Best way to repair these small screw cracks?

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Forum topic by ColonelTravis posted 06-02-2014 01:03 AM 1039 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ColonelTravis's profile


1797 posts in 1915 days

06-02-2014 01:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: screw crack

Restoring an old Stanley level. Lot of brass on it I want to clean up, like the caps on the end. Each has a screw on top, on the bottom and then one on the face:

After taking them off I saw that he top and bottom screws on both ends have all cracked the side like this:

So that’s four little cracks (two each side), which aren’t visible because the brass covers them up. I’ve fixed wide/stripped screw holes in hinges but nothing that’s broken through an edge like this. What’s the best way to fix this kind of break?

8 replies so far

View TechTeacher04's profile


386 posts in 1553 days

#1 posted 06-03-2014 02:12 PM

I would leave it as it is, If you can’t sleep until they are fixed I would apply glue with a syringe being careful not to get glue on the exposed surfaces and clamping it. After the glue dries reattach the end plate with the clamp still in place. The clamp will prevent the wood from spreading because of the wedging action of the screw. I would use a hand screw clamp or parallel jaw type clamp to have a wide parallel clamping action.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2935 days

#2 posted 06-03-2014 02:53 PM

I agree, leave it be. There is no load on what these screws hold, and looking at your image it appears these cracks may be as old as the level and created when first assembled.

Considering the above, I would not use clamps at all, because the screw spread the wood in order to fit in the first place. I bet the screw holes were not pre-drilled. IMO, a single drop of glue in the hole when reassembling should be all you need to do after shining up the brass.

How about sharing a FULL sized image of this level, for all of us to appreciate? Thanks!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1878 days

#3 posted 06-03-2014 03:09 PM

I was thinking the same. These cracks were probably made when it was first assembled. No need to “fix” them now. Make sure that when you put the screws back in that they go into the same threads as when first put in.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2980 days

#4 posted 06-03-2014 03:22 PM

Maybe bore out the hole to an inch or so (hard to tell dimensions by a pic, need to go by available size), then glue in a dowel to fit; pre-drill said dowel and reinstall the caps…?

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1878 days

#5 posted 06-03-2014 03:55 PM

I just read nomad’s comment and then looked at the picture closer and it looks like that’s already been done. Maybe?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2391 days

#6 posted 06-03-2014 04:21 PM

Agreed, it looks like it’s already been drilled out and plugged. It doesn’t look like the crack exists in the plug, which would indicate that it actually is fixed, and you can leave it be. The screw may have been stripped, and perhaps putting the plug in is actually what caused the crack. Who knows.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1797 posts in 1915 days

#7 posted 06-04-2014 06:47 PM

Thanks, leaving them.

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3265 days

#8 posted 06-04-2014 11:52 PM

Depends on what you want to do with the level. If it is for use, I would soak the end of the level in CA glue, redrill the holes for screws . If the level is for display only, leave it alone.

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