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Author Topic:   Broken Screw Removal
4whaler posted 07-30-2004 01:05 PM ET (US)   Profile for 4whaler   Send Email to 4whaler  
I have two stainless (i think)carpet snap screws that are broken off flush with the non-slip tread on the deck of my Mischief under the stern bench seat. I tried to drill them out with a cobalt drill but it just danced off the metal. I was trying not to mar the non-skid with the drill tip and have been lucky so far. Any body got any ideas how to gracefully get the damn things out so I can replace with new screw snaps?
peetmin posted 07-30-2004 01:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for peetmin  Send Email to peetmin     
I have had the same problem in the past. On my boat the canvas shop pop rivited the snaps to the deck and it seems like the rivits spin inside the snaps. I think you are on the right path and have to gingerly drill the inside of the rivit out at different angles. The other device that helps remove broken screws is called an "EZ out" It in volves drilling a very small hole into the top of the broken screw. Then you screw the ez out into the hole you drilled with a tap handle. The ez out has reverse threads so as you are turning the tap handle counter clockwise the ez out is tightening in the hole while you are loosening/backing out the broken screw. This method can work well with penetrating oil. I believe you can by EZ out kits at Sears.


jflots posted 07-30-2004 01:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jflots  Send Email to jflots     
Try using a pair of dikes. Hold them vertically and use the points to grip the sides of the screw and slowly turn the screw out. Don't squeeze too hard , you might cut through the softer stainless steel.
peetmin posted 07-30-2004 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for peetmin  Send Email to peetmin
captjohn posted 07-30-2004 06:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for captjohn  Send Email to captjohn     
Try using a "center punch" prior to drilling the remaining piece of the screw. The reason that your drill bit is skidding off is that it does not have a starting place. just take the center punch and set a dimple in the screw with a hammer, that should do the trick.
Good Luck
rtk posted 07-30-2004 08:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
If you do not need to have the snap in the exact location, just drill a hole next to it, put a new snap in. The snap will cover the broken stud of the old snap. Just caulk it up good so water does not make it's way in.

To get the remnants out, remove a bit of the gelcoat and/or glass around the broken screw not to exceed the diameter of the new snap. Deep enough to get a pair of needle nose vise grips on the screw with good bite (1/8 or 1/4 inch). A Dremel or rotary tool with a very small grinding bit works well.

When you put the new snap in it will cover the area you ground out.


myakka posted 07-31-2004 07:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for myakka  Send Email to myakka     
I dont know if this will help in your situation but its worked for me in the past. Cut a slot in the stainless with a dremel tool so you can use a regular screwdriver to remove it. Good luck!
jimh posted 07-31-2004 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Because of its hardness, stainless steel often cannot be drilled effectively with your run of the mill hardware store cheap drill bit, particularly if the drill is the least bit dull.
simonmeridew posted 08-01-2004 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
You might try taking your dremel tool with a grinding bit in it and leveling off the broken screw, to make it easier to use a center punch to make a "starter" for your twist drill, so it won't scoot off to one side.; you should start with a very small bit, then in turn, three or four more getting larger each time. Then use one of the square sided "easy outs" (not the spiral type which are worthless)tap the right size in the drilled hole then put an adjustable wrench on the easy out and turn the whole thing out. It wouldn't hurt to squirt a little liquid wrench on the screw first.
PeteB88 posted 08-02-2004 12:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
The Dremel tool idea should work - easy outs work great as well but they must have enough material to grip after you drill. As regards penetrating oil, the best I have ever used by far is a product my Master Plumber friend gave me several years ago call Free All. Plumbers swear by it. It blows WD40 away. It comes in a spray can and I have only found it available via commercial (wholesale) plumbing supply companies. Even though I still use WD and another similar product - when things are impossible I use Free All- - it has a rather unpleasnt smell but so what when you need it to work. Good Luck.

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