The Timber Tailor | January 30, 2017

YouTube Video // Concrete, Masonry, Framing

Carpentry Hack: Attach Wood to Concrete with Construction Screws


Yup—just drill a hole, add a piece of copper wire and drive the screw home


When I have to attach a piece of wood to concrete, concrete block, brick or any similar hard surface it's not always practical to buy a box of specialty concrete fasteners, especially when I usually have a full assortment of torx-drive 'deck screws' on hand when framing. 

Having this attachment method in my bag-o-tricks speeds the process and widens the range of fastening options.

There is a whole compartment in my screw assortment box dedicated to a handful of various sizes of copper wire from small and stranded to large, single conductor pieces.  This gives me options for fastening most anything TO most anything... which happens a lot during remodeling projects.


Here's how to do it:

  • Select a masonry bit that is as close to the screw thread size as possible.
  • Position the wood where it needs to be
  • Drill holes through the wood far enough to mark the locations on the concrete.
  • Remove the wood and drill holes into the concrete deep enough to accept the screw you are using: more is better.
  • Replace the wood and drive a test screw to make sure the holes still line up and are an acceptable size.
  • Insert a piece of coated stranded wire into the hole through the wood and into the concrete.
  • Drive a screw into the hole. If the hole is too big, use extra wire or larger wire.

This is a plenty sturdy method for attaching wood to masonry—especially in a pinch when masonry anchors are not handy.


—Matt Jackson is a master carpenter, remodeler, SketchUp Wiz, YouTuber, and contributing editor to ProTradeCraft. He lives and works in Rapid City, South Dakota. 




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I've also used a similar method with driven nails and a piece of wire. Like the method shown here, this isn't for every application, and it's not a strong as a bonafide tapcon or other such purpose-built masonry screw. I used the nail-and-wire method, for example, when I needed to fasten stucco lath over soft brick -- we needed about 1000 fasteners and they didn't require great strength.

ummm, , Mat's comment about "   coated , stranded wire ..,"    I've been a carpenter for 52 years already  ( union , nonunion, residential , commercial , institutional , governmental )  and have been a GC the past 45 years ..  guess I should already know this but what" coating "  is Matt referring to and  I've only seen stranded twined copper wire only 3/8" and larger cables ?      Never to old to learn .. I'm trying to get my second 50 years into the trades now    !  

I believe he's referring to the insulation coating.

One need to be careful when using dissimilar materials. Galvanic reaction takes no time. Copper and steel is in this case shall not be used.

Just remember that the construction screws that were used in the video are designed primarily for tension application and not for shear.  In the case shown there were enough fasteners and a relatively evenly distributed load to accommodate the approach.

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