How To Fix Stripped Plastic Screw Hole

Did you know that stripped screw holes in plastic can be repaired and saved? You won’t have to throw away the damaged part. Instead, by reading this article, you will learn how to fix them and make your DIY project stronger than ever.

We all have those moments when we get frustrated with something that doesn’t work out as planned. It might be because of a number of reasons. The materials are not up to standard, the instructions are too vague, or you just don’t have any experience regarding a certain task. All these issues can happen when working on a DIY project from scratch. Stripped screw holes in plastic are usually a result of using the wrong sized drill bit for pilot holes or not drilling far enough into the material. Repairing them is easy and straightforward:

What is a Strited Plastic Screw Hole?

A stripped plastic screw hole is a condition where the top portion of the hole has been worn down to its metal core. The most common cause of a stripped screw hole in plastic is using a drill bit that is too small to create the necessary pilot holes. When you drill a pilot hole into a material like plastic, you want to drill far enough that the drill bit breaks through the other side of the material. However, if you don’t drill far enough, the drill bit will break through the top of the hole instead of the bottom. Over time, vibrations from the screws that are put into the hole will cause the top portion of the hole to wear down to the metal core. This creates an extremely weak point in the plastic part, resulting in a stripped screw hole.

How to Find the Cause of a Stripped Screw Hole

Before attempting to repair the hole, you need to figure out why it was stripped in the first place. If you try to repair a hole that was caused by using the wrong size drill bit, the repair will probably fail as soon as you put pressure on the damaged part. Start by removing the screws and taking a look at the damaged area. If the top of the hole is worn down to the metal core, it’s clear that you drilled the hole incorrectly. However, if there’s no sign of wear and the hole has been completely stripped, there’s a good chance that you used an incorrect sized screw. The easiest way to determine the cause of the stripped screw hole is to compare the stripped screw to the remaining screws. If they appear to be a similar size, the stripped screw hole was most likely caused by a misused screw.

The DIY Repair Process

There are various methods to plug a stripped screw hole; however, not all of them are suitable for plastic. Before you start plugging the hole, you should clean the hole with a bit of sandpaper and a drop of water to ensure that the new plug material adheres properly. The ideal plug material for a plastic repair is epoxy. You can use a two-part epoxy to create a plug that will be difficult to see once the part has been reassembled. Another option is to use a low-temperature adhesive like UV-cured glue. UV-cured glue is especially useful if you’re repairing a part that contains LEDs or other electrical components.

Tips to Prevent Recurring Issues

The easiest way to prevent future issues with stripped screw holes in plastic is to use the correct sized drill bit for all pilot holes. Another way is to use a tapping tool for all threads in the plastic part. The tapping tool will create a stronger hold on the threads and make the part less likely to come loose after repeated use and vibrations. If you’re using self-tapping screws, try using a higher-grade self-tapping screw. A higher-grade screw will create a stronger hold in the plastic than a standard self-tapping screw. Another option is to drill a larger diameter hole and use a standard screw in the plastic.

In Summary

It’s normal to get frustrated when you’re working on a DIY project and one aspect doesn’t go as planned. However, you should always try to stay positive. If you let frustration get the best of you, it’s easy to make mistakes that result in significant damage. Stripped screw holes in plastic can be repaired, and they don’t have to be a deal-breaker. All you have to do is figure out what caused the hole and choose the appropriate repair method. Once the repair is complete, try to do everything as carefully as possible to minimize the risk of re-damaging the repaired part.

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