1. Repairing a Stripped Wooden Screw
                by Lorne Goldman and others

Morgans are partially made with wood. This is how ALL were once made. It is an excellent material to mate withthe famous classic Morgan flexing chassis that is so much part of the personalityof the ca. Wood also has some properties that make it ideal for a car. However, this is not  an article to explain the merits of  the use of wood in automobiles, it is to address one of the most common problems encountered in the use of this product.

I often get approached with  questions on how to repair a stripped wooden hole. And this time I decided to write down my most common fixes for posterity. :)

Firstly, I must say I dislike the use of epoxies, glue or resins to make a wood repair. Wood reacts to moisture, aging, stress and flexing differently from other materials, so why combine materials with different characteristics if it is at all unnecessary? And I am loathe to use a larger screw if I can avoid it. I favor quick and easy non-invasive repair methods that can be performed even when mogging about. I classify these fixes in two types; those where the fittings are NOT subject to lots of stress and those points that are going to be subject to a greater force.

2. If Low Stress If a small screw and hole are involved, simply remove the screw, stuff a toothpick (or a bigger wood chip if the hole requires it) in the hole. It need only take up a part of the old hole space and no glue or anything is needed. Breaking off the excess length and replace the screw. You see all wood screws hold fast by compressing the wood they fasten into. A little toothpick is often all you need to force the compression to work again. 

3. If High Stress For larger, stress spots, where larger screws have been used and eventually failed, I opt for a method that spreads the stress over a much larger area.  I use T-nuts made for wooden applications. Find one that will fit the original hole and then switch to a metal screw and washer that suits the threades of the T-Nut. There is no need to piece a larger hole or prep the area. Run the new screw into the old hole and thread it a bit on the T-nut. Now, as you tighten the screw, the nut will piece and secure itself on the other say of the subject wood. If you wish to make the T-nut side flush, intent them slightly.

4. Removing a Sheared or Damaged Wood Screw

WATCHPOINT: BEWARE!!!!The reason I am adding this article is that I was very concerned to see a current forum participant recommend to his audience that they burn around a sheared engine bay bulkhead screw with an acetelyne torch to create a charred space sufficeent to allow the owner to hold the end of the sheared screw with a needle nose pliars!!!!! Basic common sense should show that this very dangerous for in a fossil fuel driven vehicle but it also leaves permanent and very obvious irreparable damage. The evidence of that is sufficient to preclude Concours successful competition and to negate or lower the sale value of the Morgan in question. Trust me. I was a Concours Chairman for many years.

There are many good methods. Try the least invasive first and keep going until one works.

A. Use a rubber band to give yourself a better grip on the screw. https://youtu.be/rpbL8h-7jSY
Push down very hard.

B. Try Pliers. If part of the screw head is exposed above the wood, try a pair of needle-nose or a small vice grip clamping pliers. Grip the head of the screw tightly with the pliers. While keeping a tight grip, rotate the screw counterclockwise to remove it.  If needle-nose pliers slip off the screw head, you’ll need to try again with needle nose vice grips.

C. Try a bigger or different screw driver. For example, you can try a different screwdriver if the screw you’re trying to remove is a Phillips screw. In this case, you’ll want the flathead screwdriver that matches the size of the drive.
        1. Insert the flathead screw into the remaining indentation in your stripped screw.

        2. Push down as hard as you can.

        3. Try to turn the screw.

If this doesn’t work, you can try combining this method with the rubber band trick as well.

D. Try Hammering.  You wouldn’t think a hammer could come into play when you’re trying to figure out how to remove a stripped screw, but sometimes, a hammer can help. However, to be clear, a hammer isn’t to be used for pounding in frustration on your poor project. :0  If your screw was soft enough to strip, sometimes you can hammer a screwdriver into the screw enough that it will grip the screw. (Note: Only try this method if the piece you’re working on isn’t terribly fragile.)

        1. Place your screwdriver’s tip into the screw head.

        2. Tap the screwdriver into the screw.
        3. When you feel it grip a bit, put down the hammer, and use the screwdriver to remove the screw.

E. Try Drilling a Hole. If you have a drill and a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the stripped hole in the screw head, try these steps:
        1. Drill a small hole in the middle of the screw head. Don’t drill too deep. It’s doesn’t take much depth for this method to work.

        2. Place your screwdriver in the hole. When it gets a grip, remove the screw.

F. Try a Rotary Tool  If you have a rotary tool with a sharp knife attachment, try this:
        1. Cut a notch in the screw head with the rotary tool. Use a diamond-head bit to do this.

        2. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screw.

G. Use a Screw Extractor  The last but by no means least effective way of removing a screw is by using a screw extractor. I’ve listed this method last because most people don’t have a screw extractor, and if you don’t, you might as well try the above methods before you go out and buy one. Screw extractors generally work in two ways. One of the least expensive extractors seats a collar over the stripped screw then uses an extractor bit to pull the screw out.
How to Remove a Broken Screw Without a Head

The two methods below will only work if the broken part of the screw is sticking up above the surface of your wood.  If your screw is broken off flush with the surface of the wood, you will have to do one of two things.
1. Drill a trough around the screw. Be aware that this is a bit of a messy process, and it’s harder to do than it looks. Don’t use this method on a screw if it’s in a part of your project that will be prominently seen.
2. Or use a rotary tool with a diamond-head bit to cut a trough around the screw. This is much easier than the drill bit method in the last step.

Obviously, creating the trough will enlarge the hole the screw is in. You’ll need a way to invisibly patch the hole after you get the screw out. Wood filler will work for that. Just be aware that wood filler doesn’t absorb wood stain the same way wood does. Another method, 1st class, is to use a plug maker to plug the hole. See below.
Now, whether you initially had enough screw sticking up or you’ve created enough by making a trough, you can remove it with either of these methods:
Method 1: Try Locking Pliers AKA Mole Grips (Mole Wrench) or Vise-Grips

Unless a broken screw is totally stuck, this method should work.

        1. Grip the exposed bit of screw with the vise-grips.

        2. With a firm grip on the screw, rotate the screw to remove it.

Method 2: Try a Drill Without a Drill Bit

Your drill can come to the rescue in a broken screw situation.
        1. Remove any bit you have in your drill. 

        2. Place the drill chuck directly on the screw and tighten up the chuck.
        3. Reverse the drill and unscrew the screw.

Repairing the Damage Caused

A. With Wood Filler (aka plastic wood)
Quite simple. This stuff is available at any hardware store, often in different wood colors. Fill the hole, wipe the excess, allow to dry and sand flat. I use this method when the wood is being covered and hides the resapir spot.

B. With a Wooden Plug

A dowel is a cylindrical rod, in the case made of wood usually made of wood. Dowels are commonly used as structural reinforcements in cabinet making and in numerous other applications, including: Furniture shelf supports. They are sold at any hardware store or can be made at home.

You will need a plug cutter. They are also available at any hardware store. (See the image to the right) To prepare the wood for a plug, you’ll first need a hole sized to the hole you created in removing the screw. Use the plug cutter carefully to keep the wood from splintering. Then fill the hole by gluing and inserting a dowel cut about a 1/2 inch shorter than the hole. Tap it beneath the surface by turning a nail upside down and hammering the point to drive the dowel as far down as it'll go.

You can also create a dowel by drilling them from a piece of scrap wood with matching color and grain of the surface you’re fixing. You can place a flathead screwdriver into the plug hole and pop the plug loose at its base.

Insert the smooth plug end into the hole with the grain of the plug parallel with the grain of the wood and tap the plug in place with a hammer. You can sand the remaining plug smooth with an electric sander, or save time by using a sharp chisel to shave the plug nearly flat and sand it smooth. I use wood glue (3000 lbs) as well.