The two pieces of wood I'm using to bypass the baseboard are oak, 3/4" deep each (for a total of 1.5"). I chose hardwood because the hinges use pretty small screws, so I wanted a strong hold.
Here's the problem: I tried using 3" wood screws to affix the wood to the wall stud, pre-drilling of course. But every time I drive them into the oak, they break! I tried replacing the screws with stainless steel and lubricating them with a bit of wax. Seemed promising at first, but ended up with the same dilemma. I'm worried that even if I do manage to lubricate them properly, in the future when I want to take the gate down, they'll break on the way out.
(1) Should I try a different wood? If so, what's a good compromise between strength (for the hinges) and ease of use.
(2) Should I use a shorter screw? I thought that having a 1:1 ratio, i.e., 1.5" outside the stud and 1.5" inside would be appropriate, but maybe I'm overdoing it.
(3) Is there any other technique I should use? I've never worked with hardwood before, so any advice is appreciated.
Thanks in a advance.