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Thread: Stuck Screw Removal

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Stuck Screw Removal

    If you have a screw that just won't budge here is a trick to try. [I]f you have a small chapman wrench (Lyman Lube sizer style) put a removable Bit in a driver and then slip the chapman wrech on the bit under the screwdriver shank. Ptu the item in a vise and now you can push down on the driver and turn with the wrench handle. Works almost as well as a bit in a drill press and will usually get the job done.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    pworley1's Avatar
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    Great tip.
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    Boolit Buddy todd9.3x57's Avatar
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    kroil will work, but it will take time. i had a screw that fitted the sights on my 1898 spr armory and i used kroil (2 - 3 drops each day) for 4 or 5 days. in the end, the screw was loosened out without my screwdriver.
    "The price of cowardice will only be evil. We shall reap courage and victory only when we dare to make sacrifices." ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
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    There's always an impact driver, too.
    Cognitive Dissident

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    Finster101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    There's always an impact driver, too.
    It is really easy to mess up a slot with an impact driver.

  6. #6
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    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    I use a dedicated box wrench; 3/16” or 1/4”; can’t remember which. With 1/4” plywood jaws in the vise, I can set the driver bit in the screw slot, tighten down the vise on the bit, slide the box wrench over the hex part, and begin the judicious process of applying force.

    The wood allows a tight hold of bit in slot, but can compress enough so if/when the screw loosens, there is clearance for the bit to back off. Once the screw has loosened that first fraction of a turn, the vise jaws can be opened slightly to maintain the pressure until the screw turns without the artificial setup.

    Those Chapman wrenches are just sheet-metal pressings holding the ratchet clicker against the steel socket piece. Never did it myself, but I’ve found some on bargain Ideal 45s at gun shows where the metal is bulged and twisted and the ratchet doesn’t work so well. YMMV, of course.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    JSnover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bent Ramrod View Post
    I use a dedicated box wrench; 3/16” or 1/4”; can’t remember which. With 1/4” plywood jaws in the vise, I can set the driver bit in the screw slot, tighten down the vise on the bit, slide the box wrench over the hex part, and begin the judicious process of applying force.

    The wood allows a tight hold of bit in slot, but can compress enough so if/when the screw loosens, there is clearance for the bit to back off. Once the screw has loosened that first fraction of a turn, the vise jaws can be opened slightly to maintain the pressure until the screw turns without the artificial setup.
    I'll vouch for that method, it has worked perfectly for me.
    Regarding impact drivers, I never liked them. They seem a little to eager to bounce out of the fastener or strip what's left of the head.
    If impact is the plan, I've had better luck with a good solid setup, a 1/4" wrench or socket on the bit, some downward pressure (this works best if someone can lend you a hand), some moderate torque, and some light - rapid - taps applied with a small hammer.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

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    On stuck screws if I can do it I get the part in a vise and bolted down to the drill press table. put the bit in the chuck and use the spindle to hold the screw down in,turning by hand with a rod in the chuck key hole. This provides a lot of down force in the driver holding it in place and the torque is transferred evenly. The rack and pinion of the deill press spindle provide a mechanical advantage and the force is controlled.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    One of the most important things in removing a stuck screw , is the screwdriver Tip that you use.
    Especially if you do it in a drill press.
    The tip must match the width of the slot in width and same thickness of the slot.
    Two small of a tip in either direction tends to mess up the screw head using that much pressure in rotation.

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold MarkWood's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll try

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Some gentle heating with a hair dryer will loosen up LockTited screws.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    This will sound like a stupid tip and you guys are gonna laugh, but it has gotten me out of a jamb more than once...heat the stuck screw with a propane torch {I mean it's stuck and no good like it is so whatta ya got to loose} until it is hot enough to melt an ordinary paraffin wax candle when you touch the candle to the metal. It does not have to be glowing red or so hot that the paraffin ignites. it will smoke a lot so you might want to try this outside. The wax will melt and paraffin, when melted is thinner than any solvent. It will run right down the thread immediately and form a wax barrier between the screw thread and the base part. The trick is to let it completely cool BEFORE you try to remove the screw. It doesn't always work, but it sure wont hurt and I have been surprised at how many times the formerly stuck PITA screw comes right out!!! All this, of course refers to screws in metal, not wood or plastic. It wont work at all if you don't let it completely cool off...melted paraffin has zero lube qualities, but it does after it is cold.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    That is a great idea.
    I will bank that tip away for future use.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Rapier's Avatar
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    I bought a pencil torch years ago, it makes a needle point flame, works well for heating stuck or Locktighted stubborn screws.
    “There is a remedy for all things, save death.“
    Cervantes

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    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master


    GregLaROCHE's Avatar
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    Through out life, undoing stuck bolts, especially broken off ones seemed to be a way of life. Recently I have been considering investing in a set of left hand drill bits.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    Through out life, undoing stuck bolts, especially broken off ones seemed to be a way of life. Recently I have been considering investing in a set of left hand drill bits.
    They work well. I haven't had a single broken bolt since I bought them.

    I also now use ATF/Acetone 50/50 on bolts well before I try to turn them.
    Last edited by Mal Paso; 07-24-2022 at 11:52 AM.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

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