How to Fix a Screw Hole that is Too Big in Wood: 13 Methods

How to fix a screw hole that is too big in wood: methods

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A common problem is a too-large screw hole in your wood that can occur when we use the wrong size or cut a hole while trying to secure something. How to fix a screw hole that is too big in wood?

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! In this blog, we will share expert tips on how to repair large screw holes in wood with simple and effective solutions. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional carpenter, these techniques will come in handy and save you time and money.

Understanding the Problem of an Oversized Screw Hole

How to fix a screw hole that is too big in wood

When working with wood, it’s not uncommon to encounter a screw hole that is larger than intended. This can happen due to wear and tear, incorrect drilling, or other factors. An oversized screw hole can weaken the structural integrity of the wood and prevent screws from securely fastening.

So, what can you do to fix this issue and ensure a strong and secure connection? Here are some expert tips and simple methods to repair an oversized screw hole in wood:

1. Evaluate the Severity of the Damage:

  • Inspect the screw hole to determine the extent of the damage.
  • Assess whether the hole can still accommodate a screw of a slightly larger diameter or if it requires a different approach.

2. Use a Longer Screw:

  • Sometimes, a quick fix for a slightly oversized hole is to use a longer screw.
  • By using a screw with a slightly larger diameter, you can ensure a tight fit and a secure hold.

3. Fill the Hole with a Wooden Dowel or Plug:

  • For larger holes, consider filling the void with a wooden dowel or plug.
  • Measure the diameter of the hole and find a or plug that matches the size.
  • Apply some wood glue to the dowel or plug and insert it into the hole.
  • Allow the glue to dry, and then sand down any excess material to match the wood surface.

4. Reinforce with Toilet Paper or Nylon Cable Tie:

  • In situations where a wooden dowel method or plug is not feasible, you can try using everyday items like toilet paper or a nylon cable tie.
  • Roll up some toilet paper tightly or wrap a nylon cable tie around a screw to fill the gap in the oversized hole.
  • Re-insert the screw, and the added material will create a snug fit.

5. Utilize a Spare Golf Tee:

  • Another clever solution is to use a spare golf tee method to repair the oversized perfect screw hole.
  • Place the golf tee method in the hole, making sure it fits snugly.
  • Use a saw or utility knife to trim off any excess length.
  • Apply some wood glue to the tee and screw it into place.
  • After the glue dries, you can trim the tee flush with the wood surface.

Assessing the Damage: How Bad is the Oversized Screw Hole?

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Before diving into the repair process, it’s crucial to assess the extent of the damage caused by the oversized screw hole in the wood.

Understanding the severity of the issue will help you determine which method of repair is most suitable. Few steps to follow when assessing the damage:

  1. Measure the Size of the Hole: Start by measuring the diameter and depth of the oversized screw hole. This will give you a clear idea of the extent of the damage and help you choose the right repair method.
  2. Inspect the Wood Fiber: Examine the surrounding wood fibers in and around the screw hole. If the fibers are intact and the hole is relatively small, you may be able to fix it with a simple yet effective solution like a larger screw or a wooden dowel.
  3. Check for Splitting or Cracking: Look for any signs of splitting or cracking around the oversized screw hole. If the wood is significantly damaged, you might need to consider more advanced repair techniques, such as using a wood plug or wood filler.
  4. Assess the Stability: Test the stability of the wood by applying a bit of pressure near the screw hole. If the wood feels weak or unstable, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential accidents.

13 proven methods to fix a screw hole that is too big Using matches or toothpicks

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  1. Using Toothpicks Or Matches
  2. Using Wood Filler to Fill the Screw Hole
  3. Inserting Wooden Dowels
  4. Fill The Screw Holes With Wood Glue
  5. Using Wooden Plugs
  6. Using Larger Screws
  7. Using Larger Anchors
  8. Using Nylon Cable Ties
  9. Inserting Rawl Plug
  10. Relocating The Hole
  11. Using A Steel Wool
  12. Use Toilet Paper With Wood Glue
  13. Use Pinewood Shim

Using Toothpicks Or Matches

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It is possible to fill holes in break away screws that aren’t big enough with matches or toothpicks.

The use of toothpicks to fill the holes is the most common and simplest method of filling big fill larger screw holes.

In this case, matches and toothpicks serve as shims. Utilizing matches or toothpicks to fill in large screw holes is one of the oldest techniques.

Repairing the large screw holes using matches or toothpicks is simpler than using other techniques. There is no reason to not try this technique.

Furthermore, repairing large screw holes with match or toothpicks. It’s easy swift, easy, and possible to accomplish this with less money.

However, I highly suggest that you do not use matchsticks or toothpicks to cover the break away screws that support lots of pressure and weight.

Matches and toothpicks are not able to withstand extreme forces or stress, and can be easily broken.

Let’s discuss ways to employ the trick of the toothpick trick to repair large screw holes.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Wood glue
  • Toothpicks or Matches
  • Drill
  • Cutter or Snapper

Fill The Fill Screw Holes With Wood Glue

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It’s the first step! Make use of wood glue, and then make sure that the larger screw hole is filled. Only add the amount needed to fill the entire hole.

Because too much glue to the wood can cause overdoses and leaks from the hole.

Removal of glue residue from the wood is a challenge, and you should be certain to only use the minimum amount of liquid glue to fill your larger screw holes.

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If you’re not able to locate wood glue, then any type of glue that is liquid is suitable, though it needs to be able to stick well to the surrounding wood surface.

Insert Toothpicks Or matches To Fill the Hole

When you’ve added the glue wood cover the new hole with matches or toothpicks quickly until the glue is dry.

Inject matches with toothpicks to the extent are you able and then screw the holes. Let the wood glue dry and set glue dry completely.

After the glue has dried completely, the toothpicks become tightly anchored and secured in the holes.

Required Trim The Ends Of Toothpicks Or Matches

After the toothpicks or matches are well in wood glue, cut the edges so that they surface uniformity and smooth them.

Cutting or snapping toothpicks or ends to match can ensure that they’re flush with the surface of the wood. This will help hide the screw hole marking on the surface of the wood.

Drill A New Hole

Take the drill and create the new pilot hole, which is smaller than the first hole.

Drive the screw until it is in the pilot new hole that you have created. A pilot hole is essential to ensure that wood does not splinter.

If you’re scared of employing the toothpick method to repair large screw holes, I promise you they’ll not be able to tell until all the work is completed creating a brand new hole for the new screw in.

Using Wood Filler to Fill the Screw Hole

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It is possible to fix holes in screws which aren’t big enough with the woodfil.

The wood filler can cover the screw hole entirely as well as it can keep screws in place as well.

Do not apply the wood filler to cover screws with holes that support lots of pressure and weight. The only way to cover them is with wood filler for tiny holes in screws.

However, on the flip side, it can fill the screw hole as if the screw was never there before. Wood filler is simple to level and set on the ground.

Fill the pilot holes in the wood and the screws hole. After drying, let it set.

After the wood filler has been properly set within the screw hole you can drill a second narrow screw hole using the drill.

Then, drive the screw through the hole of the screw that has been repaired.

With The use of wood filler is great, it’s quick and simple for repairing small screw hole.

In larger holes, filler made of wood is not recommended since it lacks sufficient stability for work pressure and heavy weight.

Inserting Wooden Dowels

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Dowels made of wood can repair holes in screws that are large.

Dowels made of wood are very similar to the toothpick procedure that is accomplished by plugging the screw hole.

The toothpick technique generally can be used by DIYers and is a good option for novices and also to fix screws in your home which are not big enough to screw.

The toothpick method should not be utilized for projects of large size and professional settings.

However, the method of using wooden dowels could be employed in professional settings too.

The majority of woodworking associates as well as carpenters utilize the wooden dowel method, made of wood for repairing furniture of clients or for any other large projects.

If you’re an expert woodworker or carpenter, it is better to make use of wooden dowels in place of toothpicks for fixing holes that are too wide to be screwed into because dowels made of wood can withstand lots of stress and weight better more than toothpicks.

Utilize wooden dowels as screws that can withstand lots of pressure and weight.

They can be used to make strong fixings that is as strong like screwing a wood.

We’ll discuss how you can make use of wooden dowels for fixing large screw holes

Supplies You Will Need

  • glue wood
  • dowels wooden
  • Drill
  • Flush saw cutting

This is the method for fixing the screw hole too large by making use of wooden dowels

  1. The screw hole should be filled using wood glue
  2. Insert Wooden Dowels to Fill the Hole
  3. Flush The Surface
  4. Make a hole in a brand-new way

Let’s go over each of these steps individually to gain a clear concept of using dowels made of wood to cover the big screw holes.

Fill The Screw Holes With Wood Glue

fill holes wood

Start by taking wood glue and then fill in the screw hole to its fullest. It is important to use only the amount required to make the hole full.

As adding excessive wood glue could cause damage to the work since wood glue can be difficult to take off.

If you’re in search of wood glue, try using liquid glue that bonds to the surface perfectly and wood dowels.

Insert Wooden Dowels to Fill the Hole

Once you have added wood glue, put in wooden dowels as many as you can ahead of the time that wood glue sets.

After securing the screw using wooden dowels, allow dry the glue on your wood and fully cure.

Once the glue has dried completely, the dowel will be able to stabilize and remain solidly in position.

Flush The Surface

When the dowels are held securely with glue wood, cut the edges of the dowels to ensure that they are flush and to avoid unevenness.

Cutting or snapping off the ends of the dowels made from wood can ensure that they’re flush with the surface of the wood. This will help hide the screw hole marking across the surface of the wood.

By using dowels, you’ll be capable of hiding screw hole scratches on the wood better than using toothpicks.

That’s why professionals prefer wooden dowels to toothpicks.

Drill A New Hole

You need to take the drill, and then make the pilot hole, which is smaller than the first hole.

Next, you can drive the screw until the new existing hole. The pilot hole must be crucial to avoid wood splitting.

This is how to use dowels of wood for fixing screws that aren’t large.

Using Wooden Plugs

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Plugs made of wood, often referred to as wood are used mainly for drilling directly into wood.

By using wood plugs it is possible to repair an existing or fix a screw hole is too large and then create a pilot hole within the wood to create a whole new screw hole.

Wood plugs can be useful for use with MDF or particleboard as they can crack or chip during drilling.

It is therefore better to design the wood plug first and place it on a particle board before drilling the surrounding wood surface.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Wood glue
  • Wood plugs
  • Drill
  • Cut-off saw flush
  • Cute plug

Following the algorithm, you can create wood plugs on your own and then fix the screw hole which is too big for wooden plugs.

  1. The first step is to select an item that’s at least as close to the grain and color of the one that is to be pulled.
  2. You can then bore several holes using a cutting tool.
  3. The plug cutter has been made to cut plugs in a more tapered pointed shape to allow them to slide into holes.
  4. Make the plugs the same dimensions as the screw holes.
  5. Therefore, you should mark the finish before removing them with a screwdriver with a flat head.
  6. In the process of setting, turn the plugs to the side with marks facing downwards.
  7. After that, dip the plugin wood glue before inserting the plug.
  8. You must align the plug in such a way that it is in line with that of the board.
  9. Once you’ve inserted the plug in the large screw hole carefully tap the plug in the screw hole using a smooth Hammer, stopping about a quarter of the top the surface.
  10. The glue should dry, and then cure for around 24 hours.
  11. Use the flush cutting saw cut the plug to the area.
  12. Hit the surface using a the sanding block. Finally, do the work.
  13. Then, create a new pilot hole through the center of the wood plug, and use the screw to drive it.
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Using Larger Screws

Utilizing the hole that is already there is the most efficient solution to the issue. If you’ve got an opening in a hook for hanging clothes, a picture hook, and a curtain rail you may utilize a thicker or matching screw depth to fit.

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  • Different screw sizes
  • Toothpick
  • Vernier Caliper

It is important to first determine the precise diameter of the opening by using an errand measuring instrument. For the exact diameter of the screw, the screw must be rounded to an inch for fine-tuning, as well as double-checking to make sure that you have enough grip. It’s a cold weld epoxy called JB-Weld.

To determine the full screw depth, make use of the toothpick. Additionally, add one millimeter to screw’s depth.

Now it’s a matter to find the proper size screw to fill to the whole hole. Finding the perfect screw with proper length as well as gauge of wood screws is complicated.

Guide you can follow for the perfect screw:

Screw SizeMajor Thread Diameter (Nearest Fractional Measurement)Major Thread Diameter(Decimal)

How To Find The Right Size Screw For The Screw Hole

Supplies You Will Need:

  • Caliper to be used for vernier, which measures the diameter of the screw’s holes
  • Toothpick to measure the size of the gap
  • The various sizes of the bigger screw

The process involves choosing the appropriate correct screw size for the hole:

  1. Determine your screw’s diameter screw’s hole with an oblique measuring instrument such as a caliper
  2. Find the depth of the screw hole with an instrument such as a toothpick
  3. Choosing the correct size screw

So, let’s discuss each of the above steps in detail:

Measure The Diameter Of the Screw Hole

Place the jaws of the vernier caliper into the screw hole, then determine the diameter.

It is important to determine the nearest millimeter, as finding the correct diameter is crucial for obtaining the correct screw that will fit in the hole.

Note down the diameter of the screw hole.

Make sure to add a millimeter or two into the diameter of the screw for fine-tuning, and also to ensure that the screw will have a adequate grip that fits into the hole.

This means that if the screw hole’s size is “x” mm The larger diameter screw you’ll need will be “(x+1)” millimeters.

Measure The Depth Of the Screw Hole

Place a toothpick through the screw hole, and draw a line. After that, measure the length of the toothpick from the tip to mark.

Be sure to take measurements to the nearest millimeter, as finding the precise depth is crucial to find the right screw to fit the hole.

Note down the depth of the screw hole.

Make sure to add a millimeter or two into the depth of the screw for fine-tuning, and also to be sure that the screw is in adequate grip that fits into the hole.

It means that if your screw hole’s diameter falls to “y”mm, the greater or larger screw hole of exact diameter that you will use would be “(y+1)” millimeters.

Find The Right Screw Size

However, there’s nothing to fret about. It’s so easy,

Wood screws are classified by two factors. The first is the screw diameter, and another is the length.

As an example eight 1 screws made of wood are 1 inch in diameter. inch, and width of 8.

However, metal screws come with thread per inch measurement which is a little more complicated as wood screws.

For instance, 1/2 inch 8. ‘ 1 inch is a measurement of 1 inch, and 16 thread cut per inch.

Pick the correct screw size to match the measurements that you have noted down clearly.

In general, the length of the screw must be at least 3 times greater that the size of the hole. Imagine this way: If the screw hole you choose is one inch in length, then that the size of the screw that you pick should be close to three inches.

Using Larger Anchors

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For larger holes to fill it is possible to employ bigger anchors. Here are a few options for the steps you should adhere to:

  1. Extend and widen the screw hole, creating additional space.
  2. Place the anchors in the hole larger.
  3. A toggle bolt is an ideal choice. It is important to note that this a few options is intended for smaller tasks and not intended for commercial application toggle bolt.

Using Nylon Cable Ties

The nylon cable ties can be used to repair big screw holes. A screw hole created because of a mistake made by accident are easily fixed using nylon cable ties since they easily be put in place thanks to zip ties.

The length of the nylon cable tie by the screw diameter that the holes are. Cable ties made of nylon range in a range of 4 to 52 inches in length.

When you’ve selected the nylon cable ties tie that fits the hole in your screw put them in. Then, you can plug the hole using nylon cables, then tie the ties in.

The best option is to pick lengths with a longer reach since long lengths of nylon cable ties are greater, it means that they can carry a significant amount lighter loads of pressure and weight. Additionally, it’s important to ensure the strength that the joints.

When the screw hole has been lined with nylon cable ties, you can drive your screw into the hole.

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Due to the strength of nylon cable ties and the screws will have an excellent grip and will remain solidly inside the screw’s hole. There are an absence of micro-movements.

  • It is important not to apply more than Nyon because they’re not able to give a good grip and the traction you need with a screw.
  • Additionally, placing nylon cables too far into the hole could cause it to shear.

Always opt for the proper amount of water to make sure the screw hole is adequately and completely filled, and without problems.

Inserting Rawl Plug

Rawl plugs, sometimes referred to as a wall plugs are extremely useful for fixing huge screw holes which are challenging to repair.

Rawl Plugs are tiny plastic fittings that can provide a strong grip and hold with screws for stability. These are typically used for wooden and concrete walls.

In the beginning, locate a raw plug with the same size as the hole for screws. It is possible to decide on the color of the plug.


  • Rawl plugs in yellow can be inserted into five-millimeter holes. Screw dimensions range from 3-8.
  • Plugs made of red rawl can be inserted into 6-millimeter holes. Screw sizes range from 3 up to 10.
  • Rawl plugs in blue can be inserted into 10-millimeter holes. Screw sizes range from 14-18.

How to put the rawl plug properly onto a screw with a big hole.

  1. Find the proper size rawl plug, and then coat it with wood glue
  2. Place the rawl plug cutter through the large screw hole.
  3. Inject wood glue in the center of the rawl plug to ensure the best adhesion
  4. The wood glue should be allowed to dry completely and cure till you are sure that the connection is firm
  5. Create a pilot hole into the plug
  6. Screw into the hole.

Relocating The Hole

If the screw’s hole is not large enough to repair or is not able to be repaired using a method then it’s better to enlarge the hole, then screw in an additional hole in the same size that is sized to fit the screw that it is a perfect fit.

So, you don’t have to commit any errors because you’re already aware of the last error of screwing a tiny hole.

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However, it’s not as easy as it seems since you must fill the hole of your previous screw in a manner that hides the screw, scratch, and marks left by wood fibers that the old hole itself did not make.

This is how you can fix the screw’s large hole, and create a new one to repair this screw

  1. In the beginning, it is necessary to fill and repair the hole large with spackle.
  2. Let dry the spackle and then cure.
  3. When the spackle has dried, it’s time to start screwing a small pilot hole according to the size of the screw to an alternate position.
  4. It is important to redrill just over or under the previously big hole to maintain the object at a level position while maintaining balance. Alternatively, you may shift the drilling position to the right or left. The primary goal is to hold the object in place.
  5. When you’re finished with the redrilling process, the spackle could have cured and dried completely.
  6. When the spackle is dry after drying, apply a fine sanding, then smooth and level the surface. Add more spackles until your surface is smooth and level.
  7. Re-paint the surface to cover the marks of spackle.

Using A Steel Wool

There is a way to utilize the steelwood for fixing an opening in a screw that’s too wide. The only thing it can do is apply to holes for screws that aren’t able to hold a great deal of weight as it’s very weak.

However, you can utilize steel wool for fixing big screw holes on basic wood objects and also as a decorative purpose. Steel wool can only take light loads and be used to support light weights.

Here’s how to utilize steel wool for fixing the screw hole too big.

  1. Then, squeeze and place steel wool into the hole by using the screwdriver’s end.
  2. The steel wool is compacted and then jam the screw hole by using it.
  3. The steel wool edges should be cut so that they are flush with the surface.
  4. When the wool of steel is solid, run the screw to create a firm grip and maintain traction.

Use Toilet Paper With Wood Glue

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Have you thought about the ways that toilet paper could serve a purpose besides its primary function? Yes! Toilet paper can repair a screw hole which is too large.

This is a basic DIY task.

Here’s how to utilize toilet paper to repair a screw hole that’s too big.

  1. Then roll and squeeze the toilet paper
  2. The toilet roll should be coated with wood glue
  3. Place it in the hole by using the tip of the screwdriver.
  4. The paper is compacted and then jam into the screw hole
  5. Make sure the hole is filled using wood glue
  6. The wood glue should be dry, and cure
  7. When the toilet roll is solid, it is time to flush the floor
  8. Use the screw to drive it for a solid grip and hold

Similar to wood filler the wood glue can also be great to fill screws that are too large.

Wood putty can conceal and fix a screw in a hole and can also keep screws in place.

Do not use wood putty to fill in holes that can hold lots of stress and weight. It is best to use wood putty for smaller projects that require lightweight.

On the other hand, it can fill the screw hole completely as if the screw was never there previously. Wood filler is simple to level and set on the ground.

Additionally, it does not get hard as wood filler and it can be flexible enough to change in response to changes in temperature without damaging the material.

Use a large amount of wood putty in the screw holes. Let it dry, and set.

When the wood putty is dry, it is possible to create a second small screw pilot hole using a drill.

After that, drive the screw through the repair screw hole.

Wood putty can be used to make a nice simple, fast, and quick to use when fixing a tiny screw hole.

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Use Pinewood Shim

The shim made of pinewood can cover the big screw holes, however, it is necessary to use an extremely sharp knife to succeed in using this method.

In this case, I’m using Pinewood Sim for a plug cutter that is exactly similar to using toothpicks.

The pinewood shim procedure can only be used for light objects as it is not able to withstand extreme stress.

This article explains how you can make use of the shim of pinewood to repair the screw hole too large,

  1. Find the size and depth of screw holes
  2. Trim and cut pinewood to create a pointed shape using similar dimensions to the screw’s large hole
  3. Wood glue should be applied over the wood good shims made of pinewood
  4. Inject and press it down the screw hole large enough to fit.
  5. Allow the glue to dry, and set to keep the shim of the pinewood steady on its own
  6. Make cuts along the edges, then smooth the surface with a razor knife
  7. Create a pilot hole into the pinewood shim
  8. Screw through the small pilot hole in the pinewood using a firm grip.

How To Fill A Hole To Screw In Again?

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Fill the hole and screw it back by using a range of different techniques. You must however choose the best one for you as some methods can only be used with larger screws or lighter weights.

Supplies You Will Need

  • Wood Glue
  • Toothpicks also known as Wooden dowels, or wood filler, or wood plugs
  • Drill
  • Snapper or cutter
  • Sandpapers
  • Vernier using a caliper or ruler for taking measurements of screw holes

Action algorithm:

  1. Find the diameter and depth of the screw hole.
  2. Incorporate some wood glue into the screw hole.
  3. Use toothpicks, wood fillers or similar-sized wooden dowels, or wood plugs to screws into the holes.
  4. The object is tapped and then squeezed it so that it sticks to the hole in the wood glue in the middle.
  5. The glue should be allowed to dry, and cure correctly
  6. After your wood glue has dried and the edges are cut and smooth the surface
  7. Smooth the surface
  8. Make a pilot through the screw hole
  9. Insert a screw into the hole completely


If you’ve made a mistake when you chose the wrong drill bit or bits, for your drill, you have several alternatives to rectify the mistake.

I’ve tested and tried a variety of ways to repair an opening in a screw that’s too large. If you choose to move the hole completely or fill it with the top, the methods discussed here should assist you to overcome that screw hole too big problem!


How do you fix a large screw hole in wood?

The simplest and quickest repair procedure is to drill the screw holes with a 1/2-inch tool and then make the larger hole bigger by filling it with wood plugs of 1/2-inch size and dowels made of solid wood.

How do you make a screw tighter in a hole?

Place an anchoring screw, wooden dowels toothpick or screw into the hole completely, the screw will be able to withstand more pressure if the clamp has been secured. Fill screw holes in the holes using Auto filling fluid and then put it into the screw threads, making sure that the repair is made permanently as well as safely.

How do you fill deep screw holes in wood?

It’s really easy! You should add about 10 grams of glue in your cup. Mix sawdust until it’s integrated into your glue. When it becomes clumpy, you can use the filler. Utilizing a putty knife to put mixture through screw holes.

Why wont my screw go all the way into the wood?

The screws you use will pass through wood mostly because they pierced an extremely massive area, which requires lots of force for them to function effectively. If you want to get the best results you can drill a more substantial pilot or select a tougher screw.