I mentioned that I wanted to finish trying to rehab my old wooden screw before I start my bench, since it will determine the size of the hole I bore into my leg (for the leg vise) and whether or not I’ll have to mortise the nut into the leg. If the screw didn’t work out, I would use my new threading kit (1 1/2”) and simply tap the hole in the leg – no nut required.
So now that I’m mostly done, I have mixed feelings. But first, the pics. Here’s the “before” picture:
and now the “after” picture:
So it’s a great improvement over a rotting screw head; anyone would admit that. There are many things about this thing that I don’t like. First off, the shape is all wrong. I wanted a hexagon but a beefier hexagon. I cut it to size with my ryoba, which is a fantastic saw but ill-suited for cutting thick stuff – the blade is too flexible. So while the top of the head looked like a nice hexagon, the bottom was an indescribable shape full of unevenness. I made twice as many cuts as anticipated because I kept trying to fix my mistakes. I have to say, though, that my sawing improved as I went along, and I think if I had to do it all over again I might do quite a bit better. Funny how practice is.
Another thing I don’t like is that my pegs are uneven – they are centered on one side of the head but not the other (because of the unevenness – I fixed it mostly, but it’s still off). And lastly, the head seems the slightest bit crooked in relation to the shaft of the screw. You can kind of see it in the picture above.
So here’s the test, to determine what kind of woodworker I am. Will I leave it as is, and continue on with the bench? I do not doubt that once this screw is assembled to the bench it will function perfectly. Or will I keep tinkering, maybe even chopping this head off and start over, so that my screw head reflects the excellent craftsmanship that I hope will be characteristic of all my pieces?
I’m leaving it. I don’t like the look of it, and I don’t like that it will be one of the focal points of my workbench. But it’s a stinkin’ workbench, for crying out loud! If it works, I’m leaving it. It will also remind me of lessons learned along the way. If at some point I find myself with a nice block of wood that is a regular cylinder or cube, I may try again with a new screw head. But knowing how I am with “good enough”, my guess is that this will be my screw for a long, long time.
P.S. I’ve yet to finish this off with my plane, to get the pegs flush and to remove saw marks (I thought a flush cut saw wasn’t supposed to leave saw marks?), and after that I need to finish it. Just in case you were wondering.