This article was featured in AMJ Magazine in 2011 by Greg Wiener, CEO of Quickscrews® International Corporation.
Woodworking Fasteners have been part of a dynamic change over the past twenty-five years. It has been over 15 years since there has been a domestic producer of Woodworking Screws or, as they are more commonly referred to as, Particle Board Screws. Pan American Screw which is now owned by Marmon industries was the last domestic producer of these parts. They closed their factory in Gaffney, SC in the 90’s.
Importers have played the most important role in the industry in the past 25 years. Steve Gunbiner, of Equality Screw Co was one of the most well-known and one of the earliest importers. His was the first company to concentrate 100% on Cabinetmakers and the Woodworking Industry at large. He brought in the first series of Deep Threaded Fasteners called Little Grippers, which now are called many other names, such as Quickscrews, Lo-Root, Deep Thread. These are all names for a typical type product, commonly known as Particle Board Screws. The problem with that name is it is too limiting. In an effort to a continual reduction in costs, Fastener Suppliers are constantly on the lookout for new products to improve their industry. Much advancement in wood fastening has come in the past 20 years. We now have screws that can self-countersink, even into hardwoods, without the need for a pilot hole in most materials. However, we are still searching for the exact right products for the use of man-made materials such as Melamine, Particle Board and MDF. These materials all require different fastening solutions.
As the Wood Fastening industry has grown to over 5 billion fasteners a year sold combined, the need for quality assurance has also grown. Many years ago, the company I own, Quickscrews International Corp., contacted the I.F.I in an effort to get them to place standards in their book. They advised me that the industry as a whole was too small, yet I perceive the real reason is that there were no domestic producers of the product requesting standardization, so why set a standard at all. Therefore, it has been incumbent among companies like Quickscrews to lead the way and publish and promote a set of standards and let the industry decide if they wish to choose them or not. Currently the major importers of these type screws all provide their own set of standards and specifications which are similar but in no way the same. It is discouraging that the major institute that governs our industry refuses to acknowledge the need for standards and specifications.
One of the many ways Quickscrews and companies like them has introduced new products is at the Bi-Annual Woodworking Trade Shows. Bi-Annual shows, like AWFS and IWF, provide great opportunities for suppliers to showcase the newest products and innovations. Quickscrews has been exhibiting at these Woodworking shows for 20 plus years. Typically, a 4-day venture in which tens of thousands of woodworkers, cabinetmakers, and furniture manufacturers ascend on the show and look for the newest and coolest innovations for the Woodworking and Cabinet trades. Specializing in these types of fasteners has become rarer and rarer. Where there were once 20 legitimate suppliers to the wood manufacturing industry, the industry is basically down to 4 companies remaining as major players: Quickscrews, American Bolt & Screw Co., Pan American Screw, and Deerwood Fasteners.
For over 23 years Quickscrews has been innovating in the Woodworking Industry. The first company to produce a full color catalog and full specifications data back in 1990, we continue to provide the most accurate and best detailed information in the industry. Our website, www.quickscrews.com, has over 10,000 unique visitors a month and is growing. We have a fully interactive wholesale online system for our distributors and large OEM accounts as well as an Online Store where all 2,700 plus products are available for sale. We are continuing to add new products at a very good pace.
Quickscrews has always been a leader in the introduction of innovative fasteners for the woodworking and cabinet industry. Ten years ago they introduced their patented Quickcutter, a revolutionary woodworking fastener that now sets the standard for deformed threads and their ability to cut through the hardest woods while maintaining holding as well as pullout.
In 2010 Quickscrews added Solid Surface Mounting Clips and Fasteners.
Meanwhile, in another drive toward improving benefits and features, Quickscrews has designed a screw to resolve the longstanding problem with fastening in man-made materials.
Prototypes are being made for this new screw, the Funnel Head Screw, which will enable a user to drive the screw into the face or edge of particle board, MDF or melamine’s without the need to drill a pilot hole, while at the same time not split or crack the material.
As usual we continue to offer the greatest assortment of Woodworking Fasteners.
Although the Woodworking and Cabinet Industries were ignored by fastener companies for many years, in the past 25 years the fastener industry has recognized the need for innovation and support of this current domestic manufacturing base. As noted either through attrition or by competitive design, although only a few remain they are strong and they are interested in serving the industry they grew up in. We thank all of those companies that have survived only to make the Woodworking and Cabinet Industries better. Wood fastening knowledge is rare, but as long as companies like Quickscrews remain vibrant and dedicated to improving their industry, then the outlook for Fastening in Wood will look pretty good too.
Quickscrews International Corp.