Snapped screw remover, an opportunity?

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Troll Hunter
11 Jun 2013
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Well.. after snapping yet another old screw head off while trying to remove it from a door frame - anyone with a good engineering lathe fancy taking a bit of high carbon steel rod about 10mm OD (biggest easily available dowel size) and drilling a hole in it about 8mm ID?

Around 100mm would be enough I think, and I can cut the teeth and harden it here.

If you think 10mm OD is a bit skinny 12 would do and I'll just have to make my own dowel plugs.

I've looked about and cannot seem to find a commercial thing for this that isn't under £35 (yes I'm being tight) and has a 10mm OD - because some old slotted head screws in doors are quite fat, so maybe could be something to sell? Almost all woodworkers / handymen have snapped screws in thier time and could use a good tool steel screw remover - I do enough door type work - usually fixing hinges or replacing doors etc that when it happens it's a major PITA both to sort out and eats into the time quoted as well.

In case you ask - I've got a cunning plan to stop it wandering as one makes the initial cut, my patented block of wood with a 10mm (or 12mm) hole in it :)
I bought a stainless steel straw off of ebay then cut some teeth on the end. Its saved hours of work and there was enough length on the straw to make several holesaws . Ebay number 283182521090 looks like it might keep you going for now

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I've made my own hole saws from aluminium tube. Cutting the teeth is super easy and you can drill several holes before they need touching up again, which of course takes just seconds.
Sounds like an interesting idea, I think I've heard it here before because I for some reason remember someone saying sharpening an Ikea stainless tube works well? :?

Basically this but longer? Wouldn't be too much trouble on my gear and I've got some 10mm and 12mm silver steel knocking about.
Make your own. Get some roll pins, the hard ones with the split along the length, and cut some teeth on the end with a Dremel or similar.

Wow lots of replies - ok plug cutter: too short, as with all forms of cutter that has a central solid shank, I need to be able to get the entire screw out not just dig out the top section of surrounding wood - the remaining threads in wood still puts up a hell of a fight to remove it.

I do have a plug cutter set - the 4 pronged type, where the largest will cut a plug that matches the hole created by the smallest plug cutter - but again, too short, bottomed out halfway, followed by much cursing, stitch drilling and more cursing. (If I'd been at home I'd have been tempted to take my pencil torch to it and burn the pipper out.)

Some people seem to think that putting much longer screws into the frame or door helps - even long screws directly into the aerated brick, so I'll need all the length I can get.

Re the ali / brass tube suggestion, this recent one was in oak, so can't see that working at all tbh. As Rorschach says I'd already dismissed the diamond grit ones for similar reasons as well as "too short internally".

I had wondered about stainless 304(?) as apparently it's harder than mild steel, but dunno for sure.

The rolled pins could be a winner though, definitely worth looking into ty Inspector.
As good a response as I can think off. :D

I tend to drill out as far as possible with the 9.5mm plug cutter, crack it with a small chisel to remove the plug the use the drill chuck to grab the broken screw that's now exposed and wind it out that way. Doesn't always work but maybe 8 out of 11.

Bit more faff than a small long cutter though I agree. Haven't got access to the lathe right now or I'd sort it out for you.
Just wondered what procedures OP uses to remove old screws. There are various wheezes. Basically they don't break if you do it right unless they are seriously rusted in solid - common in oak but usually no prob in pine and other timbers.
I have some 316SS tubing, about 9.5mm outside diameter and 7.5mm inside diameter. You are welcome to have a piece FOC if that might be any good.
Rafezetter - I've PM'd you re your original request for a bit of high carbon steel drilled through.
phil.p":34q17v4n said:
Move the hinge? :D

I've done that before now - but when the hinge is for a "show door" that isn't painted which is becoming more common, moving a hinge just isn't an option.

Jacob, most of the time I'm pretty darn careful, fully aware of the consequences. Stubborn ones get various treatments, whacking it in with a hammer, or steps and bracing my bum on the opposite doorframe and as much pressure as I can bring to bear - which is quite a lot, I'm a big lad - up to painted wood getting a lick from my small pencil torch (same size as a creme brulee caramelizer, coz that's what it is), so this is far from a common thing, but when it does; boy it gets right on my proverbials, especially in a "show door" with no way to hide anything. Older slotted screws will get touched up with a dremel if I must, but that doesn't always work if the screws were the cheapest nastiest kind that will only withstand being driven in, but on removal, one half of the slot breaks off.

Why fitters insist on using the screws that come with the hinge is beyond me, they are ALWAYS tripe, even for more expensive hinges, and I've yet to hear any complaints about the slight colour mismatch tween the bright silver plated ones supplied and the ones I carry.....

Edit - As it happens I bought some fire door hinges rated at 80kg's just the other day for my workbench - I've just dug out from the bin the supplied bag of screws, yes at 1.00am, and managed to cut one in half with ordinary pliers with little effort. Rubbish.

Oh and then there's the usual occasional times we've all done, and gone one mm too far in tightening when doing woodwork.

Hopefully Chaoticbob's screw extractor will see me right for a while. When it arrives I'll do a test in Oak and report back.
For future reference, what about a screwdriver bit in a brace. Provided you have access you'll get both pressure & torque.
Robbo3":qzzf2kie said:
For future reference, what about a screwdriver bit in a brace. Provided you have access you'll get both pressure & torque.

Hmm I do have a brace sitting around somewhere, no idea on bits for it though.