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How can you repair stripped screw holes with dowels?

How to repair stripped screw
holes with dowels

Shop for Dowels

Image of stripped screw holes in a door frame that can be repaired using dowels If a screw is somehow pulled out of a screw hole, for example in the case of a door being pulled off its hinges, it can often ‘strip’ the hole.
Screw holes in a door that have been stripped of the screw thread This means that the screw rips out the wood within its thread, leaving a smooth hole that is too big for another screw to bite into.

The new screw will fit, but there will be nothing for it to grip onto and it will just come back out again.

Wooden dowel peg that will be used to repair a stripped screw hole These can easily be repaired by using dowels.
Drilling out debris from the stripped screw holes so that they can be repaired using dowels

Step 1 – Drill out dowel holes

Using a drill bit that’s the same width as the holes you are trying to repair, drill out any remaining screw thread and debris.

Illustration of a suitable sized dowel measured against a door screw

Step 2 – Select dowels

Choose dowels that will fit relatively snugly into the holes and are long enough so that they stick out a little way. You can check whether or not the dowels will be long enough by comparing them to the screws from the door.

DIYer pushing a dowel into a stripped screw hole to repair it

Step 3 – Plug holes with dowels

Take the pieces of dowel that you have chosen and push them into the holes.

DIYer chiselling the dowels that they have used to plug the stripped screw holes they are repairing so that they are flush with the wood surface they are working on

Step 4 – Chisel dowels flush

Chisel the dowels so that they are flush with the surface of the wood you’re working on, i.e. they do not stick out.

Screwing a door hinge into a screw hole that was stripped but has been repaired by dowels

Step 5 – Put screws back in

You can now screw replacement screws into the holes. The screws will make holes in the dowels and force them outwards so that they grip firmly onto the inside of the hole.

Image of hinges attached to screw holes that have been repaired with dowels Your newly repaired screw holes should now be as good as new!

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