ripped furniture fittings & Pulled Out Screws
By Discolapy, 02/01/2020
Particleboard is a building material composed of wood chips and particles, bonded together with a synthetic resin. It is relatively cheap material. Typicaly it is used in applications where the strength of wood is not crucially needed.
Very frequent damage is thus stripped screw hole. I distinguish two situations:
- Too high applied torque during screw tightening. In this case the screw turns but doesn’t tighten, the screw hole is stripped. This damage is caused frequently during installation and final tightening of screws of hinges or handles. Note that this can easily happen as a maximal torque that can be applied to a screw without any damage to particle board is smaller than max. torque that can be applied to massive wood. The reparation is relatively simple:
- Remove the screw and clean the hole.
- Dip toothpicks in glue, insert several toothpicks into the hole and break them off. Either flat or round toothpicks will work.
- Immediately wipe away glue drips with a damp cloth. You don’t have to wait for the glue to dry or drill new screw holes; reinstall the hardware by driving screws right into the toothpicks.
- Wait until the glues is dry until fully loading the screw (e.g., do not use immediately the concealed hinge until the glue is not fully dry).
- Applied too high outward stress on the screw or the item (handle, hinge) screwed to the particleboard. In this case the screw usually breaks away from particleboard, bringing a large chunk of the board with it. This could result in quite large damage. To replace a pulled-out screw, you have to patch the hole with a filler capable of holding screws:
- Clean out the hole with a sharp tool (e.g., chisel, knife or screwdriver).
- Transfer a small amount of epoxy wood filler, polyester resin or auto body filler to a flat surface. Follow manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Use wooden toothpicks to fill small holes, then remove them and scoop a quantity of filler onto the ends. Replace them into the hole and leave them there until the filler cures, which should take about an hour. Alternatively also e.g. sawdust or wooden chips can be used.
- Cut off the ends of the toothpicks before you drive the screw back into the hole.
- Fill larger holes and gouges with a plastic putty knife. Force filler into the hole or gouge with the knife, then scrape the surface flat. Let the filler cure before driving screws into it.
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