As a temporary fix snip off a 3/8" piece from the pointed end of a toothpick and insert it all the way into the hole using the screw if necessary, then tighten. A more permanent repair can be accomplished by forcing a mixture of fine sawdust and white glue into the hole. Wipe off excess with a damp cloth. Let dry then re-install the screw.
Donated by: John Dammann
Hi... I stumbled on your site, and it's very, very well-presented! I went through a couple dozen of your tips, and found them both very informative and helpful. I have two other "stripped-out screw" methods, in addition to the broken off toothpick, that work fairly well. One can push a bit of 0000 steel wool down into the hole, and it will hold a reinserted screw with surprising tenacity. The steel wool will provide almost a death grip between the opening and the screw. A more permanent fix can be done with simple auto-body putty or that two-stage body filler by simply filling the hole and letting it dry. When dry, it can be drilled, sanded, tapped, or whatever needs to be done. (I've found that, at times, using a toothpick can actually split the wood around the original hole once the screw is reinserted and tightened, due to there being now too much material in the hole to accommodate the screw.) Drilling a 'pilot hole' into the new material just a hair smaller in diameter than the screw about to be inserted will prevent any splitting. I hope you find this of some use. :-}
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