My kids playroom door got beat up, and we managed to pull the screws out of the jamb. Tips to fix it? I've heard drill out + dowel + redrill, anything else?enter image description here

  • 1
    pound a glue-laden golf tee into the hole and re-drill.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 16:00

4 Answers 4


In order of my personal preference:

Option 1: Go Go Gadget Screws
Get longer screws that reach the framing. Don't run them in so tight as to pull the jamb out of position. All-thread screws might bite into the jamb somewhat to prevent movement.

Option 2: A Square Peg in a Round Hole
Fill the holes with wood glue and tap in wood "dowels" shaved from a scrap block. They don't need to be perfectly round but should fit snugly. Let it dry well and re-drill with a 1/8" bit.

Option 3: Bulk Up for Success
Procure screws with the same head size but a larger shank. They're somewhat specialty, so try an old-school hardware store rather than a home improvement box.

Option 4: See You on the Flipside
Drill and countersink the hinge holes in an opposing stagger pattern. Pilot with 1/8" bit.

  • +1 esp. for not tightening longer screws too much
    – mike65535
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 21:20
  • 3
    Option 2 - matchsticks with no heads work fine, as do unused splints for lighting pipes, or even unused iceblock sticks trimmed.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 2:12
  • 1
    The reason you'd pilot into the framing is mostly to keep the screw from glancing off the face of the stud--the outer screw(s) tend to be close to the edge. It's not necessary, though, since it's softwood and isn't visible.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 2:42
  • 1
    Or Option 5: Use the existing screws/holes and pack with rawlplugs, although you might need to make the existing holes a little bigger.
    – user77994
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 6:21
  • 3
    Plastic plugs are an interesting idea, but I'm not sure I'd consider them sticky enough for a high load dynamic applications such as this. The polyethylene might have a tendency to shift.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 19, 2018 at 12:34

Fill the holes with wooden toothpicks. The screws will bite into them.

  • 3
    a bit of glue on them helps them stay in.
    – gbronner
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 3:07
  • This is the easiest thing to try first.
    – jay613
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 14:02

Plastic rawplugs will do a good job, can always put some adhesive in the hole first

  • What adhesive do you recommend for polyethylene?
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 20:09
  • Thanks. I already tried the long screws. +1 though Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 21:51

If going to plug up hole and redrill, I find that some shim stock, sold for framing purposes works great. I use a utility knife to cut strips, and then pack them into the existing hole with some wood glue. The next day I predrill holes for the screws. If the screws are badly rusted, I try to find replacements.

If there are three bad hinges, it's sometimes possible to do one at a time, which eliminates the need to pull the door.

  • OTOH, doing them all at once means that it's glue today, install tomorrow, done, instead of glue today, screw tomorrow, glue the day after, screw the day after that... until a week has gone by. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 15:45
  • 1
    Two different approaches. One does what it can immediately. The other incrementally permits incremental fixes. With different risks.
    – mongo
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 15:09

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