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#627715 03/21/23 08:05 AM
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Sidelock
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Is it possible to weld up a buggered screw head? Where would you go for something like that?

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Yes it is.

If you’ve ever seen a new screw or pin made, you’ll wonder why someone would go through the trouble of having one welded up. Welding an old one up seems like more trouble than what its worth.

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I'm with Dustin on this. I have done it both ways but these days I just make a new screw.


http://www.bertramandco.com/
Booking African hunts, firearms import services

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If the screw isn’t too bad it can be fixed. But, the decision to fix also depends on the gun and/or location because you do loose some of the head to repolishing. Other than this, I’m with the others and would make a new one versus welding. Any method used will require recutting the any engraving. But, if you want to pursue welding Peter Nagel at Restorative Welding can do it.

Last edited by rwarren; 03/21/23 10:48 AM.
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RARiddel,
There are buggered screw heads and there are buggered screw heads. A lot of them can be repaired by putting a slot width metal shim in the screw slot and pein the metal back to the shim with a punch and small hammer, then clean it up, and recut the engraving, if any. If one is too damaged for simple repair, you have to make some decisions. First, are you able to cut the thread to make a new one, is it important to the possible sale of the gun to have all original parts( even if some are repaired, do you know someone that can do that level of welding), and are you able to clean up the welded screw head. I suspect that this " soul searching", would result in more new screws being made than old screws being welded up.
Mike

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Soul searching, nice! Sounds like a new screw is easier.

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Originally Posted by RARiddell
Soul searching....

The Zen of Gunsmithing, somebody needs to write a book wink


http://www.bertramandco.com/
Booking African hunts, firearms import services

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90% of damaged screws are fixable by peening the metal back into place.
Those that aren't, I lathe turn the damaged top off down below the slot. Silver solder a new oversize piece of round stock in place. Turn that to the orig screw head size.
I leave the head 'tall' and with a rough hacksaw slot.
Turn the screw into place a few times to seat it then mark the 12 & 6 slot and surface lines.

Take the tall head down to just shy of the surface mark. Use the 12& 6 marks to cut a new narrow slot with a Jewelers Saw.
I usually back the slot up to 11 & 5 as that one last time back in place will always draw up tighter than all the ones before it.

Final trim the head to the surface or round as needed. Polish and engrave

The Hard solder joint is well below the surface and not seen.
I've done hundreds like this. It goes pretty fast once you're used to it.
Re-capping screws...

Welding always seemed like a PITA way to do it.
Bad welds, hard spots, etc.

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Kutter,
Thanks for the tip
Mike

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To replace or repair slot destroyed screws. The gun in the picture has an over widened screw slots on all the screws except one replacement.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Yes it could be replaced and re engraved though it is a little past trying to correct it. The problem I see is this, the gun is one hundred and fifty years old made by a top London maker the screw is original to the gun and seeing that a gun is only original once so as the gun functions perfectly well as the screw is so I decided that if I replaced it it would be to make me feel better not the gun work better, therefore I decided to leave well alone it may not suit other people so am I right or wrong?

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

This is the replacement because it was missing when I purchased the gun though I do see it as a wart I would sooner have had the broken screw now looking at it using hind sight.


The only lessons in my life I truly did learn from where the ones I paid for!
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damascus,
You can't be wrong, if it is your gun, it is your choice. Whoever gets it after you might complain, but as long as it is yours it is your choice. The wide slot illustrates my suggestion to put a "shim" in the damaged screw's slot and pein the damaged metal back against it. If the damage is just filed out, the result is a wide slot. BTY, the screw you see as a wart, looks fine to me.
Mike

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A few times I have filed the damaged slot wide and tightly dovetailed and soldered a piece of drill rod in the slot. Then recut the slot and touched up the engraving. If tightly fitted on top it's invisible but you must leave a little room at the bottom for the solder.

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I welded up a few badly buggered screws when all I had for a lathe was my little Unimat, and couldn't make a screw. The hardest part for me was not burning away the edge with the MIG arc. I found it best to insert the screw into a small steel flat washer that had a hole a wee bit smaller than the head diameter, and then weld all around and into the center over the damaged slot. Then the washer and excess weld was turned off in my Unimat after rough grinding, and the slot cut with a jewelers saw, and finished with a slim needle file. While welding, I clamped the threads in copper to protect them, and coated them with some anti-scale compound. Jobs like that became easier when I learned to TIG weld.

I've read about Kutter's method of removing the damaged screw top, and silver soldering a piece on to create a new head and slot. It sounds as if it would be quicker and easier than welding.

For most of the domestic guns I bought that had badly damaged screws, it saved a lot of time and money to just buy a replacement screw from a firearms parts dealer like Numrich, or the parts guys at gun shows. I've laid in a pretty good supply of various size oval head wood screws for guns for things like forends, trigger guards, and buttplates, which were bought very reasonably at gun shows. For common field grade guns, having the screw slot a bit out of time was much better than looking at the buggered screw, and often, it wasn't even necessary to blue it. Peening the damage back into place works well for screws with minor damage, but bluing afterward will always be necessary. The labor cost of having a gunsmith repair or make a new screw just might not make good economic sense for a lot of lower grade guns.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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I have saved original screws by thinning a small piece of sheet steel to fit snug in the slot then driving a small chisel straight down into the head close to the damaged area which moved steel up against the sheet steel. Then I inlayed mild steel wire into the cavity created by the chisel and dressed it down to original shape. Not for smaller screw heads for sure. But I have found it to work nicely on larger screws.

Last edited by SamW; 03/24/23 08:19 AM.

Sam Welch
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I've done a few with our laser welder. Luckily the welded material doesnt get very hard making it relatively easy to re-cut the drive slot

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