I want to fix my gate latch. The problem is where the latch used to be nailed into gate door, there are now oversized holes in them because the fastening point failed and the nails came out.

What's the best approach to fix?

I have two ideas in mind.

Idea number one is to fill the holes with some chemical that will simultaneously bond with the wood on the inside of the holes and also hold some screws I will drive into it. Hot glue is my first option because I have it available. Second option is epoxy.

My other idea is a little more elaborate, difficult and time consuming. It involves cutting out the entire section of wood surrounding the failed holes, then reattaching a similar sized section using a couple pieces of sheet metal, each with one end attached to the patch piece and the rest of the gate. But this seems like overkill. So I really like the hot glue idea.

What's the best way to approach this?

  • 1
    machine nuts and bolts with washers.
    – jsotola
    Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 9:56
  • 4
    Stick a wooden toothpick or 2 or some similar wood product to take up some of the room in the oversized hole then re-nail or screw as usual.
    – d.george
    Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 10:28
  • 1
    along those lines, bbq skewers and golf tees work well for different sizes.
    – dandavis
    Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 19:31
  • one more thing ... when you do get it patched up, do not use nails. use screws
    – jsotola
    Commented Dec 30, 2017 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


I would use wood glue versus hot glue. If the existing hole isn't too big, just find a screw that fits the hole, put glue in the hole and run the screw in to the hole/glue. If the hole is too big for the screw, add a toothpick (as d. george suggested) to tighten it up and add glue and screw. If the hole is REALLY too big, drill it out to match the size of a wood dowel, glue the wood dowel into the hole with wood glue, let it dry, cut it flush, then screw in the latch.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.