Removing Screws With Stripped Heads

Hi,
Some of the screws holding down our decking refuse to come out. Either the heads are buried into the wood and the bit slides out of the slots or the heads are stripped. I tried drilling a head off but it was taking forever even with a tungsten coated bit. How do you remove these screws? They are deck screws with Phillips heads.
Thanks, Gary
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abby wrote:

Out of curiosity, why are you taking off the decking?
If you're trying to salvage the material, if can get there, a Sawzall between the joist and the bottom of the decking board may be easiest/quickest.
If salvage isn't important, bigger catspaw to get to them and vicegrips... :)
If neither of the above apply, it's a bear... :(
--
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Encountered the same situation when I had to remove several deck boards to gain access to a broken irrigation line. Final solution was to drill the center of each screw, then drive an "easy-out" into the screw and back them out till you can get a vice grip on the head. Pain inna butt, however it worked for me.
Bill

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With a Dremel tool and a fine abrasive wheel grind a slot in the head and use screwdriver.
wrote:

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Try a left hand drill bit. Yes they do exist.
Chuck P.
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70-3-168-216.area5.spcsdns.net:

That's what the "easy out" is, essentially.
Puckdropper
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If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

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There are special drill bits available to do the job. A few electronics shops sell them. I have one called something like "crosshead out" or something close to that, I bought it a couple of years ago. It has a ball shaped cutter which drills into the head of the screw and either the screw comes out or the head snaps off. A good cordless drill with a slow speed is required. You can help things a bit by letting a very light oil penetrate around the screw - sewing machine oil. BUT if the decking is going to be re-used it may stain the wood.
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abby wrote:

You can try one of these:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 221&filter=screw%20remover
or:
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200306059_200306059&issearch2316
if those fail there's always:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page#54&gclid=CMXV8bfphpQCFQo2GgodS3ZbVw
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Sears has a kit for stripped screws. It looks like a drill bit but it bites into the head and takes it out. I have a set that I got for about $10.
Allen

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One of these? http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p2272&cat=1,180,42334
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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I just did this... Not fun. Don't expect to save every board intact, it's just not worth the grand effort.
The ones that come out with the Phillips bit are the easiest, and you can improve your success sometimes by putting your weight on the screw driver. Use good bits, and don't be afraid to replace a chewed one.
Now, for the harder ones: If you can pop the head off, do it. It's easier to pry a board up with a crow bar if the screws have no heads.
If you can get a sawzall in under the board and support, this is the best way to remove it. Just cut the screw in half, and watch for anything sticking out.
Another technique I used was the splitting method. The board is cut close to the support (across the grain) and then a wedge is driven into the board until the board splits. The board can be removed and the screw cut off. For wedges, use cheap chisels like the ones Menards has at 4 for $6 or $7. They'll eventually weaken and break, but they work for this application.
Oh, and when buying relacement decking at a borg be sure to ask about their 10% off with new credit card. My sawzall was essentially free because of the credit card offer.
Puckdropper
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Abby, (Gary)
A quick search on Google would have gotten you several correct methods (screw extractor, for instance).
Not to be critical but so far your questions are for home improvement and ship models and one woodworking question about inlay techniques. A lot of questions can be wood related but there are forums specifically designated for groups like those. This group - even though there is no charter - has historically been primarily about furniture / cabinet making, mill work (moldings, etc.) and associated subjects (hand-tools, powered tools, methods of work) used in the process.
Also, after people take the time to do the research for you or provide you with a step-by-step explanation of how to do something, an acknowledgement of their effort is usually a nice gesture.
Bob
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BobS wrote:

Yeah, but there is about nothing said in this or any group that you can't get info by doing a Google, or Clusty search.

I would think removing wood screws from wood is pretty much on topic.
On that note, to the guy with the question. First, for the screws that aren't stripped, put a drop of oil or wd40 around it, then put a screwdriver in and smack it a few times with a hammer. This will usually loosen the screw enough for removal. A nice tool for this is an impact driver. This is a hand tool that you put in the screw and smack with a hammer and it twists slightly on impact. I found one on line you can see here: http://www.dratv.com/impactdriver.html . Should be able to get one at an auto parts store or perhaps even sears.
If you stripped the head or broke it off, then your into all the other stuff people suggested, none very pleasant from my experience. I usually just chisel around it enough to get vice grips around it and twist it out.
--
Jack
http://jbstein.com
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An Eazy-out is a hardened steel insert that when it breaks off, is REALLY hard to drill out.
Rich.....
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Make a hole saw from tubing and a file big enough to pass over the head of the screw. It's a big plus if it is also the same size as dowell stock you can use to plug the holes. Core all the way through the deck board and then lift the board off and snap the screw in the joist with a hammer.
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I had some wood outdoor decking to remove and reuse last year and started out by stripping the first couple screw heads. I then switched to a Milwaukee cordless hammer/drill set to the hammer setting and reverse and tried backing out the stripping out screw heads - it worked great. I think the combination of the hammering on the heads and a low speed did the trick. It took out the rest of the "good" screws with no more problems.
wrote:

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To provide closure: As suggested I used a spare bit and a hammer to give each stuck screw a good whack or two. I also switched to my cordless driver/drill. The screws came out easily.
I bought a set of screw extractors at the local lumber yard but didn't need them.
Thanks, Gary
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