Quick Fix: Use Toothpicks in Stripped Screw Hole

The door on the cabinet where I installed my slide-out shelves has been loose for a few months. Every month or so I tighten the screw on the little door hinge and then within a week — it’s loose again. I was grumbling about this to my father one day when he suggested using toothpicks to solve the problem.It turns out that the screw hole for this hinge was stripped and a little stretched, which is why tightening the screw helped only briefly. Taking my father’s advice, I unscrewed the hinge and placed a few pieces of toothpick in the screw hole. As I reinstalled the screw, I could feel that the toothpick pieces were doing their job. Basically the screw is able to grip onto the soft wood of the toothpick pieces, which creates a tight fit that couldn’t be achieved in the stretched and stripped hole.

This solution may not last forever — and it definitely wouldn't be ideal for every stripped screw hole (you wouldn't want to do this for a screw being used to hang something on a wall, for instance) — but it has kept the door on my cabinet tight since Christmas, so I'm happy!

Images: Jason Loper