Re-installing Sash Locks
Sometimes the old screw holes are worn out and the screws will not tighten down. What screw hole repair method works best?
No single treatment is good for all, or even most, situations. Select the repair method that gives the results required by your project.
First try the obvious: a longer screw that will go deeper and into sound wood
Limited Results: Fill the hole with epoxy materials and screw into it again. Screws in an isotropic material like epoxy do not hold as well as in wood which is stronger along the grain than across it. Tests show that screws can pull right out.
Short Term Results: Glue a matchstick, or toothpicks into the hole. Or, drill out the old hole and glue in a dowel. Then screw into the hole again. It is well known in wood mechanics that screws do not hold in end-grain as well as they do in side-grain. Setting a screw in sticks or dowels that are in line with the screw is not as strong a fastening, even if glue is mixed in. The holding power of the screw is limited by the performance of the glue.
Long Term Results: Fill the old holes and reinstall the sash lock in a new location that has sound wood for all screws. Or put a wood dutchman in the rail so there is sound wood for the screws at the original location of the sash lock. Screws hold best and longest when set in wood that is perpendicular to the screw.
Removing & installing sash, temporary boardup, frame & sill repairs, wall sealing, frame & trim painting.
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