I'm trying to convert an old Victorian screen door into a trellis. The
hinge screws are rusted in, got one out and the other one is totally
stuck, three more to go on the other hinge. I sprayed it with WD40, got
some on the wood, and am now worried that the primer coat won't bond
Is there any way I can treat it without buying another can of something?
Also, how do carpenters get old rusted screws out? I am using the right
size screwdriver. The hinges are really neat old things, but I don't
want to leave them on. They are decorative and spring loaded on the
inside, but are just some metal, so I'd kind of like to get them off
without ruining them if I can, like if I have to somehow cut them, I can
twist the screw out with a pair of pliers.
Oiling a wood screw usually is not as effective as oiling a rusted nut and
bolt. Oil (or wd40) can actually swell the wood and make it tighter.
In any case, if you do use more oil or WD40 use some masking tape to keep it
off the wood.
For the stuff already in the wood, try blotting with a dry paper towel first
then moisten with Alcohol (denatured or isopropyl) and blot until dry,
repeat until you are satisfied. Just clean the area effected only.
Try cutting a new slot in the screw with a dremel tool then use the
I'm not messing with WD40 on that any more. I tried to remove some rust
with it on some wrought iron yard stakes and it didn't do a thing. Left
a greasy feeling and I ended up washing them down with strong ammonia
solution. Now I'm going to go over them with a soapy brillo pad (maybe
that will leave a residue, too) after I try some Whink on them.
OK, it's not that much, and I should have masked it as a precaution
having learned the stuff feels greasy already. I will blot out what I
can, but do you think scrubbing it with ammonia might help there too?
No, I'll use the alcohol and have almost a full bottle of isopropyl I
use for cleaning my mouse. I was going to squirt the whole thing with a
hose and let it air dry, probably shade would be better, because it's
filthy from sitting around for so long, might be 100 yrs old.
Uh oh. More tools. I'll ask at the hardware store about that. A
deeper slot might help. It's got a pretty decent slot in it for such an
old screw but I can't wrest it loose. I'll try again tomorrow. I
wouldn't want to cut a new slot off center would I? Intuitively I
wouldn't think so.
If that fails, I'll have to ask some guy to help. Again. Actually if I
drag it to the hardware store, they'll do it for me for a small fee.
And some of the fancy pieces are really loose. Haven't figured out what
I'll do with those yet. I was thinking about getting some square metal
corner plates to reinforce the corners but hope I can find a way around
that because it's just more $ and more stuff to buy and will look ugly.
I need a new can of WD40 though. It's about out :-).
Thanks much for the help.
The alcohol has the advantage that it will evaporate preety quickly.
I don't know about ammonia.
If you're going to paint, I might sand the 40's area very lightly with
fine sandpaper, as the last step before painting (not counting dusting
the dust off)
You can't paint something that is filthy.
I don't think so.
Another way out is to drill a hole into the center of the screw, and
then put in an easy-out -- I forget the official name, but it screws
in lefthandedly and after it grips as you continut to turn counter
clockwise it takes out the old screw. You start with a small drill
and work your way up to one that is big enough for the easy-out, but
always using a drills that are at list a bitt smaller than the shank
of the screw.
Easier than that, and not requiring easy-outs is to buy a couple
left-handed drill bits. Few stores have them -- I only know the big
hardware store hq'd in Dallas (but not Home Depot. I forget this one's
name). I once bought something from them in person (shelf pegs) and
when I needed more, I just sent them a sketch adn color etc and my
credit card # and they shipped them to me in a regular envelope and
charge me 37 cents for shipping and handling. That was the cost of
But it still might be easiest to get over the interneat. I think
Vermont American sells them in 2 or maybe 3 sizes. The small size is
about 2 dollars, but the large size is pretty expensive, and I didn't
You drill the hole like before, but you run the drill counter
clockwise. Eventually the hole doesn't go deeper, but instead the
screw is unscrewed. I used this to take the special screws out of
black and decker appliances, before I got the special tips that fit
the special screws. But wood is not that tight and I think it will
work here too.
Instead of reinforcing the corners, which are subject to a lot of
leverage, maybe consider a preetty slat of wood diagonally accross the
door, so that 2 sides of the triangle are 24 inches and the new slat
is the hypotenuse. A slat at the bottom, and if it doesn't ruin the
view, a slat at the top, but the bottom might be enough. People
normally put 2 eyes and 2 wires and connect with a turnbuckle. That
enables you to tighten it, especially if the door continues to sag,
but the slat will be prettier, depending on how it is painted and
maybe decorated ** and maybe the door isn't saggging anyhow, and won't
any futher, but you should hold down the hinge side and push up a
little*** on the non-hinge side, while you attach the slat, and put
the bottom end of the the slat near the non-hinge side of the door.
***MOre than a little if it doesn't open cracks in the corners of the
door, or it doesn't open one crack more than it closes another crack.
I want you to emulate the crossbuckle at least the first time. That
it's 100 years old doens't mean it will sag a lot, but it may mean
that it is sagging some. Oh yeah, first measure with a carpenter's
square, or with a double page of the newspaper to see if all the
corners are square. Then arrange the door so they are and then nail
in the slat. I think they are 3/8 or maybe 1/4 by 1 or 1 1/2". Cut
a corner off each end of the slat so that that edge is parallel to
the door's edge.
**I don't live far from Amish country so I can't get their designs out
of my head now. Light pink, maybe with blue bonnets or some other
little design. Personally I can't paint, so I'd choose a color for
the slat that went with the door and the rest of the house.
In wood you would either heat the screws with a soldering iron briefly
to free them, or you would core them out along with a plug of wood
using a tool made just for that.
Homedae ones can be made from tubing with a file to cut holesaw type
I Love Lucy wrote:
Whew, that is too much trouble. So is bottom posting tonight. I'm
putting the back seat down, packing it in the trunk and taking it to the
hardware store if I can't get them out tomorrow. I'm pulling lots of
u-nails and nails from previous work. It's leaving some gouges, so
fussy me will have to fill the most conspicuous ones and sand.
I like the corner slat idea. There is a piece of wood about the size of
lath, well that size anyway, already patching or reinforcing the bottom.
Once I get that off, there may be something bad underneath and I'll have
to put it back on, but I think it's just a loose join and the diagonals
should take care of that.
At least I do have a miter box and miter saw. I need to get some kind
of screen for it at the hardware store anyway. Don't know if I want to
use it for a climbing rose or a clematis. I don't like chicken wire,
but that would probably work best unless I can find something a little
prettier. I wonder if you can get some large mesh screen on the
diagonal. What could I use for that that doesn't cost too much and
won't uglify it?
I have a staple gun and just need some staples and some paint.
Fortunately I do have a drill and some bits, will need some non-rusting
but rugged screws. These projects add up.
Thanks for the suggestions. I never would have thought of the diagonals
and they will not ruin the look of the door, plus I can put them on the
side that won't show, also will sand the wd40 spots lightly after I get
done with the other, will use alcohol.
The door is still surprisingly sturdy actually around the outside but I
will need to use good paint to keep it from rotting near the ground. I
also need to affix some stakes on the bottom and will have to figure out
something so it will stay perpendicular and may not keep it the first
place I put it. I suppose I could build a brace for it on the bottom at
Thanks. You've been a great help.
Well, it's at the hardware store. They couldn't get them out either, so
I had to leave it. These DIY projects get expensive. Bought hardware
cloth $3 for cutting to size, primer, finish paint, new kind of wood
filler $39.27. It's the paint that killed me, had to buy a quart of
each. Still have to get staples and stakes and can't find my big roll
of heavy duty plastic, plus there will be a charge for their work on the
That is going to be one expensive trellis.
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