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One more solution for broken screws

by Jordan Ficklin

Screw Extraction

I’m sure you know that sick feeling. The one that comes when a screw head breaks off. If it happens when you are loosening a screw, at least you can justify blaming “the last guy.” If it happens when you are tightening the screw well then you probably have nobody to blame but yourself. Either way, you’ve got to get the broken screw out.

It happened to me this morning. Sometimes a sharp implement is all you need to spin the screw around and get it out. Other times it takes more. On occasion I have used the laser welder to attach a small piece of wire and then I could turn the screw out. Today I used the set up pictured above to get the screw out. With a pivot drill I put a little dimple on the underside of the screw. I supported the top part (which still protruded a bit above the plate) with a small stump in my Favorite Jeweling tool and used the broach in the top to put some pressure in the dimple I created. By pushing down on the broach I got enough friction to turn the mainplate with the screw staying still. Just a couple of turns and the screw was far enough out I could finish the job with my tweezers.

This is the first time I have used this method but it worked like a charm and I’ll surely do it again next time.

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  1. Steve goodwin
    Posted August 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Ouch! I hate when that happens.

    I use the bergeon screw extractor. It’s basically the same setup you describe, but it’s got the broach positioned and ready to go.

    Thanks for that tip. I enjoy hearing how other people solve tricky problems.


    PS. If the last guy hadn’t over torqued the screw it, wouldn’t have broken on you.

  2. Matthew Nowlin
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I use the Bergeon tool as well. Bergeon 30209. I believe the smallest broach they sell is .4 mm.

  3. david
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    laser welder for me next time, just as an excuse to use it ­čÖé

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