Fixing A Broken Screw

With furniture old and new, occasionally a screw breaks off under the surface and hides contentedly. The most common fix is to drill another hole beside it and put a new screw in there. The problem is that either the new screw will pull the hinge out of square, or more likely, the screw will go in at an angle. Then the screw head usually sticks up, which can interfere with the easy closing of the hinges.

This time, I decided to fix it right and remove the half screw. I first drilled a 1/2” hole with a Forstner bit close the the metal shaft. Then, several 1/16” holes were drilled around the screw.

A little picking around it with a needle nose plier gave a purchase point, and I reversed the screw out of the hole. Voila!

After drilling more deeply into the hole with the same 1/2” bit, I cut a 1/2” plug from a section of walnut that matched fairly well, and glued it into place.

A little clean up with a sharp chisel, and a touch of finish makes as good as new, and ready for a new screw hole to be drilled. It’s just another one of those things buried into the construction of a furniture piece, that should never to be seen again. Sometimes the toughest test of craftsmanship is recovering from the inevitable and unexpected detours.


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