Screw tips poking out: Any suggestions to fix? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Screw tips poking out: Any suggestions to fix?

Hello all,

Used pocket hole screws to attach 1x4s and 1x6s to a 2x4 frame of cedar. I didn't do such a great job keeping the boards just below the top edge of the 2x4s and some of the screws poked out. I used glue as well so there they stay. I did spread some wood filler in the small cracks and sanded but as you can see in the photos the screw tips are still visible. Was considering using a Dremel tool to grind down the tips a bit and then fill what I grind with wood filler or something similar. Any thoughts on this are appreciated.
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 02:19 PM
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Can you remove the screws, grind the tip off, the wood is threaded so they should screw back in.
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 02:20 PM
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If you did a good job of gluing, then take the screws out. Or at least remove and cut off the tip. With a good glue job the screws are sulfurous.



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post #4 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I already plugged the pocket holes so the screws are there to say. What if I grinded down the poked-out tips and filled the depressions with cedar sanding dust mixed with some Danish oil (which is what I planned on applying after all this is finished)?
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post #5 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 04:50 PM
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Grinding off the tips will be fine. I've had to do that, too, when you can't get the screw back out to shorten.
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Grinding off the tips will be fine. I've had to do that, too, when you can't get the screw back out to shorten.
Thanks everyone!
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 06:52 PM
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I used a Dremel type tool to cut off screw tips in a piece of plywood I cut for an indoor archery range. Use the cutoff wheels; takes less time than the sanding drum. Your dilemma will be cutting then and not damaging the wood.

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post #8 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 08:01 PM
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If you try to grind enough off the point to fill with putty it will make an eyesore. I would just try to take the sharp point off and leave the rest of it.
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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If you try to grind enough off the point to fill with putty it will make an eyesore. I would just try to take the sharp point off and leave the rest of it.
I tried the Dremel and ground them down enough that I could fill the depressions. We'll see what it looks like after sanding the wood filler.
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-11-2019, 08:53 PM
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I tried the Dremel and ground them down enough that I could fill the depressions. We'll see what it looks like after sanding the wood filler.
I just thought a tiny spot of metal showing would look better than a larger spot with putty on it.
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-12-2019, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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I tried the Dremel and ground them down enough that I could fill the depressions. We'll see what it looks like after sanding the wood filler.
I just thought a tiny spot of metal showing would look better than a larger spot with putty on it.
True. This project will be outdoors and I was concerned the screw tip would rust and look even worse than putty spots. I sand them today and hopefully the blend in. Thank you for your suggestion.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-12-2019, 08:31 AM
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I'm guessing (that's how I got through school) that moisture picked up by the wood might cause the screws to rust. Anyone have experience with this?

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post #13 of 17 Old 06-12-2019, 11:17 AM
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They will eventually rust.


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post #14 of 17 Old 06-13-2019, 05:15 AM
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For external use, I always use stainless with stainless washers.
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post #15 of 17 Old 06-13-2019, 12:59 PM
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I would unscrew the protruding screws one by one from behind. If the panels are glued in place, you're done. If not, cut the tip off each protruding screw and reinsert it before moving on to the next screw. If necessary, fill the tiny hole.

I think this approach is faster and neater than grinding off the screw tip in place and then filling the gash.
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-13-2019, 05:00 PM
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For future reference, you can cut the plug out using the same jig you used to make the pocket hole. It's not a lot of fun and takes a bit of finesse, but it's doable.

Use an old bit without the starting tip or a regular twist drill bit. The plugs rarely cover the head tight so you will still be able to get purchase on the screw head.

Replace with stainless or shorten. Re-plug.

Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
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post #17 of 17 Old 06-13-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shop_Rat View Post
For future reference, you can cut the plug out using the same jig you used to make the pocket hole. It's not a lot of fun and takes a bit of finesse, but it's doable.

Use an old bit without the starting tip or a regular twist drill bit. The plugs rarely cover the head tight so you will still be able to get purchase on the screw head.

Replace with stainless or shorten. Re-plug.
Thanks. This was probably my best solution. After grinding and filling it came out as good as I expected which will be a reminder that I am still a beginner! It will be a bottom shelf of a grilling cart and hopefully it to add to the character of the piece as it weathers. We shall see!
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