Repairing Stripped Out Wood Screw Holes

2011-10-18 by . 0 comments

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Occasionally things become worn out and require repair.  Wood has a tendency to expand and contract as it gets wet, hot, or cold.  This can cause various pieces to come undone.

One of the common problems is a stripped or damaged wood screw hole.  I have used this technique to fix wooden fences and galvanized nail holes, so it does not only apply to wood screw holes.

The technique is not difficult to learn but requires you to have a few tools on hand.

1. Hammer

(image courtesy

2. Punch

(image courtesy Home

3. Side cutters

(image courtesy Home

4. Thick toothpicks or match sticks (work best)

5. Leather work gloves

6. Safety goggles


Step 1. Starting with your hole, take the match sticks and cut off the strike points (red or blue round points) with your cutters.  All match sticks should be about the same length after you cut the tips off.  Use as many match sticks as you think you need to fill the hole.  This step is not needed if you are using toothpicks.

Step 2. Coat your match sticks or toothpicks with wood glue.  This will ensure that the sticks make a good bond with the surrounding wood.

Step 3. Insert the match sticks into your stripped out hole as far as you can with your hands.  Use the hammer to lightly tap them into the hole further.

Step 4. Use your side cutters to trim the match sticks so that it is as flush with the adjacent wood surface as possible.

Step 5. Use a punch tool with your hammer to tap the match sticks in further.

Step 6. Allow about 5 minutes for the wood glue on the sticks to dry before re-drilling your wood screw or hammering in your nail.

Step 7. Re-drill your hole with the wood screw or nail in your nails.  If you drill almost completely but leave a bit of the screw out, you should be able to tug on the screw to feel that it is tight and does not move around.  The same goes for the nail.  Finish drilling your screw and you are done.

The below video also demonstrates this method (courtesy

Additional links:

How to Fix Stripped Out Wood Screws

Repairing a stripped screw hole

How to Repair a Loose Wood Screw Hole for a Hinge

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