise was similarly just fine after decades of daily use.

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