Fixes for Stripped Screw Holes

      Ways to make screws fit tight and hold permanently, even after the screw hole is damaged. July 5, 2011

I have a customer with a cherry kitchen. The doors are inset with beaded face frames. The problem is the doors with heavy use, the screws for the hinges have stripped the hole they are in. They are grass hinges European style and are not bad. The base plate for the hinge, mounts on the back of the face frame and this is where the screw holes are stripped. Should I go with a bigger screw #8 by 5/8? I really can't go with a longer screw as it might go through the face frame. Is there a way to fill the hole and then put the screws back in the same hole? I can't go with a hinge that mounts on the side because none of the side are flush with the beading on the interior.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor G:
I use 3/4" screws on those FFA hinge plates all the time. Stick a toothpick in the hole with a little glue and replace the screw, not quite fully torqued. After 20 minutes re-torque the screw to final tightness.

From contributor M:
Use expanding nylon inserts. They are sometimes referred to as Tox or expandos. This is the standard in European hinges. They will never loosen and it is inconceivable they could pull out. Haefle sells them in strips. They require a 5mm hole (you will have to drill out the existing holes) and accept the normal hinge screws.

In the picture below I had to use the hammer to pull out the insert. In fact I had to stand on top of the door and pull from above to get it to fail. The second picture shows the insert and our method for mounting drawer fronts.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

From contributor D:
First, be sure to use pan head screws, not counter-sunk screws. Secondly, there are options to mounting the hinge plate directly to the cabinet side even though the side is not flush. Depending on the space behind the face frame a different thickness of mounting plate would be used. This is a very secure way to assemble the hinge and is becoming increasingly more popular with cabinet makers for the very reason you are experiencing.

From contributor U:
I haven't used the Grass hinge plate, but I use the Blum version quite a bit for flush inset doors on face frames. We use a #8 x 3/4" pan head screw and it works very well. The only problem we've had is when there's a pocket hole in the back of the stile too close to the edge, and the screw goes through the edge of the pocket hole. That's easy to avoid with a little foresight when building your face frame.

From contributor Z:
We only use the Blum mounting plates that have the expando dowel that fits in the 5mm system holes. As stated, they are impossible to remove and you can buy the dowels and use them with any model of baseplate. Buy a 5mm bit and bit-stop so you donít drill through the faceframe. We also use the Blum Inserta hinges for the same reason. They are stronger than screws and faster to install.

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