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Wood Tips and Tricks


One thing you will run into often are screw holes that are stripped out, either by you or someone else.  There are several ways to renew these holes easily.

On small holes up through about #6 screws, you can use round toothpicks.  I break the toothpick in half to give a place to hammer on.  Dip the pointed end into glue and hammer it into the hole.  If one won’t fill the hole, use 2.  Break off the toothpick, then, using an awl, remake the center of the hole to drive the screw back in.

If the hole is larger than toothpicks can handle, this is my solution.   Make up some alder square strips, about 6″ long, that are just the right size to fit into a pencil sharpener.  Sharpen the end, dip it in glue and hammer it in the hole.  Then you can either saw it off, or just break it off quick and it will usually break flush with the hole.  As before, mark the center of the hole (with the hardware as a guide) with an awl and  replace the screw.

Don’t make the alder pieces longer than 6 inches or they will break off when hammering them in.  Just keep sharpening them until they won’t fit in the sharpener any more.  Alder is just about the right hardness to work.  If you use something softer like pine, then you won’t have the holding power.  If you use something harder like maple or birch, pre-drill the hole for the screw with a drill bit that is the same size as the core of the screw.  This will make it easier to drive the screw in, especially if it is brass.  You don’t want to break off a brass screw in the hole you just repaired…

Hope this helps!

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