Stripped hinge plate screw holes in face frames

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Forum topic by tooold posted 08-04-2010 10:09 AM 5135 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 3652 days

08-04-2010 10:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: blum poplar face frame hinge stripped screw

I finished my first kitchen build a few months ago (photos here). Everything works pretty well, drawers slide in and out, doors open and close, although I wish they were squarer. I have a second kitchen to do now, so next time!

I have a problem, though, with the mounting screws for the Blum door hinge plates stripping out on the face frames. I used poplar for my face frames, which I won’t be doing again, as it’s simply too soft. I was intimidated about using oak on my first project, but I’ll be using it on the second – in addition to the hinge problem, the face frames are denting really easily. Anyway, with repeated opening and closing of the doors, the holes are getting enlarged – there’s a lot of leverage on the two small mounting screws due to the hinge design.

I’ve been re-tightening screws since a couple of weeks after I finished, and now the first hinge has completely come off. Others are sure to follow, I’m afraid.

So – what to do? I can go up a screw size, but the same thing will happen again, eventually. Do I go up a size, and fill the hole with epoxy when I put it in? Do I drill the hole out and put a dowel in?

I’m sure there’s a standard procedure for this, but I sure don’t know what it is. Any help would be very much appreciated!



14 replies so far

View DAWG's profile


2850 posts in 3103 days

#1 posted 08-04-2010 10:31 AM

Are you using the right screws; my bathroom and laundry room were made with poplar six years ago and I haven’t had this problem at all. I’ve also made about seven or eight other cabinets and furniture pieces and they’re fine.

-- Luke 23: 42-43

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3261 days

#2 posted 08-04-2010 12:13 PM

I am not sure but I think the screws should be long enough to screw into the wall framing.
The 2×4 that the door frame is attached to.
What size screws are you using ?
To fill the holes that are stripped, tap a wooden match (non ignition end) into the hole and snap it off flush.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View tooold's profile


56 posts in 3652 days

#3 posted 08-04-2010 01:43 PM

Thanks for the replies. I used what Blum recommended – I believe 4mm x 16mm (I’m in France). That also might be the problem with the poplar – I’m finding a lot of wood is different than in the US, despite having the same name.

I’m not sure what you’re getting at, Lisa – there is no 2×4, and no wall framing – these are cabinet doors – just face frames mounted on plywood boxes…?

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3166 days

#4 posted 08-04-2010 02:13 PM

Part of the problem maybe the slightly out of square face frames applying torque to the hinges as the door opens and closes. It is not the wood being to soft, it is the un-square face frames. I have shop cabinet doors made with MDF, as temporaries, and they work just fine. But build them out of square and all the geometry will change apply unwanted pressure to the hinges.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3633 days

#5 posted 08-04-2010 07:05 PM

The matchstick is a good idea, I do the same except I push in a piece of 16 awg copper wire. Same solution different material.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 3204 days

#6 posted 08-04-2010 07:20 PM

Drill out the screw hole and glue in a hardwood dowel?

I have done this a few times with good results. But those was easy to hide if the dowel was to wide diameter.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View vicrider's profile


179 posts in 2864 days

#7 posted 08-04-2010 08:04 PM

Hello Myles,

I have installed literally hundreds of this type of hinge and have not encountered this issue. Since the stress on these screws is primarily a direct pull on the screws from the action of opening the door (the 35mm mortise supports the weight of the door) I would suspect a misalignment of the hinge between the door and the cabinet (like UnionLabel’s post above). My suggestion is to examine the action of the hinge when opening the door; do you note any twisting or abnormal movement of the hinge? Do you see any torque or movement of the hinge plate?

Using the next size up screw should work although the countersunk head may stand slightly proud of the hinge plate.

-- vicrider

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3261 days

#8 posted 08-04-2010 11:24 PM

Ooops, sorry Myles.
I thought you said bathroom doors,
I had my morning haze going on. LOL


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3097 days

#9 posted 08-05-2010 04:06 AM

I’ll second the epoxy technique, but there’s an alternative that will still let you remove them if you want.

Take them off, and fill the screw holes with epoxy. Use a thin epoxy like West System that will soak in a little. This should harden the wood and prevent any further weakening.

You can also try Blum’s plates with expando dowels. You drill a 5mm hole, and press them in, and the screws are in a plastic insert that has much better holding power.

I use the Expando plates and Inserta hinges. Haven’t put a screw into wood in years when using Blum hinges.

-- Gerry,

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3446 days

#10 posted 08-05-2010 04:29 AM

In soft wood it works best to use a coarse threaded screw. Also wolffarmer has a good idea, drill out the hole and glue in a hardwood dowl. You could also make some small match size hardwood strips and glue them in the existing holes like match sticks and redrill the pilot hole for the screws.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View BertFlores58's profile


1694 posts in 2888 days

#11 posted 08-05-2010 07:00 AM

I don’t have any problem with screw on softwood. I think, we should make a point that pilot drilling is one cause of loosening screws. I had framed doors on pine and MDF too. I use gimlet instead of drilling a pilot hole. If you dont’ have gimlet, simply an awl or any pointed object just to push the wood. Pushing a pilot hole is different than drilling a hole. If you push, the softwood is compressed making it hard for the screw while drilling will take out most of the wood.

Careful also with using a hard dowel. You may break the screw (even there is a pilot hole) and sometimes it is offcentered when fitted.

-- Bert

View BertFlores58's profile


1694 posts in 2888 days

#12 posted 08-05-2010 07:14 AM

By the way, on repairing loose screw. Use longer screw if there is still room, else use the old way of rebuilding. Fill up the hole with a glue mixed with sawdust and let dry. Or use a lead sheet and cut it to size to fit into hole and push it. What is best with this method.. there is no drilling involved. the lead or glue mixture will occupy even the smallest pores of the screw hole. It plugs even an irregular hole and makes a good anchor. Even on cement, I use lead sheet for those screw holes.

-- Bert

View tooold's profile


56 posts in 3652 days

#13 posted 08-05-2010 08:18 AM

Many thanks – this is exactly what I was hoping for, lots of ideas. I think UnionLabel and vicrider have gotten to the root of the problem; however, it’s built! So, I’ll try the repair and we’ll see how it holds up.

Thanks again!

View fiddlebanshee's profile


195 posts in 2911 days

#14 posted 08-05-2010 05:20 PM

Thanks for posting this question. I have the same problem but with the back beam on my 6 foot floor loom. The beam is attached to the central part with hinges at the bottom of the legs and one of the hinges is loose (the screws no longer screwing in tightly). As the total weight of the heavy back beam pulls on this assembly I am worried that it may eventually not hold up and the whole thing will come crashing down.

So perhaps what I should do is chisel out (or route out) a half lap where the failing screw holes are and glue in a new piece of hardwood and attach with new screws. That sounds like something I could accomplish. The loom is made of solid maple and is about 30 years old. I have it disassembled for the move and was looking with trepidation at that one hinge, not knowing what to do with it when I re-assemble it in the new house, I’m sure it wouldn’t hold the next time i try to screw it in. I’m not worried about looks, as this is in a very inconspicuous spot.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

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