Instructables

Any way to remove a broken screw?

Please, it's urgent. I've broken a metal cross-head screw, there is nothing for the screwdriver to cling to. I cannot preform the hammer method due to the object the screw is stuck in being plastic, and I can't afford to break the plastic. Please, I need you to help me. Dylan P.S This is a nerf gun (the hornet) and the screw is near the cocking mechanism.

solidacid5 years ago
get hold of a nail(the metal kind of course), a lighter, a strong magnet(possibly from those toys with metal balls and plastic sticks), and a pair of pliers. use the pliers to hold the head of the nail against the screw and start heating the nail with the lighter. after a while the screw will start wiggling because it has become hot enough to soften the plastic around it. at that point you try to pull out the screw with the magnet, but you have to be fast: if the magnet gets to hot it will reach it's curie point(the point where it is no longer magnetic) I have used this technique when pulling broken screws out of old drywall and it works fairly well :D
yerjoking (author)  solidacid5 years ago
Okay, I'll try tomorrow. I noticed you've read my other posts, and yours looks the most promising. Congratulations, you've answered my question!
To remove a stripped/damaged screw easily, you can use specialised screw pliers, which have special jaws for gripping the outer perimter of the screw head...twist & remove simples, for example....

http://www.precisionhandtools.co.uk/screw-pliers/engineer-pz-58-neji-saurus-gt-multi-purpose-pliers-with-screw-extractor-jaws
lol its been like 3 years, have you gotten the answer to your question since i have the exact same problem with my nerf gun
oh and i read all the previous comments ^^
same with my recon i stripper the head
uvodee5 years ago
a screw removal kit cuts between 2.99 and 9.99 usdollar you DON'T need a powertool the bits fit in a handscrewdriver that holds bits a screwdriver like that will start at 1 usdollar who presented this question? And then, why did this person present this question to THIS website? Existential mode i guess.....
ScienceMMM5 years ago
Well, there is a way. If you're not afraid of stripping the screw-hole, you could use a very fine drill bit, and drill down into the shaft of the screw. Then, pull hard and rip it out.
yerjoking (author)  ScienceMMM5 years ago
Once again, someone that doesn't read my original posts. For the last time I don't have access to power tools. Next person who posts a comment which is pointless I am flagging.
Okay, I'm sorry. That's the only thing I know, and I'm just trying to help you out.
yerjoking (author)  ScienceMMM5 years ago
Meh, I know, but it gets annoying when people don't scroll down to see that I don't have access to power tools, or epoxy, or the screw for that matter. :P Sorry about earlier, I was annoyed and took it out on you.
Then, you could pour epoxy down the hole to act as a permanent screw.
yerjoking (author)  ScienceMMM5 years ago
Once again read my other posts.
Emsaid5 years ago
i use wire clipers to turn the head of the screw, or just snap the head off.
yerjoking (author)  Emsaid5 years ago
Can't, screw is too far down a hole... Sorry for late reply.
ok i would try drilling it out
yerjoking (author)  Emsaid5 years ago
Read my other coment.
or when your mom is gone you could sneak the dremel
yerjoking (author)  Emsaid5 years ago
Y'know I'm getting pretty fed up of people not reading the other posts...
cokecola5 years ago
I would use a dremel to cut another slot for the screwdriver.
yerjoking (author)  cokecola5 years ago
If you read the other comments, I don't have access to a dremel. Thanks anyway though.
How did you break it?
yerjoking (author)  TwistedParadox5 years ago
I didn't, the screw came like that. Iunno why I didn't send it back complaining about the faulty screw, but then again, I could get in trouble for attempting to mod it...
110100101105 years ago
use a dremel and drill out the head of the screw completely. after opening the gun take out the stick with pliers if you think this can be done without melting the plastic : cut few tiny pieces of soldering wire and put them in what remained from the screw. let a soldering tool heat up and unplug it. while still hot stick it in the screw and let it melt the soldering wire. leave it like that without any movement untill it cools. unscrew as if its a screw driver (you may want to catch the exact temperature at which its allready connected to the screw but the plastic is still soft)
yerjoking (author)  110100101105 years ago
I can't get hold of a dremel either, due to an untrusting mother. However, your second option sounds very easy, and if the plastic were to melt, I would not mind so much (as the plastic is hidden behind another piece). My only question to that is, could this method work with a very tight screw?
if you catch the temperature at which the soldering is hardened but is enough to melt the plastic the screw might kinda melt its way out (just turn it slowly)

the melting may be severe enough to damage the area near the hole. it depends on the plastic and the cooling speed of your soldering tool (smaller and thinner = less heat capacity = cools faster). stick the tool centered so that it does not touch the sides of the hole and does not apply forces on the screw to the side. i think the best is to rest the tool in the wanted position and not touch untill it cools. movements or vibrations when the soldering is hardening (before it hardened completely) may make it weak

and your mom should not be a stop to your creativity or skills
yerjoking (author)  110100101105 years ago
I don't think I'll be using the hole again, so damage is not really that much of a problem (as long as the damage is not done to the plastic, damage to the hole is fine.) I don't think a soldering iron will be neccesary, I think I shall just drop a few tiny pieces of solder on the screw, heat a screwdriver up, and treat the screwdriver like a soldering iron, that way the screwdriver will cool down, as opposed to me then taking the soldering iron out, then placing the screwdriver into the molten tin. Meh, she just doesn't like me having sharp things (too many close calls I think). Having stabbed myself many a time when I was younger (due to me running off with knives and poking trees) she is frightened (I think) that I will do more serious damage.
the screw and screwdriver are made of metal that is hard to solder too. its way easier to use the iron the soldering wire has red stuff that aids soldering. when you drop it most of it is gone. you have to melt the wire in the screws head close calls are normal for anyone who does not pass all day in front of tv. they are not sign that you do something wrong or should not use certain tools. just be cautious
yerjoking (author)  110100101105 years ago
I know. But I have no iron (blame my mum again). S'pose. Heh, funny you should mention that. Sliced through my finger, through the nail, down the middle. Nearly ended up with two index fingers.
i did with my left thumb from the side to the center of the nail - cutting a circuit board with ruler and retractable knife walked near a month with bandage and finger that felt really weird all the time. then all healed except the nail. then the nail fixed itself too and now all is great did not stop me from using knifes or rulers (and i did complete cutting that circuit board the day after)
yerjoking (author)  110100101105 years ago
Yeah, it's still an open wound (has been for like 9 hours). It's around a 1/2cm to a cm deep. Hurts like a b!tch.
try to not let the parts move related to each other
yerjoking (author)  110100101105 years ago
*Confused* I don't get you... ><
when it heals it needs to connect 2 sides of the finger together. if they move it breaks what it srarted to heal and is bad
yerjoking (author)  110100101105 years ago
Ohhhh. Thankyou for the advice. :D I may be getting a dremel tomorrow (without my mum knowing, my nan said she'd get me one :P). So I can cut through the screw, and my dilema will hopefully be over.
yay !
yerjoking (author)  110100101105 years ago
Lol, I didn't realise they were like £60...
0688565 years ago
hey, try putting some oil near it and push it out with a screwdriver or something.. this might help.. and you're welcome
yerjoking (author)  0688565 years ago
Uhh... Not possible, the screw needs to be unscrewed, or cut, lol. Thanks anyway though.
mweston5 years ago
I have had a similar problem with a plastic screw. I basically made a new screw head by drilling a hole in the broken one and screwing another smaller (metal) screw in. Once the smaller screw is threaded in take it out and put some epoxy or maybe even superglue (cyanoacrylate stuff) and then put it back again. After the glue dries, just slowly unscrew the new "screw" If you want to try this and there is anything that you didn't understand, I'll try to clarify
yerjoking (author)  mweston5 years ago
That sounds good, but I don't think I can get hold of a drill, or epoxy. But, if ever I get hold of any I'll try it.
hmmm... that's a tough one is the screw sunk into the plastic so there is no remaining portion sticking out of the top of the hole? And is this a small screw, in the range of 1/2 an inch?
yerjoking (author)  mweston5 years ago
The screw is around 1/4 of an inch, and the hole is around an inch, the screw is down the hole (it is a toy, remember).
there is really only one way that I can think of doing this off the top of my head, but if you can reach it from the opposite side it was originally screwed in from (somebody mentioned melting a hole), just pound it out with a hammer and a nail or something. Since it is plastic so it should just slowly move out, but it will take a lot of soft hammering... the hole will be stripped, but you can always get a bigger screw. If you can't reach it from the other side... well, I'm not quite sure what I would do yet
yerjoking (author)  mweston5 years ago
The other side is closed up. And I cannot hit it that hard as I cannot afford to break the plastic. Also I don't plan to put another screw in.
yeah, I had a feeling you would say that... I honesty don't have an other ideas if you can't get a hold of a drill or something
yerjoking (author)  mweston5 years ago
Ahh... Oh well, thankyou for your time and effort anyway. xc]
no problem, hope everything works out for you
frollard5 years ago
Get a small screwdriver, heat it up with a lighter, and melt a new socket into whats left of the screw. Quickly remove the screwdriver, and let the screw cool then remove it :D
yerjoking (author)  frollard5 years ago
Uhhh... That sounds very dangerous... And I can't get hold of a lighter.
If you're not comfortable with a hot screwdriver - then indeed, this repair is not for you. Ask a parent or guardian to do it, or help you with it. Keep a pot of water nearby to quench the screwdriver so it cools to a safe temperature quickly - use a cheap screwdriver, as this may wreck the temper on the head. You're not burning anything, just get it warm enough to form the plastic a bit. Less is more.
yerjoking (author)  frollard5 years ago
I'm fine with a hot screw driver. I never said I had no other means of heating it up ;) But the screw is metal (not sure if you knew that).
hmm, I didnt recall it reading like that before: Good thing to clarify! This method definitely wont work...
yerjoking (author)  frollard5 years ago
I'm sorry for not making it clear. >< But, I have now edited my question, so that people will not get mixed up due to my lack of information. Sorry once again.
If the screw is broken off inside a plastic screw post, maybe you can just cut out the post . Then drill a hole where the post was and just use a long bolt and nut and maybe a standoff.
yerjoking (author)  Zengineer16185 years ago
Uhhh... Sorry, but I have no idea what you said... Could you simplify it for me?
paganwonder5 years ago
Use drill bit the same diameter as the screw shank (not the size of the screw head) and slowly carefully drill thru the screw. You may need to replace it with a slightly larger screw. If you have access to a well stocked Hardware store they can probably help you with these items and they shouldn't cost too much. Age should never be a barrier to innovation.
yerjoking (author)  paganwonder5 years ago
Once again, I cannot get hold of a drill (I'm almost sure or it). Also I am not sure if I can go into a hardware store asking for drills etc.
lemonie5 years ago
Can you post a picture of it? Is it recessed or protruding, small / lareg etc? L
yerjoking (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Hmm, I think I have sorted the problem... Not sure though. It is inside a hole, and very small. It is part of a nerf gun. Which I am trying to fix.
rich_moe5 years ago
There are tools that you can purchase (I know, purchase is a swear word around here) that will help you to remove screws that have broken. Most of them require an opposite-twist drill (it drills in reverse direction of normal drills) to make a hole for the screw removal tool to 'bite' into. Go to your local hardware store and ask for a screw removal tool; they will show you a variety of sizes. Bring in a screw of the same size that broke, for comparison. If the screw shank is too small, there may not be enough material to allow you to remove the screw, in which case you will have to drill out the old, broken screw and drill to a larger size hole, and use a larger screw.
yerjoking (author)  rich_moe5 years ago
Being only 14, I don't think I can do any of that... Thanks anyway/