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Where can I find a screwdriver for an Etch-A-Sketch Animator?

I have an old Etch-A-Sketch Animator from 1986. The rubber membrane buttons barely work now. I would love to take this apart and clean out the buttons but the security screws in this are very weird - a funky kind of three bladed thing for which I have never been able to find a bit/driver. It's not Tri-Lobe, Tri-Wing or Tri-Groove. It's a standard pan top screw with three slots, separated in the center by a tiny "triangle". The slots come together much more closely than Tri-Groove. The ends of the slots closest to the center of the screw are more shallow than the edges closest to the diameter of the screw.

A Tri-Groove might work, but I don't think the driver is going to clear the outer plastic housing. If anyone knows where I can find a bit to remove these, I'd appreciate the help!

As far as advice on improvised removal techniques: Dremel techniques or any kind of "use a pair of dikes" technique won't work here because the screw is recessed by about 1.5cm in a channel that is maybe 1mm wider than the screw head. I'd like to avoid "Melt a pen" techniques to avoid damage to the casing and/or getting a pen permanently melted into the shaft. Besides, with the size of these screws (1/4 inch head?) and the age of the device, I doubt a Bic pen will have the torque necessary to pop the screws. (Keeping that under my belt as a last resort, though.)

Links to a recommended Tri-Groove set with plenty of differently sized bits would be awesome as a second to last resort. There's so many and I'm a bit out of my element.


Picture of Where can I find a screwdriver for an Etch-A-Sketch Animator?

use an "easy out" screw extractor.

drill a hole through the middle of the head of the screw about 1/8 inch, and then insert the screw extractor, it looks like a drill bit but reversed. it will grip the screw head and untwist it.

If you dont have a screw extractor i had luck using a sharp flat head after i drilled a hole, that was slightly bigger than the hole., then i tapped it lightly into the screw and twisted it out.

then use a regular wood/toy screw to put it back together

The tri grove is pretty standard. They don't come in different sizes. This kit will cover just about any odd screws you may come across.

http://www.makershed.com/product_p/mkif2.htm

inanis (author)  mpilchfamily3 years ago

Thanks for the info. I looked at that kit and I may pick it up for future use, although I don't think it has a bit that's going to remove that screw.

The bits in the set that may work out for you are the U bits. They look like a flat head with the center cut out. The should be able to get a grip is 2 of the groves on teh screw head and allow you to remove them.