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Two things I love to do in the woodshop are carving small figures and building small treasure or jewelry boxes. I get frustrated when attaching hinges to a box (or a basswood figure to its base) because the screw can strip or split the wood.
To prevent this, I first drill a pilot hole, then "tap" the hole with a steel screw the same size as the brass screw I'll install permanently. (I file a small notch in the screw threads to make it cut like a self-tapping screw.)
When it's time to install the brass screws, I first add a drop or two of cyanoacrylate (CA) glue to the hole, then insert and tighten the screw. This really sets the screws in place. I find I can still back out the screws, but it's definitely more work. I've also used this method successfully to screw into the edge of plywood.
--Ed Twilbeck, Ocean Springs, Miss.