[3 screws fell out of lower portion of upper right bracket holes where 3 screws were

ping pong table holes where screws supposed to support bracket

3 screws fell out of lower portion of upper right bracket of ping pong table. What's the wisest/strongest material to use to patch holes into 5/8" medium density fiberboard in order to rescrew (1/2" screws) back into fiberboard. Thanks

  • 2
    I think this will depend on how they popped out, and other damage. Can you post photos? It could range from toothpicks and wood glue to, cutting and fitting replacement MDF. Nov 15 '16 at 19:57
  • I think I'd be improving the original design with some brackets or plates rather than relying on a repair and risking playing surface damage. Post photos, please.
    – isherwood
    Nov 15 '16 at 19:59
  • I would move the bracket sideways so there would be fresh material to screw into. I can not see the damage to the MDF on my phone but moving it 1/2 the width of the bracket to the inside would provide a fresh surface to screw into.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 16 '16 at 0:27

I think there are two probable options here.

First off, the easiest solution may be as 'Ed Beal' Suggests, and simply move the bracket over a few inches and re-fasten.

The other solution, albeit not very "elegant" is often highly effective. Liberally coat a cut piece of wood just bigger than a toothpick, and just shorter than your hole is deep. Slide in the glued piece of wood, the insert and tighten down your screw.

The screw works to force and press the new wood into the hole and give the screw something to "bite" into. The friction and pressure of this new piece of wood is often enough to keep the fastener in place. The glue keeps it in long term.

It's not an excellent solution if you plan on repeatedly removing the fasteners, or you rely on the fasteners to be in tension often. In this case where you're just holding a bracket in place where the leg will be in compression, I think you can get away with it.

  • 1
    Two good options. I'd also consider using larger screws. An increase in screw diameter has an exponential impact on total bite area. Use the largest screws that fit the bracket holes comfortably, and pre-drill properly to prevent bulging and tearing.
    – isherwood
    Nov 16 '16 at 15:59

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