Screw Extractor - how to?

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I have a few screws (flat head) that the flat head slot had worn out, and since the screw is a finish screw it is recessed deep into the surface so cutting a new slot with a dremel for example is not practical.
So after a few tries I decided to get a screw extractor. I bought one at the right size at HD brand name KOBALT.
I used the drill bit and drilled a hole about 1/4" deep. Then I took the other piece that is called the "plug tab" and put that into the hole and turned it counterclockwise with a wrench. The plug tab turned but the screw stays. I then use a hammer and lightly tapped the plug tab deeper into the hole, turned again and same result.
I thought it's supposed to "grab" the inside surface and turn the screw but it didn't.
So either I am not using it right, or I did not drill deep enough, or this is a piece of crap screw extractor and I need to get a good one.
Any idea what I should do?
MC
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Get an impact driver kit like Harbor Freight #93481-1VGA. A couple of hammer whacks ought to get the screw started out. Regarding Kobalt tools, they are not bad.but not in the same league as Craftsman hand tools (most of them Americam made) and definitely not at all like SnapOn, Matco or Mac. The latter three have screw extractors that actually work, but even these require a skill level well past most DIY weekend warriors. The biggest problem is that the spud that works to grab the screw can break since it has to be hard enough to bite into the screw, and the hardening also makes it brittle. Thus, too much force leaves you with the screw still tight but now containing a bit of really hard broken steel. HTH
Joe
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You didn't say what material the screw is, what the screw is screwed into, the size of the screw, whether the screw is corroded in place, etc. The more information, the better the answer.
If the screw is really seized up in there, and the screw is made of softer metal, you're probably out of luck. If the screw is into metal try hitting it with some penetrating oil and letting it soak overnight, then try again.
Drilling deeper? I don't know, how deep did you drill?
R
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wrote:

The screw is a machine screw - metal to metal. Size is 10-32. I drilled about 1/4" deepthe entire screw is only about 1/2" deep. It's brass.
Tried with lubricant already and didn't work.
Thanks,
MC
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Drill it out and re-tap. Not much choice in the matter. You may have to bump up one screw size.
R
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MiamiCuse wrote:

Well it does depend on the size of the screw, but I would think that inch is not far enough. I would suggest almost as far as the treaded portion of the easyout.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 19:39:23 -0400, "MiamiCuse"

Mr. Cuse, you've been here long enough to know to give all the details. Is this a screw in wood or metal? :)
Personally, I own nothing but crap screw extractors (4 for a dollar) and I've never gotten them to work, partly because most of the screws involved were too small even for the smallest extractor, but partly because they don't bite, I think.
I've found the most success with left handed drill bits, in a drill that runs CCW. There are only two sources of these bits, Vermont American are not so expensive in the smaller two sizes, but iirc onely has them and a third size. Harbor Freight has a set of four for definitely cheap, even at full price. I think when I first saw them they were half price, so that was even cheaper. I have used the HF drills zero or one time, and so far so good.
The advantage, especially in wood, is that one can use a small size that won't enlarge the hole, and the constant CCW spinning might also unscrew the screw. If not, one can switch to bigger bit that will drill out all but a trace of the threads, and then the screw almost certainly comes out.

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It is most important that keep the drill centered. Guide the drill at an angle until you get hole in the right location and then slowly straighten the drill. Do not break the drill. Drill the screw all the way through.
If you think loctite may have been used then heat the area until smoke shows the loctite burning.
When cool insert the extractor and tap downward to make the tool grab. This should remove it if you kept the drill centered.
If not drill the hole through with a root diameter drill as long as you can keep it centered. If you can Re-Tap.
If this still fails then purchase a thread insert and follow the directions.
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On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 23:41:30 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

Best thread insert : Gardserts
http://www.gardspecialists.com /
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On Jun 22, 10:45 pm, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

I've can't imagine how you could use a screw extractor on a 10-32 screw to begin with. I've never seen one that's small enough to be used on a screw that small.
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On Sat, 23 Jun 2007 15:22:00 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You may be right. The original post did not say 10-32 or brass. My suggestion now would be to let someone with a little more experience tackle the problem.
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On Jun 23, 8:22 am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I've used screw extractors on screws as small as #6's.....but its usually a 50-50 success rate even on the bigger ones.
IMO you need good quality extractors...I have a set of Hanson's that has extractors for even smaller screws.
http://www.mytoolstore.com/hanson/extractr.html
The trick is to drill down the centerline of the screw, drill the right size hole......too big & the screw extractor tends to expand the screw & lock in the hole....too small & you won't get a good bite on the screw
a brass screw is pretty soft so the extractor might chew it up rather than bite & extract.
MC, if you've got through hole you might be able to drill with successively bigger drill until on the threads of the screw are left & then you can pick at the screw & maybe unwind the thread.
If the hole's not too badly messed up you might be able to chase the threads & re-use the hole as is...otherwise bump up to the next size (#12) or do a hole repair with a Heli-coil
cheers Bob
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wrote:

Thanks Bob. I have drilled it all the way through and inserted the screw extractor and no good it won't bite. I then took a dremel with a cut off wheel to cut a deeper slot and tried again - it turned ... but bad news, the screw head came off and the rest of the screw is still inside the hole and none of it is protruding from the hole for me to get with a plier.
So now I have a short screw inside the hole, I guess I need to use a bigger drill bit but I think more than likely I will damage the thread of the hole since I don't trust myself to be able to drill totally straight and centered. I have about 7 screws that are refusing to be extracted out of 16.
MC
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Did you read my earlier post? I know from years doing mechanical work that stubborn screws can be easily removed with an IMPACT DRIVER (not an air impact wrench). This is a simple tool that works with another simple tool, a hammer. Nearly 99% of professional mechanics will have one in their toolbox, but the general public and every one of your post responders seems to be blissfully unaware of this essential and low cost device. For under $10 you can likely solve your problem, $15 if you need a hammer, and if it doesn't work due to corrosion or some other mechanical mishap you can then do a drill out and Helicoil routine knowing that the situation was hopeless to begin with. Good luck.
Joe
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He does seem to have ignored some of the posts, doesn't he.

I know about these. I have two, and used them a lot on the old motorcycle. But you had post already when I did, so no need to mention them.
He's ignored my suggestion of left handed bits, also. :)

JCWhitney has a good one with a big handle, and a rubber protection bumper. They have the small one too.

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No I did not. I do have one left handed bit and tried it but it did not work. The one I had was a bit small however I thought the screw extractor would have more bite but I think the brass was just too soft. One of the things on the back of my mind was to try a bigger left hand bit if the impact driver approach fails.
Thanks.
MC
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On Mon, 25 Jun 2007 03:45:50 -0400, "MiamiCuse"

Thanks for posting.

You're welcom.e

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Joe-
Just because some of us didn't suggest an impact driver doesn't mean we don't know of their existence or their usefulness. .... I have one but don't think it is the solution in this situation. Of couse I'm not standing next to the screws in question..
Brass screw, 10-32
IMO doesn't seem like a good candidate for the impact driver treatment.....................
MC-
Failing screw extraction I'd opt for successive drilling...if the hole material is steel, it will tend to keep the drill drilling in the brass (softer material) You can drill up close to the screw minor diameter & then "pick" the remaining thread out.
Even a damaged threaded hole has some decent holding ability..... a 10-32 brass screw needs only about four good threads if the hole is steel, 6 threads if the hole is brass.
A 1/2" of thread (16 threads) for a 10-32 is a bit much.....you could have a fair amount of those threads damaged & still secure a brass screw
cheers Bob
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Thanks Bob. I will try that - at this point is the only thing I can try and if that fails (I mean if I manage to completely mess up the threads of the hole) then I have to retab at a larger size. I hope not as I am not experienced with that at all and do not have the right tools to do it. Keeping my fingers crossed.
MC
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wrote:

Bob thank you very much for this advise. I finally tried what you suggested to drill it successively with larger sizes. I was prepared to completely ruining the thread. I tried one smaller size drill bit and drilled all the way through, then inserted a replacement screw, it actually went into the thread and turned one revolution! So I tried a bigger drill bit and drilled again, slowly and steadily, and afterwards I tried the screw again and it went in, with slight resistance but the threads are fine! I have to pick out the pile of metal collected at the bottom of the hole but the original threads are still good. Thanks again!
MC
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