Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How to Repair a Stripped Screw Hole in Wood

This tutorial is for anyone that has a stripped screw hole in wood. Be it a door, a table leg, or anything else that will no longer hold a screw. 
This is an amazingly simple way to repair a hole and make the wood strong enough to hold a screw again!!

Recently while working on an up-cycled coffee table,  I purchased 4 unfinished table legs. In order to mount these legs to the tabletop I was using, the legs needed to have hanger bolts in their top end,
 but the legs I purchased did not. Figures.

Now, the easiest lesson to learn from this is that if you need table legs with bolts in them, try to find table legs with the bolts in them!!
 They do come that way!

In another post to come, I will address installing a hanger bolt into a wood table leg. And yes, you actually need a tutorial for installing a bolt in a wood table leg, because it is easy to mess up, so I have found out. 

This post is in reference to where I "messed up" while installing the bolts in my leg... drilling a hole to large for my bolt.

Somehow, while drilling holes in the legs for the bolts, I drilled a hole too big in one of the legs and the bolt was so loose, that if you turned the leg upside down, the bolt would fall right out.

Now although the tabletop I was using was salvaged and free, the four legs had cost almost $50. I certainly was not going to loose a beautiful and expensive leg over an incorrectly drilled hole.

So, I had to repair the hole and make it strong enough to drill into a second time and hold another bolt.

The technique I used here was super easy and it provided a strong enough fill that my bolt fit as tight and as it had been drilled into the original wood!

This is how I did it. 

Gather your supplies: piece you are repairing, wood glue, tooth picks and saw or razor...I grabbed the first saw I found in the tool shed
 and it is seriously overkill.

Squirt some wood glue into your repair hole. 
I let it drip along the sides and filled about half way up the hole with glue.

After pouring in the glue, stick in toothpicks one at a time 
pushing to bottom of hole. 
I filled about 70% with toothpicks the hole was filled, but not overstuffed. 
Wipe away excess glue.
Let this sit overnight to dry.

The next day, saw off any exposed toothpicks.

This is how the repair looks when finished. A completely solid patch ready to hold a screw again.

Now, I was able to re-drill my hole. 
In some cases for a small screw, you can try to screw it right in without drilling,
 but the bolt I was using was thick.

After drilling, I was able to screw my bolt into my hole.
 The fit was so tight, I even needed pliers to turn the bolt.
 Note: if you do a similar project, use the pliers gently, don't let them slide around the bolt 
and ruin the threading.

As good as new!


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