I'm just finishing restoring an old Victorian chest. It came painted in a thick coat of varnish with modern brass screw-in cupboard knobs disfiguring the drawers. It was therefore unwanted by the dealers and very cheap. Many hours of careful work with ticketed cabinet scrapers to remove the finishes down to the wood, careful filling of blemishes and old screw-holes and hours of traditional French polishing have brought it to the stage at which I can fix the salvaged period handles I have sourced.
The handles are fixed with 4 gauge brass screws, requiring, in hardwood, a pilot hole of 1/32" and a clearance hold of 7/64". However, if you try to fix the brass screws directly, you risk snapping them. So one first fixes using equivalent steel wood screws, then with the brass screws.
Fortunately I have a decent stock of 4 gauge round-head Brass wood screws, but couldn't find any 4 gauge steel screws of the appropriate length anywhere. Last night I searched the web to little avail - they seem to have disappeared. Only one company still claims to stock them - I'll call them later. Many other websites claimed the new 3mm size to be the equivalent of 4 gauge. It isn't.
Will I now, as with Tungsten filament lamps, have to stock up on sufficient Imperial wood screws to last me until my death-bed?