Fix for Mis-Placed System Holes

There are ways to patch mis-located screw holes. But it's smarter to back off and start over (you can still re-use the scrap). April 21, 2011

I drilled system holes for hinge mounts in the wrong location. In some instances I was only off by 1/8" and in others I was off by a couple of inches. Long story involving a fight between myself and my CNC, which I lost.

Anyway, there are two challenges which I hope will have a common solution:

1) The holes which are only slightly off will have to be filled with something which, once hard, will hold a system screw.

2) The holes which are off by a couple of inches will have to be filled with something which will match the pre-finished plywood which constitutes the interior.

Any ideas? I have seen a tinted two part epoxy that might fit the bill.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor D:
If the holes are the size of a standard plug cutter, you could cut plugs out of the same plywood, glue the plugs in, and they should match. In the holes that have to move, 1/8" plug these as well and re-drill the holes in the right place. Again, the plugs made from the same plywood along with glue will provide the same strength as the existing plywood.

From contributor J:
I now have a modified hole saw to cut plugs for just this application. It would take care of your problem structurally. I think if you search google you may even find a product on the market for this. I seem to remember seeing it after I made my own.

From contributor K:
Do it over and do it right, not pass off inferior mistakes as first quality.

From contributor R:
I guess it all depends on how many sides and how many holes we are talking about. If we're talking small amounts, bondo in the ones that are slightly off and then re-drill for system screws and then cover caps for others. Or you could turn the sides over and just use the other side, but this isn't going to appeal to a customer that is going to see them before install. I think any filling of the holes will actually burn up more money in labor and finishing over the filler than new pre-finished and a redo would cost.

From contributor V:
5mm dowels.

From contributor P:
Contributor R is right on. This will cost you more in labor than throwing it out and starting over and doing it right. Think about it... The average shop pays anywhere from $1.30 - $2.35/sf for pre-finished ply. That means you are going to spend time and material on a piece that has an average material cost of between $7.50 - $13.50. Don't add to the mistake - work around it. Fortunately, you don't have to throw them out. Just use them for sides in cabinets that you can't see the interior, i.e. drawer banks, corner cabs, etc.