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Old May 8, 2013, 01:38 PM   #1
Join Date: April 2, 2013
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Repairs to worn butt plate screw holes

Im just wondering if anyone has a technique to repair worn out enlarged screw holes that I have at the butt plate of a restoration stock.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Drill them out using a bit slight bigger than the hole, to a depth just beyond the depth of the screw. Place a similar sized dowel in the hole with an epoxy (acraglas or devcon 2-ton). Allow a day to cure. Cot off any excess dowel protruding from the wood. Drill a new screwhole into the dowel, and you are ready to go.

Here's Midway USA's video

Last edited by Zhillsauditor; May 8, 2013 at 01:59 PM.
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Old May 8, 2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for your tip and the Midway video clip, one of the more simpliar fixes.
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Old May 8, 2013, 07:25 PM   #4
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There's an easier, less invasive way.

Get a can of Johnson's Paste Wax or even some shoe polish wax. NOT CAR WAX.

Liberally coat the screws and the inside of the butt plate with a thick coat of wax. Don't wipe it off.

Mix up some 5 minute epoxy glue and pack some into the holes. Work fast, and put the butt plate on, then screw the screws in until they almost start to turn too far, then let the epoxy cure for 20 minutes or so.

Carefully remove the screws and clean up any excess epoxy and clean the wax off everything.
Let the epoxy fully cure and reassemble.
The holes will be repaired and will be even stronger then when new, and there'll be no sign they were ever stripped.
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:45 AM   #5
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I have used longer screws and also when in a hurry used a very thin strip of emery down the hole then re install screw. Both fixes have held up for years.
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Old May 9, 2013, 08:54 AM   #6
Dixie Gunsmithing
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I wasn't going to post this, as it is a pretty cheap way to do it, but it does work. You can use flat toothpicks (Yes, still available), and a little Krazy Glue, to do this repair. You take the toothpick, apply a little glue to the big end, and slide them in and around the outside of the wallowed out hole. Hold them until the glue sets, then snap them off even, and then either use a knife, or sand them even to the stock. The screw now has extra wood to thread into.
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Old May 9, 2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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Ha, I was going to suggest the toothpick trick, too.
But thought no one would believe it.
It works good on all kinds of wood fixes.
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Old May 9, 2013, 10:14 AM   #8
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Always a better way !!

With me, it depends on the application. On quick fixes, I too use toothpicks and glue. Now, some holes are Dry-Rotted and just using toothpicks is not good enough so you have to remove some bad wood. I encountered one SideLock that after removing the dry-rot, it left me with about a 3/8" hole. Even after using toothpicks, you still have to wrestle with proper alignment as your screw will want to take the path of least reistance. ....
I know of a smith that hand cuts a plug or inserts toothpicks without any glue.

Most of the time, I use the listed Midway video version and you don't have to worry about the drill bit walking on you. Larry did not mention the use of glue but you can see it in the video and it's Titebond-II. I prefer Titebond-III on all gun-wood application.

Good Luck and;
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Old May 9, 2013, 05:51 PM   #9
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I have always used the dowel method with good success. Dfarishwheel's system seems to be OK but might not work well if the hole is really broken out or is in very weak or oil soaked wood.

The toothpick "trick" is OK for a quick and dirty repair, but I would not use it on a quality gun or one that would be used very much.

Jim K
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Old May 9, 2013, 06:55 PM   #10
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Sure, you can drill, dowel, and drill again.
But for this application, it's overkill in my book.
There's absolutely no tension load on those screws.
I'd dribble some 5-minute epoxy into the holes. Then, you can drive the screws in before it sets if you want for superior hold. You can always apply heat via a soldering iron to the screw heads to soften/de-bond the screws later if you need to. Or, just wait until the epoxy sets up slightly and pre-drill the screws to the dia. of the screw shanks.

And that toothpick trick works great, too...
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Old May 11, 2013, 02:01 PM   #11
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Thanks all on your replys and suggestions regarding the repairs of the screw holes. I will try to post photos of the project. I think I will try both repairs. I believe each of the two holes have a different condition, whereas, the dowel can be used in the lower hole and the worn out top hole, I'll try the 5 minute epoxy. When I checked to see the fit of the refab butt plate and screw, I noticed I will have to trim the screw head down with my dremmel to come flush with the plate. Any suggestions after reviewing the photos would be appreciated. Oh and longer screws won't work (get ready to cringe) as the previous owner used 3" long nails to secure the butt plate which I had to pry out. Thanks
Attached Images
File Type: jpg VZ existing.jpg (220.8 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg VZ butt plate w screw.jpg (224.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg VZ-butt.jpg (225.7 KB, 15 views)

Last edited by waltin; May 11, 2013 at 02:07 PM. Reason: minor note
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Old May 11, 2013, 03:08 PM   #12
4V50 Gary
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Don't use the dremel. I use the hand file to trim screw heads. Dremels can be too fast. A hand file gives you more control.
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Old May 11, 2013, 04:11 PM   #13
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To trim the heads down on the screws chuck them up in a drill and use a file.
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Old May 12, 2013, 07:27 AM   #14
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I fix a lot of oversize holes in furniture and other items. My technique is simple. Put a round toothpick in the hole, rub the screw with beeswax (parrafin, soap or other stuff will work also) and replace screw. It is about a one minute job.
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Old May 13, 2013, 07:49 AM   #15
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I'd do it like Rifleman, but wouldn't walk to the house for a toothpick. I'd just use the pocketknife to whittle off a sliver of wood from whatever wood chunk was closest to hand. I'd probably use a wood harder than pine and I'd size the wood plug large enough that the compression fit, with the screw in the hole, is quite snug. I probably wouldn't bother with glue, but if I did I'd reach for the titebond III, like was earlier suggested. If you don't have titebond III, and all you have is good old Elmer's Glue, that's the equivalent of titebond I, and will do just fine unless you get it wet a lot.
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