author
5CommentsJoined December 18th, 2013

Tell us about yourself!

Complete Your Profile
  • bryanbdp commented on mikeasaurus's instructable 5 Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw7 months ago
    5 Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw

    In case nobody has answered the question about left hand drills:The reason left handed drills work well for regular, right hand threads is because the drills turn in the same direction that is used to remove the fastener. When the drill is working, it is gouging into the metal and attempting to shave off chips, while turning counter clockwise for a left hand drill. This operation tends to heat the metal, and in combination with the drilling oil tends to loosen the fastener rather than tightening it, like a standard, right hand drill would. In many cases, a left hand drill will exert enough force on a stuck fastener to unscrew it. A standard drill will just tend to tighten the fastener, which likely won't move at all in the tightening direction.pictured below, right hand drill, left hand...

    see more »

    In case nobody has answered the question about left hand drills:The reason left handed drills work well for regular, right hand threads is because the drills turn in the same direction that is used to remove the fastener. When the drill is working, it is gouging into the metal and attempting to shave off chips, while turning counter clockwise for a left hand drill. This operation tends to heat the metal, and in combination with the drilling oil tends to loosen the fastener rather than tightening it, like a standard, right hand drill would. In many cases, a left hand drill will exert enough force on a stuck fastener to unscrew it. A standard drill will just tend to tighten the fastener, which likely won't move at all in the tightening direction.pictured below, right hand drill, left hand drill, center drill

    click on photos to view them, notice how the flutes (recessed channels) run in opposite directions...

    This is a critical thread because we all run into stuck fasteners from time to time, some critical. From a lifetime of frustration, I offer a few more tips.First, forget regular screwdrivers most of the time, and use hardened screw bits. You can buy these at any hardware store, name brand bits like Lutz and DeWalt are better than the cheap ones. They are cheap, and much harder than normal screw driver tips. Second, if you examine the fit between a phillips bit and the screw, you will find that the bit typically doesn't go all the way in, so it strips much too easily. If you find the bit seems loose, or doesn't go all the way in, use a grinder to remove just a little bit of the pointy tip and try the fit again. Be careful not to overheat the tip, remove small amounts and dip in water or ...

    see more »

    This is a critical thread because we all run into stuck fasteners from time to time, some critical. From a lifetime of frustration, I offer a few more tips.First, forget regular screwdrivers most of the time, and use hardened screw bits. You can buy these at any hardware store, name brand bits like Lutz and DeWalt are better than the cheap ones. They are cheap, and much harder than normal screw driver tips. Second, if you examine the fit between a phillips bit and the screw, you will find that the bit typically doesn't go all the way in, so it strips much too easily. If you find the bit seems loose, or doesn't go all the way in, use a grinder to remove just a little bit of the pointy tip and try the fit again. Be careful not to overheat the tip, remove small amounts and dip in water or oil to keep it cool. Excessive heat will soften the metal and ruin the tip. This simple tip will often double the removing power of the bit, by fully engaging the entire width of the slots. Once you've modified your tip, it will last for a long time and will become your first choice for stubborn fasteners.Learn about nutserts, tineserts, helicoils and other thread repair methods. Typically used on metals, you drill the hole oversize, tap it to a larger thread, then use a special insert to make stronger threads in the original size. Just make sure you have enough material to support a larger hole. Nutserts are especially good for sheet metal and other thin materials. They work alot like a pop rivet, but leave a durable thread behind. See mcmaster.com part number 96349A305 for the tool (other sizes available), and search for rivet nuts to look at the different types available. mcmaster will have most varieties of thread repair systems available, and do a good job of explaining how and when they work. Take care to drill out a fastener both centered and straight. Use a mill or drill press if possible. If the end of the fastener is irregular, grind or sand it flat so you can start a perfectly centered hole. Use a starter bit to start the hole. These are very short drills attached to a much larger shank. The are commonly used on lathes. They don't allow the drill to deflect when starting the hole, then switch to a normal drill bit.Most hardware stores have thread inserts for wood as well. Typically brass, you drill a larger hole, use a bit or even a bolt to screw the insert into the wood, and now you have a durable thread in your wooden item, much less likely to strip out or fail. Also look at barrel nuts, which insert from the rear of the hole, and have either prongs to dig into the wood to prevent turning, or holes which can be riveted or welded.Use good drill bits, lubricate with oil, DO NOT overhead bit by going to fast, or applying too much pressure. Once a bit looses it's sharpness or temper, it's junk, resharpen or throw it away. For a critical repair, do not use a cheapo drill bit. Most local hardware stores sell quality bits, often cobalt HSS or the like. Carbide drills are not generally for metals except in industrial machining.Use GOOD oil. WD40 isn't very good for drilling, machining, or even loosening stuck bolts. PBblaster and Kroil are probably a couple of the best loosening oils available. I find Breakfree to be a life saver many times, if you can get a fastener to move, it will generally keep the nut or bolt from locking up again and snapping the fastener. You can get it at gun and sporting stores. LOVE this stuff.Often, when you have a stuck or rusted fastener, you can drill off or even grind off the head to get the part disassembled. Often you can use a punch to remove the fastener if it's a through bolt. This works well for rivets also.There is a tool called a nut splitter. If you have good access to the nut, it fits over the nut and actually splits it, it you do it twice the nut will fall off. A great tool to have.Knowledge is power - there are different kinds of "ez-outs".The traditional ones require predrilling, selecting the largest size that will work, and carefully use hand tools to try and back the fastener out. Be carefull, not all fasteners will come out. If you break the ez-out in the hole, it is almost impossible to remove, as it is highly hardened steel. They are also brittle, which makes them easy to snap. If you don't think the ez out is going to work, stop, and consider another method.There are other types of "ez out" type removers. Some of them are designed to work with the hole left from the screw slots. Others require a little predrilling. Some are self drilling. Some are designed for use with power tools, others are not. Your best bet is to buy a quality tool and follow the directions carefully.There are two styles of traditional "ezouts" available, spiral fluted (like a screw thread) and straight fluted. The spiral fluted ones are useful for most applications, unless the fastener is thin-walled. The spiral flutes tend to drill into and expand into the fastener for a better grip. However, when removing something delicate, like a spark plug shell/threads, the straight flutes work better.Speaking of spark plugs, there are a number of techniques and tools to remove stuck or broken spark plugs. Many methods use lots of grease to capture the chips so they don't get into the motor. If you are faced with this problem, search youtube for this problem, examine your options, and choose the best one. Too lengthy to talk about here.Lastly, a simple tip. Impact drivers, especially the hammer activated ones, work well. But a name brand tool, not a cheapie. The bits they use are especially good fit for fasteners, and sometimes I just use these bits alone to remove a questionable fastener. These tools actually drive the bit into the fastener as they shock it loose, and work better than a electric or pneumatic tool which just "hammers" in a twisting motion.Hope these tips help someone, they were all learned the hard way.BryanMakerspaceCT.com

    I agree about screw extractors, the ones that predrill and then extract are probably better, but ez outs are probably about the best, but they need a deep hole, careful use, and still won't remove really stuck bolts or screws. Plus you run the risk of snapping the super hard tool in your fastener. Left hand drills are a great place to start.Unfortunately, every situation is different, and that's where having access to many different techniques is helpful!

    View Instructable »