I left off last week with the thought that the stripped screw extractor bits I had purchased for the end table would work with this one. Well, I ran into some issues.
The end table had wood screws that were soft. Not a lot of convincing had to be done in order to remove those. It was fun to remove those screws. This had three main things working against my effort:
- The screw is made of hard steel. It’s amazing that the screwhead was stripped at all, but because it was, there it stayed for decades.
- The screw was there at all to keep pressure for glue that was drying. It was like using loctite.
- The screw was a slotted round head. This is massively different from a Phillips flat-head.
The Phillips flat head is easier to extract. All you have to do is clear out the drive (i.e. where the screwdriver meets the screw) with a drill bit and use the extractor bit to grab the sides of the cone you’ve drilled out.
But a round head screw needs to be drilled out way more in order to turn the drive into a usable cone.
After significant time trying to drill out the screw with my old Craftsman bits, I started to wonder if it was a better idea just to drill away the head and leave the headless screw where it was. But I kept going because that wasn’t what I’d set out to do. I was going to remove this screw!
And I kept on going.
Feeling defeated, I decided I’d give it one last go. Out it came. My initial thought of how happy I was to be rid of the screw right before giving up was replaced by the thought that it wasn’t the first last chance I had pledged. That gave way to a feeling of relief that had built up over 20 years.
There was so much work ahead of me. I had intended to countersink the screw heads and fill with wood putty. I also had the split at the top to try to glue back together without tearing apart the entire table. I didn’t see exactly how it was going to happen, but it certainly was worth a try.
I researched wood putty and wood filler. Based on reviews, I ended up buying Minwax Stainable Wood Filler. It comes in a squeeze tube, so application isn’t so cumbersome.
The screws that needed to be countersunk were already in my possession! I had researched screws for the other end table refinish project, and this was my chance to use the Robertson wood screws. It’d be the first time I’d use a square drive screw head.
After all that, I’d have to sand everything down to smooth it out and get rid of the stains that had accumulated over time. Then the teak oil.
More next week.