How to Reduce an Enlarged Screw Hole

Don't let your project fall apart over an enlarged screw hole.
Don't let your project fall apart over an enlarged screw hole. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A stripped screw hole can bring any home improvement project to a sudden stop. Whether you’re installing hinges, mounting a mirror or any other project, a stripped hole is a frustrating problem. Fixing a stripped screw hole is an easy project, however, and can have you back on track in under an hour. The parts needed to reduce an enlarged screw hole are readily available and inexpensive.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Wooden dowel
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Sandpaper

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Drill out the stripped hole with a bit that is the same size as the wooden dowel. Drill slightly deeper than the length of the screw that goes in the stripped hole.

Coat the end of the wooden dowel with a thin layer of wood glue.

Tap the dowel into the stripped hole until it is firmly against the bottom of the hole. Allow the glue to dry completely. Read the instructions on the glue to calculate drying time.

Use a hammer and chisel to cut the dowel flush with the surface of the wood. Sand the end of the dowel until it is smooth and flush with the surrounding wood.

Drill a hole in the dowel slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw. Install the screw in the hole in the dowel. Be careful not to overtighten the screw and strip the hole again.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have a wooden dowel, use golf tees or matchsticks as substitutes in an emergency. Drilling pilot holes will help prevent stripping holes.
  • A wooden dowel will make the strongest repair. Golf tees, matchsticks and toothpicks may not be strong enough to bear heavy loads like doors or mirrors.

References

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