Studs for felt soles [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Studs for felt soles

02-14-2006, 08:35 PM
When I can get away with it, I prefer to use these slip on neoprene hippers with studded felt soles. I've settled on a hipper where I need to install the studding. I started with regular steel screws but went to stainless steel hoping the reduced corrosivity would help with longevity. To install I put a starter hole into the felt surface and just screw them in. That hold up the first time around and after a season the stud has either come out or has worn down to where it needs to be replaced. But now, the hole is so enlarged that the screw will quickly work itself out if something isn't done to plug it somewhat. I've been using steel wool to plug the holes and that works to some extent. Meanwhile, the felt wears down somewhat as well. I'm interested in finding a better way to plug the holes. I don't want something that holds the screws in too tightly either, since it is too hard to remove the worn down screws come replacement time. I'm also looking for a better screw material, one that won't wear as quickly. Carbide has come to mind, and tungsten carbide in particular. But online, at least, I find little evidence that someone makes tungsten carbide screws. If any of you have interest in this area maybe you could contribute your thoughts and we might come up with a better solution than what I've found.

02-14-2006, 09:50 PM
Perhaps some ultrasonic style inserts typically used for plastics inserted into the felt holes. You would need a strong adhesive, but the felt sole may still break down. Then you could screw in threaded pins of stainless steel or other material. The pins could be cranked out on a cnc lathe or screw machine. Because the material sounds weak around the stud mounts, a shouldered pin to pinch hold the material to the insert might be best.

It's likely the inserts can't be secured because the felt sole is too weak and can't hold them. Then a pinch fit like a flat head screw and fender washer and flat nut could be used. Not sure how you feet would feel with those but when screwed together I'm sure there's going to be material compression.

Not certain how well the inserts would stay put if the holes have already shown a tendancy to open up with use. Either way a pinch fit to capture the felt sole material would seem the way to go.


02-15-2006, 05:45 AM
simms does make screws that have some tungsten carbide "chips" welded to the top so that they don't wear but you can still screw them in/out. they are pretty pricey though if i remember correctly they are something like $12.95 retail for a package. when you screw them in don't make a hole first just use a screw gun. if they wear out just move the new ones over a little. you can also put silicone caulk on them first which helps them to stay put.

02-15-2006, 06:41 AM
If a hole wears out you might be able to put in inserts such as (stainless) helicoils. It depends on the thickness of the sole if this might work. If so you create a threaded hole in which you can screw studs. I used to be into fasteners and that is the regular solution for threadholes with the thread pulled out. Do a Google on helicoils and you will be able to judge it for yourself.

02-17-2006, 05:44 AM
Thanks for all the responses. I learned a lot from them and hope you did too.