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Old 06-28-2012, 09:27 AM   #1
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Approaches for fixing stripped screw holes in closet

The screws that hold the latch on our closet door to the right of the refrigerator keep coming out of the holes in the cabinet particleboard.

I was abot to fashion a makeshift repair when on the road last week by shaving off some pieces of wood from a log with my leather man knife and putting the shaved pieces in the widened holes and then screwing the screw in again but this is not a solid long term repair.

I was thinking of getting wood putty and putting that in the holes And then putting the screws in but thinking that may not hold wel enough with vibration. It looks like the previous owner already tried moving the latch as the holes are fairly large.

Any other approaches people have used to repair stripped cabinet screws on the recent models? Ours is a 2008.


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Old 06-28-2012, 09:29 AM   #2
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An old trick it to coat a wooden kitchen match with glue, insert it into the hole, cut flush, and then reinstall the screw. Works pretty well.

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Old 06-28-2012, 09:36 AM   #3
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I would not use wood puddy because it will harden to the screw and any future failure will pull out a bigger hole. Go back to your original idea of wood slivers. Cut 2 slivers and glue them in and put the screw in between them while the glue is soft. I have used this over the years.

Along that line when you have a sheet metal screw pull out of metal I cut a sliver of metal, about a 3/8 in. long, that will slide into the hole and fold it into a V. Drop it in the hole and then put the screw in place. The additional metal fills the hole to give the screw a new bite.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:59 AM   #4
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Boat trick, epoxy. Drill the hole out to oversized, fill with epoxy, let it set and redrill to correct size for screw. Works great for high stress applications.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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I use Gorilla Glue. It holds the screw, expands to fill the cavity and will spread out on the backside of the this particleboard wall. It actually seems to provide a bit of reinforcement. If you have to remove the screw releases from the glue with just a small force. Wood filler will not will powder up in short time.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:54 AM   #6
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Kind of like the previous replies, if the hole gets to big I have glued in dowels and even golf tees, then drill small pilot and reinstall screw. I,ve even used superglue when in a hurry.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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I've made plugs out of sawdust and epoxy or toothpicks and epoxy. I like the toothpicks because you can break them off flush.

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Old 06-29-2012, 09:50 AM   #8
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Thanks for the plethora of suggestions! I have lots of options which is helpful.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:57 AM   #9
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There is always drill new holes, double up the number on the second batch, align and drill a pilot hole into the particle board to keep from shattering the composition when the screw goes in, use a screw made expressly for particle board - then cut down the old screws and glue the heads in place to hide the originals' fastener craters

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Old 06-30-2012, 09:09 PM   #10
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Where possible, I have drilled holes completely through the particle board and replace wood screws with machine screws, washers, nuts and Loctite. I am less concerned about cosmetics, than finding the closet/cabinet doors and all contents on the floor after driving down the washboard road to our favorite boondocking site. Besides, no one has noticed the exposed screw heads on the hinge mounting hardware until I pointed it out to them.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Boat trick, epoxy. Drill the hole out to oversized, fill with epoxy, let it set and redrill to correct size for screw. Works great for high stress applications.
Epoxy does a good job of soaking in and integrating with a particle board structure. I've used a variation of AWCHIEF's method to good effect. Mix a small amount of 2-part epoxy. Add in a bit of fine sawdust until it holds a peak like whipped cream. Introduce into the stripped hole and follow with a whittled matchstick a bit smaller than the screw. Wait a day and drill out the matchstick. I've used this on maybe 18-20 stripped holes in multiple Airstreams -- never had one fail.

[on edit: give equal credit to danlehosky!]


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