The jamb bracket was always loose, so I had to keep using longer and longer screws to make it stronger. Over time the wood completely got eroded, left with a gaping hole and no place to insert a screw. How do fix this? I have a young handyman who is painting my house and I was going to have him fix this, but I don't think he knows how. If someone can explain clearly I'm sure he can do it.

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  • To be a bit more clear, is this the location for the mounting bracket of the storm door closer, and not the hinge?
    – Jack
    Mar 20 '20 at 16:35

As Eric suggested, clean out any loose debris first. But do not use small pieces of wood such as toothpicks (they are usually made from very cheap, low-density wood, that easily crushes when you insert later the screw for the hinge). Get a wood filler (which consists of sawdust in a binder) and fill the gap flush. The filler has a much higher compressive strength than matches and toothpicks (around 400kg/cm2, or 5600 PSI). Then drill normally and fasten the hinge as you would with a new door.

Edit: regarding the comments below about brittleness, I personally recommend Abatron WoodEpox. I used it several times, and I can guarantee you can drill into it.

Edit 2: In their website they say it's designed to be able to drill into it. Source: https://www.abatron.com/product/woodepox/

  • Thanks for the suggestion. That sounds pretty easy. I thought the entire jamb had to be replaced. Mar 20 '20 at 12:40
  • Most wood filler is too brittle for this duty, in my experience. You'd have to seek out one with fiber content. Also, how will you get putty into the framing behind the jamb? That's where the strength of a good repair lies. I'd use a wooden plug first. I've done it a hundred times with good results.
    – isherwood
    Mar 20 '20 at 12:50
  • I agree with @isherwood, in my experience wood filler tends to crack, crumble, and/or flake/break when screwed into. Some high-performance 2-part fillers less so, but still can happen. Mar 20 '20 at 14:24

Go to your home store and pick up a package of dowel pins or just get one big dowel rod and a drill bit to match.They come in many sizes depending on the hole you're trying to repair.

Drill out the eroded wood, squirt some wood glue in the hole and tap in the dowel pin and let the glue dry.

If you are going to use one long rod and cut it to the size you need, cut a small grove length wise in your pin to allow excess glue to escape. This isn't needed if you buy a package of dowel pins because they are already grooved. After the glue dries, sand and paint the area and then you can reinstall the jab bracket.

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For a quick fix clean out any loose wood, glue small pieces of wood (matchsticks, toothpicks, even a twig off the ground) in the holes to fill them, let dry, then replace the screws.

  • I would drill out and fit wood dowels with glue - usually have some left over from some of that (cheap) furniture...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 20 '20 at 11:52
  • Can I use a wood filler? Can that hold a large screw? Mar 20 '20 at 11:53
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    @ShankTesla Wood filler isn't as strong as a dowel or other and many times it will just crumble. I'd just do as many have suggested. It's tried and true. Mar 20 '20 at 18:00

Plastic hole inserts.

plastic hole insert


I had the problem you describe, and kept fixing the growing hole with the toothpicks and glue method. Either because of the nature of the jamb wood or the weight of the door the screws would eventually get loose and I would need a longer screw or to refill the hole ... sound familiar?

I got some of these screw anchors. Bigger than the one depicted. They are mostly used for masonry or concrete to give the screw something to bite, but they worked great to fill the eroded holes behind the screw. I tapped them into place with a hammer. I think the plastic anchor absorbs the motion of the screw with use of the door and does not transmit it to the wood - so it does not cut / erode the hole bigger.

If the hole is too big for the anchors you find you could anchor the anchor with the described wood glue and many sticks method.

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