Monday, January 4, 2016

When MDF Attacks

MDF is a versatile type of wood that's easy to cut, it's soft which is a problem with screws. How do you fix that?
Repair MDF with a dowel plug.

A bolted connection like a hinge into MDF will eventually pull the screw out of the MDF. The wear and the tear pulls on the screw and enlarges the hole.
A newly drilled pilot hole for a hinge screw.
To fix this, use a wood dowel half the width of the MDF. For a hinge screwed to 3/4" MDF, use a 3/8" dowel. Drill the screw hole with a 3/8" bit. Test fit the snugness of the drill bit hole and MDF first.
A well used hole for a hinge screw. The tension
on the screw will enlarge the hole.

Insert the dowel into the hole, hammer the end for a snug fit and then saw off excess.
I was able to drill a pilot hole for the screw in the dowel without it spinning, but you should apply glue to the dowel and insert it into the opening.

The wood dowel is a harder wood than the MDF and will prevent this type of failure from occurring again.
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