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I would like suggestions for a table repair, please. I think the material is particle board. The table was exposed to rain briefly. The laminated table top was probably not properly glued when it was manufactured. The laminated top surface is probably melamine. The underside (of the table top) is probably also melamine. The result of the rain is that the particle board absorbed moisture. The pictured screw pulled out. The screw is 22 millimeters long. The metal that the screw passes through is also pictured. I estimate the screw had a purchase of about 4 millimeters in the particle board before it pulled out. The particle board is about 12 mm.

Under normal use this might not matter but I have a need to sometimes lift the table by the top so yes, the separation was caused by misuse.

What is an easy, inexpensive fix? Is there a way to glue the underside surface of the table top to a metal (folded sheet metal) bar? I would even consider that if I knew what type of glue that would be. An easy fix I just thought of now, would be to shoot wood glue into the hole and set the screw into the wet glue.

I will replace the whole table in about 2 weeks so a fix doesn't need to last forever.

screw table

2 Answers 2

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Is there a way to glue the underside surface of the table top to a metal (folded sheet metal) bar I would even consider that if I knew what type of glue that would be.

Yes. This would not be the ideal fix since the top should remain more easily removable but even if the fix needed to last longer than it does this is doable1.

An easy fix I just thought of now, would be to shoot wood glue into the hole and set the screw into the wet glue.
I will replace the whole table in about 2 weeks so a fix doesn't need to last forever.

Honestly, that would probably be enough if you use a glue that sets hard enough. You probably mean a PVA-type glue when you say "wood glue" here but do note that some PVAs set quite hard, while others are more rubbery/plasticy and wouldn't work as well.

It's worth noting that the glue won't actually bond to the screw much, or at all, but what it will do is create perfect engagement of the threads once hardened – in effect you're casting a screw thread in the hole. Just in case it's not obvious you want to do this with the table flipped over.

But for potential future reference, a more permanent repair of stripped-out holes in particle board/chipboard is quite possible. There are numerous good methods. The one that I would suggest is using a filled epoxy that you make yourself2 from cheap 5-min epoxy. Generally the recommended filler for homemade wood putty is sawdust (note: misleading3) but since non-woodworkers usually don't have that available wheat flour can be used in a pinch.


1 Despite melamine laminate's reputation for not being gluable both epoxy and PVA-type wood glues can stick it together quite well, as long as it's absolutely clean. I haven't tried it but I presume that any kind of polyurethane adhesive would also. The bond can be further strengthened by texturing the surface, just simple sanding scratches help although you can go a little further to provide even more for the glue to grab on to.

2 There are now numerous epoxy putties meant for various types of repairs including for use with wood. The DIY type can actually be better for this type of thing for a number of reasons. It can also be quite a bit cheaper as well as having a far longer shelf life.

3 Literally the first return that comes up when I did a test search just now says "Wood glue and sawdust..." although I highly doubt they mean actual dust from a saw. 'Sawdust' often refers generically to wood dust of any kind, but often in practice means sanding dust specifically.

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  • Sometimes glues are like a miracle when they are the solution but you need to pick the right type. Thanks.
    – H2ONaCl
    Apr 20, 2023 at 3:29
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In case the looks and material of the top don't matter too much, I would just screw the board from the top with self-tapping flat-head metal screws of the right length (potentially only one, if that suffices). You'd have to drill a few holes of the right size through the board and into the square pipe, in one go from above and apart from the existing screws.

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  • I think you need to clarify, as you refer to self-tapping screw but holes need to be drilled?
    – Graphus
    Apr 20, 2023 at 2:07
  • English is not my first language, maybe I used the wrong term. I meant those which cut their own thread into a pre-drilled whole. Maybe sheet-metal screws, where you don't need to pre-drill, could work, but it looks like the pipes are too thick for that, and not pre-drilling could lead more destruction in the board. Apr 20, 2023 at 6:05
  • You used self-tapping correctly then :-) The problem is that in woodworking especially that term has become synonymous with self-drilling. It shouldn't, but now that the wrong meaning has become established there's nothing we can do :-( There was a query related to this only a couple of months ago, What is the difference between self-drilling and self-tapping screws?
    – Graphus
    Apr 20, 2023 at 8:49

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