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Thread: Snapped brass screw head off

  1. #1
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    Snapped brass screw head off

    I'm using #6 brass screws to fasten some hinges, and I had one snapp off. Any suggestions on how to get it out, or a fix of some kind? I'd like to get another screw in there as there are only 3 holes per leaf.

    And I think I'm swearing off brass screws - wayyy to soft for a goon like me.

  2. #2
    If you can't get the old screw out, use a screw extractor - http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...ew%20extractor - and glue in a dowel plug. Then drill a new pilot hole. When using brass screws ALWAYS thread in a same-size steel screw first - to cut the threads in the wood. Then remove the steel screw and replace with the brass screw for show.
    Last edited by Jeff Bratt; 12-29-2010 at 1:59 AM.

  3. #3
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    When I have had that happen I drill it out and then make a plug and glue in the plug, drill a new hole and install the new screws.
    Use a drill bit that is a little smaller then the plug size you will be using. Drill it very slow so the bit will not walk on you. After you get it drilled out then you can drill the hole for the size of the plug.

    With brass screws I now predrill the hole and install a steel screw, then remove the steel and install the brass of the same size.

    Also I always use bees wax to install the screws.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bratt View Post
    If you can't get the old screw out, use a screw extractor - http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...ew%20extractor - and glue in a dowel plug. Then drill a new pilot hole. Whe using brass screws ALWAYS thread in a same-size steel screw first - to cut the threads in the wood. Then remove the steel screw and replace with the brass screw for show.
    I like the looks of those extractors, never have seen them. They look like that are hollow, is that correct?
    So you are almost using them like a plug cutter.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Huber View Post
    I like the looks of those extractors, never have seen them. They look like that are hollow, is that correct?
    So you are almost using them like a plug cutter.
    Those are hollow, yes. You can make your own with a file and a piece of steel tubing if you want a custom size. Its basically a long hole saw without a pilot bit. I've used plug cutters in a pinch.

  6. #6
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    That is exactly why I have stopped useing brass screws. They look nice, but not worth the pain in the neck when they twist off.

  7. #7
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    I second on the wax even if it is an old candle. That extractor is a great idea although Id like to see something just a little smaller to.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bratt View Post
    If you can't get the old screw out, use a screw extractor - http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...ew%20extractor - and glue in a dowel plug. Then drill a new pilot hole. Whe using brass screws ALWAYS thread in a same-size steel screw first - to cut the threads in the wood. Then remove the steel screw and replace with the brass screw for show.
    That is exactly what I was thinking when I read the post.

  9. #9
    +1 on the extractors. They do just what they say they will. Then plug the hole with a dowel and re-drill / screw. I have a few steel screws of each size of brass screw I use. I run the steel screw in and out first and then just install the brass screw with minimal effort; no more broken screws. Where I want the brass color but do not require the slotted brass screw appearance I use these.

  10. #10
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    just get a piece of 3/16 steel brake line and cut about 2 1/2" long. cut a cross about 3/16 deep in one end(2 crosscuts so you have 4 sections); bevel that end until the top edge is sharp. put it in a drill and drill down around the screw until you are at the bottom of the screw and take it out. sometimes the ends of the tubing flares out; just take some pliers and squeeze it back in shape. you do not need to go fast. you may have to drill the hole out to 5/16 to take a 5/16 dowel , glue and cut flush
    for brass screws, everything should be predrilled or snap. run steel screws to depth first and then remove and put the brass screws. don't over tighten
    ron

  11. #11
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    for brass screws, everything should be predrilled or snap. run steel screws to depth first and then remove and put the brass screws. don't over tighten
    I made this red so it catches attention...

    The other thing you never do is use power to drive the brass screw - always run them by hand.
    If/when they "balk" - stop! and back it out. Rerun the steel screw, then go back to the brass.

    Using a driver with a proper fit is a given...

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Huber View Post
    With brass screws I now predrill the hole and install a steel screw, then remove the steel and install the brass of the same size.

    Also I always use bees wax to install the screws.
    + 1 on the beeswax. I use it on all my screws.

    Don't use soap as it will stain the wood.

    The correct size pilot hole is a must for brass screws.

    You might be able to use a Dremel and thin cutoff wheel to slot the top of the screw and back it out with a flat screw driver.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Contribute

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the tips guys! I didn't think to create the threads with a steel screw, which is likely why they kept breaking. Either way, I'm going to ditch the fully brass screws and get some plated brass, or maybe even some shiny stainless for contrast rather than trying to match brass. I need these screws to tighten down and don't want to worry about taking it easy on them so brass is out.

    I found the same type of screw extractors at woodcraft and I'll pick some up today since I don't have a Rockler nearby and don't want to wait for shipping.

    Thanks again!

  14. #14
    Get out your Dremel with the holder for the cutting disc, you know, the ones that are very brittle and snap off when you look at them cross-eyed. Cut a small slot into the top of the screw and see if you can put a flat blade screw driver in the slot to back out the screw. If that doesn't work, try the other suggestions.

    Ha, didn't notice that Lee had already made this suggestion. My favorite technique for dealing with stubborn screws.
    Last edited by Floyd Mah; 12-29-2010 at 2:23 PM.

  15. #15
    Grab it with the chuck on your drill. I'm sure it's reversible.

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