refurbishing damaged screw holes in redwood

I have a solid redwood bench that I made over 30 years ago which I'm rebuilding. I originally secured it with steel screws which, over time, corroded and destroyed the wood that surrounded them. She cleaned up well, and I know I'll be able to put it back in service, but have to decide the best way to do so. My first idea was to fill the holes with a sythetic wood, drill it out again and replace old hardware with SS screws. Dowels are another alternative, but more difficult given the tools available to me.
Anyone care to offer some suggestions of the type of filler material to use? Any other tips that might be useful in the project? Your help and advise would be appreciated. Thanks!
T Will
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Try drilling a hole and inserting a hardwood dowel. The best holing power would be to drill a hole through the edge of the bench and insert a dowel so that the threads enter the grain at right angles instead of through the end grain. I would probably buy the brass inserts and thread them in and use machine bolts. I don't think you would get good results with filler. max

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How about just using bigger screws? That would seem to be the easiest approach.
-j

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If you do decide to go with the filler method, is there any way to make your own filler with some glue and redwood sawdust from the bench? It would look better than the standard "plastic wood" look possibly.
Just a thought.
P.

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Considering the way that Redwood changes color as it ages, I'd hesitate to use anything but redwood to repair the area where the holes are damaged. Matching the color with something that won't change will certainly fail. Why not chisel out a chunk and let in a trapezoidal block of redwood. Something like this:
____ \__/ ____ _____ ____ \ /_____
-j

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On 15 Nov 2004 11:04:49 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@netzero.net (T Will) wrote:

stainless steel threaded inserts.
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Thanks for your suggestions. It will be a week or so before I get to cracking on the project. I've looked it over some and think I'm going to try relocating the holes where the worst damage was done, plug the holes I don't use with dowels, and use wood filler for about half of the remaining holes that have only minor damage. With countersinking and plugging the screw heads (and the dowels that filled unused holes), it should look pretty clean when finished. Maybe I'll get another 30 years of service out of it. This older redwood is a pretty incredible material. Sits out in the elements and takes it all in stride.
Appreciate you taking time to pass along your ideas.
T Will
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