How to Toughen Wood with Epoxy
Create durable screw threads and long-lasting jigs
Synopsis: Stripped screw holes and inaccurate, loose shelf-pin jigs will never be a problem again if you start using epoxy to reinforce them as Michael Fortune does. This article shows you his process for reinforcing hinge screw holes before fitting a door, and hardening threaded screw holes for clamps on jigs. The hardened threads are like a steel insert and will never strip. He also uses epoxy to strengthen holes in shopmade drilling guides, such as shelf pin and doweling jigs, ensuring that they never lose their shape.
Any time you repeatedly install and remove a screw in wood or sheet goods like MDF, the threaded hole gets enlarged and you lose holding power.
A perfect example is when you fit a door to an opening. you hang the door on the hinges, check its fit, take the door off, take a few shavings, rehang the door, check the fit again, take the door off again, and so on until all of the gaps are just right. It’s a repetitive task that can strip the screw threads. The same thing happens when you move toggle clamps from one jig to another or to different locations on the same jig.
But stripped threads don’t need to be a problem. For many years, I’ve reinforced the hinge screw holes with epoxy before I begin fitting a door, and used it to harden threaded screw holes for clamps on my jigs. The hardened threads are like a steel insert and will never strip. I’ll show you my process, and how I use epoxy to strengthen holes in shopmade drilling guides, such as shelf pin and doweling jigs. Jigs like these start out accurate but become unreliable because the guide holes get enlarged over time. However, if you saturate the walls of the…