Repairing a Stripped Screw Hole

How to Methods for Fixing a Stripped Screw Hole

By Mark J. Donovan

If you’ve owned a home for a few years you inevitably have had the situation where a door hinge or a kitchen cabinet hinge has become loose due to a stripped screw hole. Like most homeowners, I typically first try one of two alternatives for a quick fix on a stripped screw hole. I either use a thicker screw or a longer screw in the stripped screw hole. Unfortunately sometimes the metal hinge bracket will not support the thicker screw, and in other cases the depth of the wood (e.g. a Kitchen Cabinet door) will not support the longer screw.

When either of these situations arises I then have to go to what I call “Plan B”, the use of a dowel, to fix the stripped screw hole.

Fixing a Stripped Screw Hole Using a Dowel

Plan B starts with the use of a small section of a 3/8” or ½” thick dowel and the removal of the hinge from the door or jamb with the stripped screw hole.

After removing the screws from the affected hinge side, I swing the hinge away from the stripped out screw hole so that the stripped screw hole is visible.

Next, using a ½” or 3/8” drill bit, I drill out the stripped screw hole to a depth equal to that of the original screw depth that penetrated the wood. Then, with carpenters glue applied to the small section of dowel, I slide the dowel into the hole I just drilled. I then let the dowel and glue set up for 24 hours.

Once the dowel has firmly setup, I chisel and sand it flush with the jamb, position the hinge back over the jamb and make a small pilot-hole mark into the dowel center.

Again, I slide the door hinge out of the way and then drill a small pilot hole into the dowel, where I made the small pilot-hole mark.

After the pilot-hole has been drilled I refasten the hinge using the original screws.

Fixing a Stripped Screw Hole Using a Screw Hole Repair Kit

Another alternative to the dowel approach is the use of a screw hole repair kit. It is much easier than the dowel method and comes in its own applicator. The screw hole repair kit consists of a two part polyurethane based product that functions as a wood re-builder. All you need to do is simply knead the two parts together, while in their applicator, and then apply it to the stripped screw hole.

Within a few of hours the material is solid, and can then be cut, sanded, drilled, nailed and painted. To learn more about this type of product see Woodmate 2498 Mr. Grip Screw Hole Repair Kit.

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