The supply houses were selling a squeeze tube of a grease like compound
that had grit in it and was meant to allow a damaged Phillips head screw
to be removed easily without the driver slipping. ^_^
That sounds like... exactly the same stuff :)
Can't blame them though, as your typical FLAPS probably doesn't sell
valve grinding compound anymore as hand-lapping valves is pretty much an
obsolete procedure. I think I picked up a little tin at an automotive
swap meet ages ago and still have most of it.
I believe modern engines have hardened valve seat inserts in the heads
to resist wear since the lead additive, which would lubricate the valve
seats, has been taken out of gasoline. Of course you must have valve
seat inserts in aluminum heads but I think even iron heads need them
with today's unleaded fuels containing ethanol. I don't think good old
valve lapping compound with the rubber stoppered hand lapping tool would
work on the newfangled hardened valve seats. ^_^
Really, the best solution is for more Americans to ask for Robertson or
Torx drive screws so that your hardware stores start carrying them.
I've been doing DIY work for well over 20 years now, and I don't even
keep any Phillips or slot screws in stock. Everything I have in stock
and use now is either Robertson or hex drive.
Once you guys start using Robertson screws, you'll never want to go back
to Phillips drive.
So far as the stripped Phillips head screw goes, I'd try jamming a small
slot screw driver into the drive diagonally and try turning it that way.
Drilling the head off and twisting out what's left with a pair of vice
grips would be my next move. I agree that trying to grind a slot in it
with a Dremel usually doesn't work. That's because often the slot isn't
in the middle, and when you twist with the slot screw driver, you only
end up breaking off the smaller part of the head.
If you have good access to the head, another thing to try would be to
grab onto the head with a pair of side cutters and try to twist the
screw out that way.
All of the newer circuit breaker panels I've serviced or installed have
Robertson screws on the breakers, the neutral and the ground bars. The
large connections are the traditional Allen socket lugs. I've seen the
Robertson screws showing up more often plus the Torx, both standard and
tamper resistant, have been around for a while in vehicles and all sorts
of equipment I work on. ^_^
Do you notice that you can put a lot more torque on a Roberston screw
without getting that queezy feeling that the screw driver tip is about
to slip out of the drive?
Robertson screw drivers almost never slip out of the drive on the screw.
I like them because I can tighten the lugs on breakers and the
connections in panels by feel a lot easier than Phillips head
screws because I don't have to push down hard on the driver. There is
one thing about Phillips head screws, folks rarely use the correct bit,
blaming their screw up on the screw. ^_^
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