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How To Repair Loose Hinge Screws - Part 2

Part 1

    Use a drill bit size that corresponds with standard dowel pin sizes (this will make filling the hole easier) of 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8 or 1/2 inch.

    It is best to use specially made hardwood dowel pins, rather than a piece of an old pencil that you might have lying around! Items such as cardboard and wood matches do not work well and will only lead to having to make the same repair in the future.

  1. Using carpenters glue insert the appropriate size dowel in the hole, flush with the wood surface, as shown in Figure 6. If it is necessary to sand the dowel pin flush with the wood, wait until the glue has dried before sanding.
  2. Note: The best type of carpenters glue to use, for any wood working project is colored yellow, not white. The yellow carpenters glue has much more holding strength than the white product.

Dowel pin glued into hole
Figure 6 - Dowel pin glued into hole
Dowel pin with gluing groves
Figure 7 - Dowel pin with gluing groves
  1. Once the glue has dried, sit the hinge in its mortise or place it in the correct location if there is no mortise, and mark the center of the screw holes in the hinge, as shown in Figure 8.
Marking the center of the holes in the hinge
Figure 8 - Marking the center of the holes in the hinge
  1. Use a small drill bit to drill a pilot hole on the mark. The diameter of the pilot hole is relative to the size of the screw. In no case should the pilot hole be larger than the base diameter of the shank of the screw.
  2. Screw the hinge plate in place and the repair is completed

Note: It is of the utmost importance that the hinge screws are driven in straight. A screw driven at even the slightest angle will cause the head of screw not to sit flush with the surface of the hinge. This will bend the hinge out of shape in the same manner as using a screw that is to large for the countersink area of the hinge, as shown in Figure 4.

Note: If you have determined that it is additional weight on the door that has created the problem of loose hinge screws. Adding an additional hinge, after making the repairs to the current hinge screws, may help to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

Most residential exterior entry doors have three hinges while interior passage doors only have two. This is because, in general, exterior doors are much heavier than interior doors and the third hinge is required to support the weight.

Use the correct size and type screwdriver bit! There is nothing uglier than screw heads that have been mangled by using the incorrect screwdriver.