I am repainting some brass door hardware. I am down to the ones that
don't actually function but rather are more handles. They are held on by
wood screws. Two of them little devils won't
budge with a regular screw driver and I am afraid I might strip them
entirely. Any chance I could get them off with a power screw driver?
?Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital.?
I've got a HF impact driver, the $70 one. With
the 18 volt nicad pack. I used one similar one
to put Tapcons into cement floor, did a nice
job. Need to lean into the back of the machine
like you're pushing a car out of the snow, and
use brand new screw driver tips. Use tips from
Lowes or HD, the horrid fright ones are as soft
as the sawzall metal warming (note I didn't say
It's a good idea to charge the HF drill batts
the day of use, they don't hold a charge very
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
I can apply a lot more torque with a long screwdriver and a head that
fits the screw perfectly. Some slotted screws are for uncommon sized
blades. Crosshead screws that a Phillips won't fit perfectly may be
Reed and Prince, AKA Frearson. A Phillips screwdriver will work with a
Pozidrive screw. If there's such a thing as a Pozidrive screwdriver, it
will probably work better.
With a good fit and a long shaft, I use one hand on the end of the
screwdriver to apply force and keep it straight. I apply torque with
the other hand. Some shafts allow the use of a wrench.
Long shaft sure can help in some cases. I had a
type of lock I was repairing, sometimes once a
week at different stores. Finally I bought a long
shaft screw driver, which really made things
easier. And then the company lost the contract.
No good tool goes unpunished.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
Being a former volunteer fire fighter, and
had two friends have houses burn down, I'd
never suggest to heat the screws with a
soldering iron. The heat will travel down
the screw and change the grip between the
screw and the wood.
Being a bit of an idiot, I might try it my
self with a garden hose connected, turned on,
and within easy reach.
I'm not enough of an idiot to use a propane
torch. Might try a soldering iron.
Christopher A. Young
Learn about Jesus
From the web:
Loosening Stubborn Wood Screws with Heat
by Captain Pedantic
You will need:
A stuck wood screw - in this case a smallish, thinnish, bronze slotted
A length of steel rod matching the size of the screw head - I used a 20d
A propane torch.
Vise-grips - 'cause your gonna make that nail HOT.
A screwdriver that fits the screw well.
Step 2: Make some hot metal.
Picture of Make some hot metal.
Cut the end of your steel rod square if it isn't already. Avoid using
galvanized steel, burning zinc makes nasty fumes.
Heat the end of the rod cherry red.
Step 3: Heat the screw.
Picture of Heat the screw.
Hold the heated end of the rod against the screw head for thirty seconds
or so. Repeat this process two or three more times.
This softens the wood fibers around the screw and also breaks any glue bond.
Step 4: Remove screw.
Picture of Remove screw.
Carefully remove screw. There is no need remove it while still hot. It
is remarkable how well this works.
We have a be nice comment policy.
Please be positive and constructive.
I think the problem is the heat transfer from the nail to the screw.
How about a soldering gun with thermal grease? Maybe the stuff they use
on disk brakes would work. The soldering tip probably wouldn't get hot
enough to ignite wood.
It's a guess and try some thing else process.
I stand by my advice to have the garden hose
turned on and ready, and within easy reach.
When I was a kid, I had a "wood burning" set
that was mostly a soldering iron. I'd not be
too over confident.
I had one, too. Hotter than a soldering iron.
A soldering iron for 60/40 solder works at about 200 C. A woodburning
iron works at about 500 C. I have let a 100/140W soldering gun tip get
way too hot for soldering, but it wouldn't scorch wood like a
This page says that if you have a match, you can ignite wood at about
350 C. It won't self-ignite unless heated to about 600 C. So it's safe
for kids to play with woodburning sets if they don't smoke and don't
mind inhaling carbon monoxide. :)
On Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:43:27 -0500, Stormin Mormon
My brother had a wood burning iron, that was broken, and my parents
bought me one. Then my brother announced that his could probably be
fixed, so they decided to take mine away from me.
I threw a fit.
Then I felt guilty for 7 years until mine broke when I was 19 and I
fixed my brother's that also lasted for 7 years. Never used either for
word burning but for soldering. And it was perfect except not quite as
hot as a soldering iron should be. So you're right. If a wood-burning
iron can burn wood, how much wood could a wood-buriing iron burn?
I mean, a soldering iron can burn it even faster.
But your idea of the metal rod is just great. I would have put the
torch right against the screw and set fire to the door or whatever.
According to Amazon, the Darice Woodburning Creativity Set advertizes
950 F, which would be 500 C, much too hot for 60/40 solder. I have
walked off and left soldering irons plugged in. It would have been
unlikely with my woodburning iron because I could feel the radiant heat
at a distance.
It sounds as if your wood burning iron would have been safe for heating
screws. Mine could take different heating elements. An element with
lower wattage might have been good for soldering.
I have trouble melting solder if my tip gets dirty. If I let a tip
overheat, it may be hard to clean. That's a reason an iron with too many
watts can be more trouble than it's worth, for soldering
OTOH, I can see some folks are unaware of what exactly an impact
This old-school beauty and a 2lb sledge hammer:
....will remove most any stubborn screw.
One problem. Brass and other low quality screws (deck) may get their
head broken off while trying to extract them. Try and get the screw
out at least 1/2", then you can clamp down on that 1/2" screw shaft
with the drill chuck jaws. I hadda do that with almost all the screws
I extracted when I rebuilt the stairs to my mom's deck.
All this time, I thought an Impact driver was a guy with a GM EV1!
I have two of the kind you hit with a sledge hammer. When that doesn't
work, I used them as screwdrivers. I wear leather gloves to avoid
blisters. The import point is that the bit fits the screw.
I'll bet the kind Stormy has, works better.
I thought this said Dance, and Amazon wouldn't find it. Google did
however. "Tip temperature reaches 950 degrees for a fast dark burn"
Irons for children aren't meant to give a fast burn. They're not
production workers and one doesn't want them asking for another toy too
soon. So that's the difference. My irons were for kids but you were
talking about those for adults or professionals. I never see stuff for
sale that is made this way.
The second wood iron wore out 40 years ago, so it's hard to remember
details. I don't remember exactly when I started cleaning the tip, but
think I did so with the wood irons
(As an aside, all those 14 years with two wood irons, I wanted a Weller?
style soldering gun like my friend Norman had, but when I finally had to
buy one, I was so used to an iron, I didn't want one anymore. Later I r
ealized how impractical it was for electronics.
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