The Rot Doctor


Subject: Not your typical question I suppose (loose screw holes)
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001

I am wondering if this product would work well in the wooden sections such as headers in a Model A Ford. Frequently, I hear from other car collectors that the screws in the windshield support area or screws in doors and headers are loose or have fallen out. Traditionally the repair has been to either completely replace the wooden area in question or to glue in a small piece of wood, such as a toothpick or match, and hope for the best when it all dries.

Reinstalling the screw then will usually give a temporary fix as it has at least something to bite on as it locks into the wooden header. Would this product adhere to the wood (bond with it) and allow the screws to be screwed back in with a more permanent bite? Would the cost be too expensive or the repair not a correct one to make? Most of these wooden areas are usually in the top of the car and you would be working above your head as you inject anything. Would you inject it into a hole with a syringe and then place a piece of tape over the area to prevent the material from dripping down or leaking onto something below? Could the repaired area then be drilled with pilot holes where the original holes were before they were filled?

Hope this makes sense, as it is just an idea that I wanted to check out for repair possibilities in the future.

Thanks for any information and reply. You have a nice site.

Pat H.


The question you ask is a common one for boat owners, and the solution is fairly simple. The surface of the wood is taken down to bare wood, and then CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer) is applied via brush, rag, syringe -- whatever -- including the screw holes. CPES is a very thin liquid that penetrates into the wood and then when the carrier solvents evaporate away the wood is epoxy saturated. It turns soft or punky wood hard, and protects it from future rot and deterioration. CPES tones the wood the same way a coat of clear varnish will: darkens it very slightly and highlights the grain. Clear protective varnish or urethane can be applied over the top.

If you're working overhead, then you should have a drop cloth down to catch drips. Use lacquer thinner for clean-up.

This treatment is often sufficient to give the screws the "bite" they need to grab firmly. If not, boat owners will take a little dab of our Layup & Laminating Resin and using something like a toothpick smear it into the screw hole. They wait 24 hours for the epoxy to cure, and then screw-bite is not a problem. What happens here is that the L&L Resin bonds with the CPES-treated wood and you have a continuous strong structure.

Hope this has been helpful. Come on back if you have additional questions.