Rehang a Wooden Door with a Worn Screw Hole

21 December 21
Rehang a Wooden Door with a Worn Screw Hole

How to Rehang a Wooden Door with a Worn Screw Hole

When you take down a door, you don’t think about putting it back up as an issue. However, you go to screw the door hinge back in and only find the screw is spinning and not grabbing on as it should.  This means you have a worn screw hole.  It has been stripped.  However, this isn’t a lost cause.  There are a number of ways to go about fixing this issue.  However, they will require you to have a few hand tools available, and let’s get started on how to rehang a wooden door with a worn screw hole.

You can use a wooden dowel to fill the worn screw hole and retap it with a different screw.  In this method, you have to remove the loose screw plate.  To start, you will need to remove the loose hinge. If the door has multiple hinges, but only this one is an issue, you will want to put something under the door to support it, and you probably can work while the door is in place.  If there are multiple hinges with loose screw issues, you might want to remove the door entirely to try to have better access. When the hinge has been painted over and is attached via paint, you will need a utility knife or putty knife to pry it up. 

Rehang a Wooden Door with a Worn Screw Hole

Wooden Dowel Fix

To start, you will want to drill out the hole with a 3/8″ drill bit.  You should go about 1″ deep.  Using this size drill bit will give you the perfect size hole for a 3/8″ dowel, which you will need to refill in the worn screw hole.  Cut the dowel about 1″ long. This can usually be done with snippets or a small handsaw.  You will then need to apply the carpenter’s glue.  A small dab goes a long way.  Put a dab on and use your fingers to rub it around all sides and the bottom of the dowel.  This will also provide some lubrication for the next step.

Rehang a Wooden Door Options

Next, grab a hammer and hammer the dowel into the drilled-out worn screw hole.  Wipe away any excess glue that oozes out the drilled holes. If you have more than one stripped screw, you will need to duplicate this process.  Once you have completed all the stripped screw holes, you will need to wait at least an hour to let the glue completely dry. Overnight is best. However, sometimes we don’t have that kind of time.  

Once the glue has dried, you will need a 1/8″ drill bit to redrill the screw holes.  An electric drill should be used for all the drilling in this project to make things easier.  Position the hinge over the holes as it should.  A piece of tape might help hold it while you use your drill to drill in the screws.  You essentially have created a new screw hole to which the screws will attach.  

Another method that doesn’t require you drilling the holes out and filling with a specific dowel is the use of golf tees.  Golf tees can be used instead of dowels to fill in the holes.  Put some glue on a golf tee and hammer it in as far as it will go. You will then snap off the extra wood hanging out.  To get a more flat finish, use a utility knife to score the side of the golf tee before shaping and cutting around it.

Try Toothpicks or Matches to Fix a Worn Screw Hole

If you don’t play golf and don’t have time to go to the store for a wooden dowel, have no fear, we have alternative options.  First, take the hinges off that are causing the issues.  Again, you will want to prop up the door with something.  However, you will want to remove the door should there be more hinges with issues. It just makes things easier.  You will need access to the screw holes that are stripped.  

Do you have matches or toothpicks lying around?  These can be used instead of golf tees or dowels.  You need to put some glue into the hole and rub it around with the first match or toothpick.  If you choose to use matches, you will only want to use the wooden part and snap off the match heads. We don’t need to have a fire here.  Use as many as you need to fill the holes, and then use a utility knife to cut off any that is sticking out.  This is the better method for those tiny screw holes you find in cabinets, for example.

Rehang a Wooden Door with a Worn Screw Hole

Try Wood Anchors to Fix a Worn Screw Hole

They also sell what is called wood anchors that you could use too.  This method would require you to purchase wood anchors, which are plastic cones.  You would screw in the wood anchors, which will grip the sides of the wooden hole. If you want a better grip, add a little carpenter’s glue to the sides of the wood anchor.  Similar to the other methods, you will have excess that will need to be snapped off.  Then, you screw the screw into the wood anchors.

Another way is to grab some cyanoacrylate glue.  This is the glue that will turn into a polymer resin.  This allows you to use fewer tools for this application.  Here you will put the glue into the hole and refill it.  This is ultra-strong glue that will hold your screws securely in place. You need to let the glue dry and drill the screw directly into the glue.  In this method, you don’t need an electric drill. You would only need the glue and a hand screwdriver.

Another method that only requires a hand screwdriver is using longer screws like the Fritan 3” Fringe Screws.  In fact, replacing your door hinge screws with the Fringe Screw is probably the easiest and most economical solution out there.  If you have a screw hole just starting to be stripped, using a hand screwdriver with Fringe screws is an option.  Fast, easy, and long-lasting solution.

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