Removing a set screw with Damaged hex center

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Forum topic by Edward E Nock II posted 01-13-2018 03:47 PM 370 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Edward E Nock II

106 posts in 4014 days

01-13-2018 03:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question sander

I have a Delta 4×36 belt sander with a broken belt, to replace it I need to remove the 6” sanding plate. The set screw is damaged. The correct Allen wench will not engage to loosen it. I’ve tried different ways to remove it . My next option is to drill it out. I know that the set screw is tempered. So what is the best way??


Edward Nock


10 replies so far

View gwilki's profile


175 posts in 1343 days

#1 posted 01-13-2018 04:10 PM

If there is still some part of the “hole” in the head of the screw left, you may have luck with an easy out. Spray lots of penetrating oil first and let it set overnight. If there is no room for the easy out to drab onto, drilling is likely the only solution. Even hardened bolts can be drilled with a good bit and slow going.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View yvrdennis's profile


40 posts in 947 days

#2 posted 01-13-2018 04:22 PM

If the set screw is proud of the hole you might be able to cut a slot in it with a dremel tool, and then use a slot screwdriver. Otherwise I think Grant’s suggestion is the way to go.

View lew's profile


11888 posts in 3625 days

#3 posted 01-13-2018 04:41 PM

View GR8HUNTER's profile


3107 posts in 582 days

#4 posted 01-13-2018 04:48 PM

as lew said easyout :<))


View Walt's profile


245 posts in 2708 days

#5 posted 01-14-2018 08:22 PM

Check Woodsmith magazine vol 40 / No.235 page 58 for full description of damaged screw removal

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware,

View MrUnix's profile


6186 posts in 2069 days

#6 posted 01-14-2018 10:58 PM

Sometimes a slightly oversized hex key can be used… If it’s SAE, look for a slightly larger metric one… if it’s metric, look for a slightly larger SAE one. You want one that will fit, but needs a bit of persuasion (like from a small hammer) to fit snug. If you can get a hex key socket on it, it will give you a lot more torque, and heat will help a bit as well. But sometimes, you just gotta drill… get a good bit and go slow – PITA, but it can be done:


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View mtnwalton's profile


22 posts in 896 days

#7 posted 01-15-2018 09:41 PM

you will have much better luck drilling a hole in a setscrew with a solid carbide bit, then trying the ez out. A left hand drill may also help if you can drill slowly enough.

View Andybb's profile


636 posts in 473 days

#8 posted 01-15-2018 09:46 PM

I’ve used a properly sized snuggly fit torx bit tapped into the hole. You may need to drill out the hole to get a good match with the existing hole and the bit.

View Edward E Nock II's profile

Edward E Nock II

106 posts in 4014 days

#9 posted 01-16-2018 02:26 PM

I want to thank all who have answered my Blog. I tried some of them, with out any luck. What I finally did was to drill through the area around the set screw, which was White Metal, and then split it with a Cold Chisel. I have parts from an old Belt sander left over. The motor burnt out & there were no replacements. the exg. sander is all apart awaiting delivery of a new belt.

Thanks all,



View rwe2156's profile


2747 posts in 1350 days

#10 posted 01-16-2018 02:46 PM

Sometimes a left hand drill bit will work better than an easy out if you can get it to engage the inside of the hex.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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