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i have an aluminum swinging screen door. the hinges are loose, but I can't tighten them, the screws just keep spinning. What should I do?

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It depends on the frame.

If the frame is metal

  • remove screws one by one
  • take some bare copper wires and insert them into the hole
  • put the screw in the middle of the hole with the copper wires on the outside
  • screw down until just about flush then cut the excess length from wires before finishing.

The screw should jamb the copper wires into the metal hole and allow the screw to grab.

If the frame is wood you can use wood pieces to do a similar thing. Golf tees, wood match sticks, small pieces split from shims will all work.

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  • If the frame is aluminium would aluminium wire work better? – Michael Karas Apr 6 at 17:33
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    The door is aluminium. I wouldn't use copper wires, as it would lead to galvanic corrosion, and the aluminium will take the hit. Aluminium wire (if you can get any) would work, otherwise braided aluminium foil would help nicely. – FrK Apr 6 at 18:35
  • Aluminum wires would be best but I don't think you'd have an issue with galvanic corrosion unless this is in a marine climate. Galvanic corrosion requires a conductive liquid and rainwater is rather non-conductive assuming you even get any water at the fastener area of the door. – Fresh Codemonger Apr 7 at 17:54
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I assume that the metal at the screw is relatively very thin, say near 1/8" or so, and that is what is causing the screw to strip. Also the door piece is a hollow member and that you can't get to be back of it to place a nut on a bolt. I suggest trying JB Weld Aluminum (be sure to get the one for Aluminum). You can work it into the hole to fill in and get some behind the metal to make the threaded part deeper, and some on the threads to fill it in some there too. Then either let it dry and tap new threads, or put your hinge on w/ screw in place, make sure it's tight because you won't be able to adjust it later (you wanted it nice and fixed solid right?)

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