After searching the web, I couldn't find a simple solution to repairing the stripped screws on our crappy particle board cabinets in the kitchen.
Many forums said to use a wood dowel with a hole drilled in, but then you have the potential risk of splitting if you get the grain wrong. Alternatively, many other forums said to use specifically flat toothpicks and wood glue, but that sounded like a huge pain in the butt...and messy on installed cabinets.
I considered Tee nuts, but they were too wide. Then I found the perfect solution...
Step 1: What You'll Need
What you will need:
- Drill Bits
- Hex keys, bits or drivers
- Threaded inserts for wood (I used 6-32 inserts)
- Screws to match the threaded inserts (I used 6-32x3/8 so the screws wouldn't penetrate the doors)
- Wood glue
- Angled bit holder (optional)
Step 2: Prep and Drill the Hole
The first thing to do is to get the door and hinges out of the way. On my cabinets, the door actually fell off because a chunk of particle board fell off. (Due to the design of the doors, a prefab door would stick out like a sore thumb. I will repair that in a separate Instructable.)
Once the door/ hinge is out of the way, carefully drill out the hole where the screw used to be. To make sure it stays centered, start with 1/8 inch and work your way up. Compare the drill bit width to the size of the insert to find which bit size to stop at. Pick a bit slightly smaller than the insert width for a tight fit. The wedge shape of the insert makes it easier to install in a snug hole. For these 6-32 inserts that I had, I stopped with a 7/32 bit.
If you have a small cabinet, your drill may not fit. This is where the angle adapter comes in. I found the Dewalt version at Home Depot, which is also where I got the Milwaukee drill bit set. The adapter was $15 and the drill bits were $20.
Step 3: Threaded Wood Inserts
Place the threaded insert onto the tip of your hex key or driver before applying a drop or two of glue so you don't get glue all over your hand. If you get some on you, it isn't a big deal; wood glue is water soluble while wet, so just wash your hands.
You may not need the glue, but since particle board isn't very resilient, I used the glue to give it more bond to the easily crumbled material.
Step 4: Screw the Insert Into the Hole
Screw the insert into the hole that you drilled until the top of it is flush or slightly countersunk. You may have some excess wood glue coming out. Just wipe it off with a damp paper towel.
Step 5: Finishing
You should allow 24 hours to allow the glue to dry before putting the door back on. Since my door needs to be repaired on mine, I just installed the hinges so I don't lose them in the mean time.
This repair should for years. Since the threaded insert is wider than screws, it should be able to disperse more of the stress of the cabinet doors.