Stripped out screw holes in oak - repair or use larger screw?

I have been tasked with repairing the leg of an oak coffee table, which was originally held together with both screws and glue inside of a 1-1/2" tall apron. The leg was damaged during a move, revealing a couple of somewhat stripped screw holes, and an original lack of glue in the joint.
If it was up to me I would just glue it properly, but I have been asked to also use fasteners, so that is what I will be doing.
I was originally planning on going up from the original size 10 wood screws to a size 12, but now I am wondering if I could instead repair the stripped out screw holes and still use the size 10 screws; this would keep me from having to redrill/resink the legs.
I have seen holes in softwoods repaired by mashing pieces of wood into the hole, but would something like that work in oak?
Is there any way to repair a stripped out screw hole in oak, or should I just plan on going to a larger screw?
Thanks for any suggestions,
Jon
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On 08/25/2015 06:30 PM, Mike Marlow wrote:

Thanks Mike, I very much appreciate it!
Jon
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On 8/25/15 7:50 PM, Jon Danniken wrote:

I don't know if this would work for your particular situation but there is a technique where you drill out a hole and fill the hole with the same sized dowel.
Drill out the bad wood with whatever sized bit matches the dowel you'll use to plug it. Insert the dowel with glue. Once the glue dries, drill and insert the new screw. This works particularly well if you can cut your own dowels using the same type of wood and match the direction of the grain when inserting the dowel.
--

-MIKE-

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On Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 11:57:23 PM UTC-5, -MIKE- wrote:

If he is replacing a screw used to connect the table legs, odds are no one will see it (going by the counter sink description) so grain orientation is a nicety but not necessity.
I use the process you describe above often and have for about 40 years now. The harder the wood, the softer the plug wood is the better you can plug and re-thread your hole.
I use this technique when replacing old hardware, reattaching old connector s, resetting hinges, etc. I always keep a couple of sharp knives in my poc ket, and I take a piece of soft wood, say a large splinter from a 2x4, and simply shave a round, tapered plug to use. It literally takes seconds and I leave the splinter long so I can tightly fit the plug to the hole. I get the plug to the right size and taper, then fill the screw hole with glue a nd a bit more in the plug. Put the plug in the hole and then tap it tight with a couple of shots from a hammer.
The plug should fit tight enough that you can cut off the waste from your p lug with a sharp chisel and then wipe off any excess glue. If it is a smal l screw such as for door hinges, I immediately trim the waste and re-drill. If it is a larger hole I am filling, I cut the waste away, the allow the glue to penetrate the plug and the existing hole. I wait about 30 minutes and re-drill. It isn't unusual for me to replace door hinges in a great ol d wood door and have to do that to all the hinge holes.
I have never had a screw fail when the hole is filled with a soft, tapered plug. I was shown that in my first year of construction not as a repair, b ut as a way to cover up a mistake I made when I drilled the hole in the wro ng place!
Robert
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On 8/26/15 2:27 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The more I thought about it while reading your post... if you don't have to match the wood for appearance sake, then a softer wood is definitely a better choice. The risk of a hard wood plug that small splitting is very great.
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On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 9:55:39 AM UTC-5, -MIKE- wrote:

It is. Just as important, a hardwood plug will not lend itself to having it s wood fibers pushed into the hole's cracks and old screw threads like a gl ue covered soft plug will. Properly applied, meaning plugged, pilot drille d while the glue is wet and then immediately installing the screw is the ti cket. Between the soft wood fibers and the glue, it makes a perfect fittin g, easy to make plug. Ideal for the repair he is doing to the underside of a table.
Again, never seen that fail. I use that technique a lot in hard and soft w oods.
Robert
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-MIKE- wrote:

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Yet another technique is to coat the screw with wax, put some epoxy in the hole, and run the screw in. The wax stops the epoxy adhereing to the screw, so you can get it back out, but it builds up and strengthens the threads in the wood. You end up with almost a tapped hole.
Personally, since these screws are hidden, I'd go with Mike Marlow's suggestion of a couple of wood slivers.
John
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John McCoy wrote:

One more way is steel wool...stuff it in, squirt in a couple of drops of super glue, let dry, screw.
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On Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 9:47:38 AM UTC-4, John McCoy wrote:

I have always used Vaseline to prevent epoxy from adhering to things I don't want it to. I keep an old jar in my "epoxy kit". Just another option.
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On 8/25/2015 11:57 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Exactly what I was going to suggest.
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If not a dowel use a plug drill and make short dowels to fill homes.
Martin
On 8/25/2015 11:57 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

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On Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:50:47 -0700

the way you go depends on how much wood there is to work with the dowel is the best if there's enough wood
if there is not a lot of wood then i make a batch of small wood chips mixed with wood glue and fill in the hole then glue the joint and put in the screws and clamp it
wood glue always surprises me how well it holds sometimes i feel like i am pushing my luck the way i use it
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On 8/26/2015 8:20 PM, Electric Comet wrote:

Really? Have you not heard, stronger than the wood itself?
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On Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:54:50 -0500

i use it for metal also and plastic and paper and paper mache
i glued a piece of sheet metal to particle board then i drilled through the center of the sheet metal and glued a plastic tube to the sheet metal and the particle board
it was quite ugly and i laughed while doing thinking it just was not going to work
few days later the outside of the glue mass was clear and i could see the undried yellowish glue underneath
many days later it was all clear and i was surprised how strong it all was
it was regular titebond glue
congrats seems like you got your med dosage right
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says...

Depends on the glue and the metal. For a while Bessey was doing something to their K-bodies that made Titebond stick so tight to the bars that it has to be cut off.
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On Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 7:50:53 PM UTC-5, Jon Danniken wrote:

ALWAYS repair, never replace with a larger screw. The problem is that the wood fibers have been compressed and worn, using a larger screw just enhanc es the damage already done, unless you go really big when you up size. If you are going that route, you need to redrill the hole. However, usually t he piece does not give you the option of going that much oversize. Even if it does, repair with a shot of glue and either a bamboo skewer from your l ocal Chinese restaurant or a wood sliver trimmed to fit the hole. The good news is, you can run the replacement screw in immediately after the repair and the screw will actually force the glue and new wood fibers into the vo id left by the old screw.
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Without disputing the general truth of your comment, I'll note that when refastening a wooden boat, it's common practice to go one size larger (e.g. from a #10 to #12) if a new screw of the same size won't go tightly into the hole.
Boats are a bit of a special case, tho, since the unavoidable exposure to water swells the wood fibers.
John
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...

Larger screws is a bad idea. I further weakens the wood.
I used to dip toothpicks in glue and stuff the damaged hole. I've now found that gluing in bamboo skewers works even better.
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