Fix a screw hole that is too big

If you need to fix a screw hole that is too big, I have good news for you. Depending on the material you’re using, it’s usually pretty easy.

Fix a screw hole that is too big in wood

fix a screw hole that is too big
If you drilled a hole too big, there are usually several ways to fix it. It’s a little easier in wood but you can fix a screw hole that is too big in metal or plastic too.

The quick fix for a screw hole in wood that is too big is to stick a toothpick in the hole and then drive the screw in. For a temporary fix you don’t even have to use glue. The problem with not using glue is that if you ever remove the screw, you might have to do it again.

So the better fix is to squirt a little bit of wood glue in there, then stick a toothpick in, break it off at the end, then drive in the screw. You don’t have to let the glue dry. The screw will shred the toothpick a bit to fill in the hole, and the glue will hold everything in place. Wood glue doesn’t stick well to metal, so if you ever have to remove the screw, the glue won’t stop you. You may have to turn with a little more force to break it loose but then it will come out like normal.

Fix a screw hole that is too big in metal

The easiest way to fix a screw hole in metal that is too big is to fill the hole with a bit of JB-Weld. If you don’t have 24 hours to let it cure, use JB-Kwik. Before it sets up, poke an indentation where you want the center to be with a toothpick or another sharp object. Let the material cure. Put the piece down on a piece of wood to reinforce the repair, then drill the new hole. If the hole is supposed to take a machine screw, tap it after you drill it. Leave the backing material in place while you’re cutting the threads.

Fix a screw hole that is too big in plastic

The problem with shrinking a hole in plastic is that not all plastics are the same. Usually the best you can do is salvage a bit of sheet plastic from some consumer packaging, like what light bulbs come in. Glue the piece one side of your workpiece using a good plastic compatible glue. Drill a new hole, ideally from the side you glued the plastic to. Then you can replace the screw. Just like when you’re working with metal, place the piece down on a piece of wood while you’re drilling it. If the hole is supposed to take a machine screw, use a tap to cut threads in it. Keep backing material behind it while you’re cutting threads.

One thought on “Fix a screw hole that is too big

  • May 15, 2017 at 3:39 am
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    well this looks amazing, and great instructions.

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