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I know it's almost redundant, but here's an even faster method of doing the same thing. If you have flush cutting pliers like these, or any reasonable facsimile such as a nail clipper, you're in business. A single edge razor blade works well, too, but requires a little more care.

Just take a toothpick and put a glob of glue on the end:

Stick the pick in the hole:

Snip it off:

That's it!

Too easy? Then how about some cautions?

1. It's important not to fill the hole completely with a giant piece of toothpick lumber. If you do, let the glue dry overnight. Then you can drill a new pilot hole and reinstall the screw. Otherwise, you could split delicate wood parts or break off the screw because it's going in too tight. I usually try to fill the hole only about 1/2 its diameter. Use flat toothpicks for safety, unless the hole is a real mess.

2. You can use just about any kind of glue. BUT, you have to be careful not to damage surrounding finish. Therefore, it's a good idea to use only water-soluble wood glue (white glue, carpenter glue, etc.) If you use superglue or other strong solvent-based glue you have to be very careful! Too careful, really, since these glues have no advantages in this repair. If you smear water-base glue on the finished surface you can just wipe it of with a wet paper towel.

3. Dealing with a submerged, broken screw is a job for an experienced woodworker. Trying to "drill it out" can cause an accidents and a real mess. . .


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