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How to Repair a Loose Wood Screw Hole for a Hinge

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How to Repair a Loose Wood Screw Hole for a Hinge

Do you have a woodscrew hole for a hinge that is loose? Here are a few quick suggestions on how to go about doing this type of repair yourself.


Method 1

Drill out the stripped hole and glue in a dowel the same diameter as the drill bit. If door sag has been a problem, drill through the jamb, any shims behind the jamb, and into the door framing studs. This gives you a dowelled connection all the way back to the wall framing that will be suitable for a long wooden screw.
Glue, then cut the dowel off flush with the edge of the door or hinge mortise and pilot drill for the screw after the glue sets. Reinstall the screw.

Method 2

Relocate the hinge just a little up or down. This may require re-chiseling the pocket in the frame and on the door; then filling with plastic wood and touching up the paint.

Method 3

Wedge a shim into the hole (a toothpick or wooden matchstick, for example) but it probably won't hold for long.

Method 4

Use over-sized screws. For example, a longer screw (2-1/2" ( 6.35 cm) to replace a 1-1/2" (3.8 cm)) or a thicker screw (#8 in place of #6).
Make sure that the screw head won't stick out and interfere with operation of the door by causing binding or scarring the frame.

Method 5

Coat a shim or plug with wood glue and wedge it into the hole.
After the glue dries, re-mount the hinge. Re-drilling a pilot hole into the shim might be helpful in keeping the screw in line with the hinge plate.

Method 6

Use a sheet-rock anchor. However, like the shim-only method (no glue), this might not last for very long.

Method 7

Take a small piece of pine, (1/4" (1/2 cm ) cm) x 1/4") and, using a sharp knife, whittle it to a point.
Put a dab of wood glue on the point and tap it into place lightly, with a hammer.
Once you have the whittled pine sitting snugly in the hole, use a sharp chisel to slice the pine flush with the hole.
Make sure that the glue has dried, and then place the hinge back where it belongs and mark the hole with a pencil.
Use a small finish nail or drill with a small drill bit (smaller than the diameter of the screw) to create a pilot hole for the hinge screw.

Method 8

Use decking screws. Probably the most permanent way is to use decking screws about 5 inches (12.5 cm) long, especially if it is an exterior door.
Check to be sure the heads are the same size as this will keep them from protruding and keeping the door from closing fully.
Using the existing holes, run the extra long screws through the jamb and into the 2 x 4" (5 x 10 cm) framing stud inside the wall. This will permanently anchor the door into place and will last for many years. The reason for the extra long screws is that they have to pass through the jamb and through a couple of inches of empty space before hitting the framing stud in the wall. This is so effective that it is generally only necessary to use a couple of the decking screws per hinge.

Method 9

Stuff steel wool into the hole with screwdriver. Fill the hole almost completely. Screw the screw into the hole.

Method 10

Drive a golf tee into the old hole and use a chisel or cut it flush. Use wood glue for a more permanent fix.


If you have an automatic closer on your door, install a foot to hold it open or use a wedge at the floor. Don't place a wedge at the top corner of the door above the hinge, between the edge of the door and frame, as it will stress the screws in the top hinge and cause them to fail.
Use a dial caliper that probes to gauge the depth of the hole for pre-cutting a dowel filler. This way you don't have to cut flush against the mortise or jamb.
When drilling a pilot (starter) hole for a wood screw in a hinge, use a self-centering drill bit (one brand name is Vix Bit). They ensure a perfectly centered hole. If the hole isn't centered the screw will go in crooked and leave the screw head a little proud. This could prevent the door from shutting properly.

Driving anything into the original screw hole(s) must be done very gently to avoid splitting the jamb. Light taps with a hammer until the glue just starts to squeeze out is sufficient.