A Toothpick Trick For Loose Screws

A carpenter once showed me a great trick with a toothpick.  One of our doors was sagging, because the screws in the hinges were loose, and couldn’t be tightened.   With a glint in his eye, he pulled out a handful of toothpicks from his pocket, saying “my secret weapon”.   After removing the loose screws for the hinge, he stuffed a few toothpicks in each hole, cut them off flush, and then re-tightened the screws in the holes.  Presto chango- it was all nice and tight.  Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best!

In this video, I apply this simple trick to the tuners on my Epiphone Riviera P93. Some of these screws have been loose since day one – the kind of loose where no matter how much you try to tighten the screw, it just spins freely in the hole. The wood fibers in the hole are stripped out and no longer gripping the screw threads. One simple toothpick, inserted in each hole and cut off flush, just like that carpenter had shown me- and now the screws go in nice and tight. The soft wood of the toothpick makes the perfect filler. No glue necessary.

That same carpenter also shared these fine words of wisdom: “Caulk and paint are what a painter ain’t”, but that’s a story for another day Smile