What Do You Do If A Screw Hole Is Too Big?

Have you ever ever drilled a pilot gap that’s only a smidge too large? Or had a screw gap that expanded over time? We’ve all been there.

You’re attempting to do the proper factor by predrilling the opening earlier than you try to sink the screw. It’s your greatest effort to keep away from stripping the screw, however then the screw has nothing to latch onto, and your gap was for naught.

Or the wooden fibers across the screw merely tore away over time. We name this a “stripped out” screw gap.

First, give your self a break. It occurs.

And the excellent news is that you just CAN get well.

You’ll be blissful to know that there are some things you are able to do in case your screw gap is just too large. In truth, you will have three choices:

  1. Fill the opening with numerous kinds of filler (we’ll cowl that under)
  2. Abandon the all-too-spacious gap and begin anew
  3. Search for a bigger screw that really does match

On this submit, I’m going to cowl every of your choices intimately, together with which filler to make use of, the right way to cowl an deserted gap, and the way to decide on an appropriately-sized screw on your pilot gap.

By the point you’re achieved studying, you’ll be a professional at recovering from this widespread DIYer snafu.

Use Filler to Fill the Screw Hole

If your pilot gap is just too large, there’s one trick that appears to be each carpenter’s (or DIYer’s) favourite. It’s quick. It’s simple. It’s low cost…. It’s the toothpick trick, and right here’s the way it’s achieved:

  1. Fill the opening with liquid glue — For this, you should use wooden glue or Elmer’s glue (Amazon affiliate hyperlink). Simply watch out with wooden glue as a result of it’s extraordinarily highly effective stuff. It may be robust to get well in case you use an excessive amount of.
  2. Fill stripped out the opening with toothpicks — Sure, toothpicks! Jam these issues in till they fill all the gap.
  3. Begin anew together with your screw — Now that the opening is crammed, you possibly can fully begin contemporary and red rill the opening.

For these of you who don’t like the concept of sticking toothpicks in your wall (though I promise you gainer’s see them when all is alleged and achieved), there’s another choice.

Much like the toothpick trick, you should use liquid glue and insert a plastic anchor. You should purchase the items individually or collectively in a “screw restore equipment.” This can be a nice answer for hanging small frames, nevertheless it’s not fairly nearly as good because the toothpick trick for hanging heavier issues.

Relocate the Screw Hole

You may at all times abandon the stretched-out gap and begin contemporary with a brand new one. That’s going to be the best possibility from the attitude of getting a comfortable match for the screw, however there’s some further work concerned in filling the outdated gap.

Begin by performing a gap restore with some spackle. Whereas the spackle is drying you possibly can re-drill pilot holes    screw  hole in a brand new space. Maintain it barely above or under to maintain the looks that the thing is in the identical house. However you can even transfer the opening to the left or proper.

Regardless of which route you select, drill your new gap at the least an inch away from the outdated one.

And now that your spackle has dried, it’s time to sand, clean, and repaint. You can proceed with the spackling till you get a flat, untextured floor.

Use Bigger Screws

If you need to preserve the opening the place it’s and keep away from re-filing it or utilizing anchors, you should use a bigger screw. However perceive that though this feels like a straightforward possibility, there’s much more to it than the opposite fixes on this record.

The benefit of utilizing a bigger screw as an alternative of filling the opening is that it’s going to be safer. So, your bigger substitute screw shall be extra appropriate for heavier objects or objects that should bear weight.

measure the opening for a lacking screw

It’s okay to measure the screw gap with a tape measure, however you have to be extraordinarily correct. You’re going to need to begin on the widest half and measure all the way down to the closest millimeter. From right here, add a millimeter to make sure the brand new screw has sufficient grip.

If you will have the outdated screw, you possibly can measure it for size. If not, you may get a toothpick or a bamboo skewer to suit into the screw gap. Make a mark in your stick and measure it.

Now, it’s time to move to your native dwelling enchantment heart searching for the proper screw.

discover the right-sized screw

Use this useful step-by-step information that can assist you discover the proper screw on your outsized pilot gap.

Step 1

Know the right way to learn screw sizes. If you don’t work on this business or have loads of expertise with building initiatives, this may appear difficult. However don’t fear. It’s not as dangerous because it appears.

Wooden screws use two numbers to designate their size and diameter. For instance, a 6 x 1 inch has a gauge (diameter) of 6 and measures 1-inch lengthy.

Sheet steel screws are a little bit extra difficult as a result of their dimension features a threads-per-inch measurement. A sheet steel screw that’s sized as ½ inch-16 x 1 inch has a diameter of ½-inch and comprises 16 threads per inch.

Step 2

Estimate the size that’s acceptable on your challenge. You already understand how lengthy the outdated screw or current pilot gap is. However because you’re going by way of all this hassle, it’s a great time to make sure you’ve received the proper size screw on your challenge.

Right here’s a great rule of thumb: A screw needs to be thrice so long as the thickness of the thing you’re fastening. If you’re fastening one thing that’s about 1-inch thick, you’ll want a 3-inch screw (or longer).

Step 3

Search for a screw that has the suitable diameter or gauge. For wooden screws, it is best to know that gauge is a measure of the diameter that’s measured on the clean portion of the shank (above the threads). Use the desk under that can assist you determine what gauge you’ll want for a given diameter.

Step 4

If you’re uncertain whether or not the screws you’re utilizing are lengthy sufficient to safe a thick object, use break-away screws. These screws function suggestions that break free in ¼-inch increments, to allow them to alter to suit numerous wants.

Screw Measurement Main Diameter Decimal Nearest Fractional Measurement #0 .060″ 1/16″ #1 .073″ 5/64″ #2 .086″ 3/32″ #3 .099″ 7/64″ #4 .112″ 7/64″ #5 .125″ 1/8″ #6 .138″ 9/64″ #7 .151″ 5/32″ #8 .164″ 5/32″ #9 .177″ 11/64″ #10 .190″ 3/16″ #11 .203″ 13/64″ #12 .216″ 7/32″ #14 .242″ 1/4″ #16 .268″ 17/64″ #18 .294″ 19/64″ #20 .320″ 5/16″

Wood Screw Size

Use a Hardwood Plug

If you’re attempting to fill a gap in MDF or particleboard, there’s one other fill possibility that could be more practical. This materials can be extra susceptible to cracking and chipping, so chances are you’ll end up needing to fill stripped holes extra usually in MDF or particleboard.

For these conditions, a hardwood plug is simplest. You should purchase hardwood plugs from most dwelling enchantment facilities, interest retailers, or your native woodworking seller.

Purchase on Amazon: >> Flat Head Plugs (splendid for filling screw holes) <<

All it’s a must to do is fill the opening with a little bit glue and the appropriately-sized plug or dowel. Let the glue treatment for about 24 hours, after which drill a pilot gap into the middle of the plug to make room on your new screw.

If you need to study extra about this matter I like to recommend studying this good submit by Robert @ A Harmony Carpenter on the right way to set up wooden plugs.


Nobody needs to spend a Sunday afternoon fixing outsized pilot holes or stripped screw holes, however a little bit effort now will preserve your initiatives intact and like-new for just a few years to come back.

And typically, it’s higher to have peace of thoughts than to discover a fast repair.

Cheers, instruments house owners!

Associated: Arrange Nails, Screws, Nuts and Bolts

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