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Extracting Broken Screws in Your Plane Restorations

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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 09-16-2014 02:45 PM 1091 views 1 time favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

4226 posts in 3201 days


09-16-2014 02:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: plane repair screw extraction

Okay, so you’ve got a plane with a busted-off screw and you put the project on hold.
I just got an Ohio #4 and a MF #5-size, both with knob screws busted off.
Here’s a bit of a guide that might get you past the problem, so that your plane restoration can continue.
My intent here is to encourage people to try this themselves, instead of tossing an otherwise valuable plane.

First of all, if you can, try to grind down the broken end, and get it level:

Then, make a mark with a center punch, as close to the middle of the broken screw as possible:

With a flame point mill on a Dremel tool, enlarge your punch point that you made with your punch. You can adjust for any off-center of your punch mark with this also. Just put a little English on it, if necessary.

On the drill press, drill a hole down into the broken screw. Use a drill bit approximately half the diameter of the screw you’re removing. Don’t drill down too far!! You only need a depth of 3/16” to 1/4” to engage the extractor.
strive to get your drilled hole as close to dead-center as possible.

With a stud extractor, insert the end into the hole and turn counter-clockwise.

Ta-daaaa!! It’s done!

Any questions, feel free to ask… This is a good procedure to have in your skill set, and I encourage anyone to give it a try.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!


25 replies so far

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Grandpa

3256 posts in 2142 days


#1 posted 09-16-2014 02:58 PM

Great tutorial. I would also remind beginners that it doesn’t usually happen this way. I am betting this ole Kat has done this before.

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mramseyISU

419 posts in 1012 days


#2 posted 09-16-2014 02:59 PM

You ever try left hand drill bits? I’ve had pretty good luck with them removing lots of stuff like that.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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johnstoneb

2148 posts in 1640 days


#3 posted 09-16-2014 03:02 PM

Good advice. Some other things to try. Before drilling if a piece of the bolt or screw is sticking above the rest of the surface I like to use a small chisel and hammer and try to unscrew the broken off piece with that. Also some heat on tha outside surface after drilling but before the extractor will loosen things a little and make it easier to turn it out.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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poopiekat

4226 posts in 3201 days


#4 posted 09-16-2014 03:04 PM

Thanks, Grandpa!!
You’re right, I should probably emphasize the importance of getting your drilled hole as close to dead center as possible. This is why I prefer to put a little English on the punch mark, so often the twisted-off screw has an irregular surface, and a drill bit will just wander around and end up hitting the threads, which you gotta preserve.
If I had a milling machine, I’d flycut the broken end down to a nice flat surface, then drill to the center punch mark, but that’s a little beyond my reach.

Nothing is quite as much fun as skillfully extracting a screw while friends look on!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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poopiekat

4226 posts in 3201 days


#5 posted 09-16-2014 03:07 PM

mramsey: Getting a drill bit piloted properly, whether left or right hand, is important to prevent the bit from wandering. This Ohio plane would never have drilled right, without proper preparation. This is key.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Don W's profile

Don W

17971 posts in 2034 days


#6 posted 09-16-2014 03:24 PM

nice tutorial. A few additional notes, when using the center punch, remember your in cast, multiple light taps are better then one big one. And Make sure your on a solid, flat base.

When twisting the extractor, hold your mouth crooked and wince. That’s also important.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

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poopiekat

4226 posts in 3201 days


#7 posted 09-16-2014 03:35 PM

Thanks, Don! Yes, I should have mentioned this.
This is why I like to use a Dremel, for piloting the drill bits. It’s definitely a low-impact alternative to ham-fisted strikers. I’ve done a few antique engines this way, where fragile castings require a light touch. I know most guys would hammer in the extractor before turning it, but again not an option on fragile plane castings.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Sylvain

639 posts in 1966 days


#8 posted 09-16-2014 04:51 PM

Wouldn’t a flat file be an alternative to the grinding?

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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ChuckC

821 posts in 2402 days


#9 posted 09-16-2014 04:56 PM

Great tutorial!
If there’s enough of the screw sticking above the surface I’ve made a groove with a dremel and then backed out the screw with a flat screw driver. It rarely happens that way but when it does it’s a good alternative.

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JohnChung

372 posts in 1541 days


#10 posted 09-16-2014 04:58 PM

A file would be a good choice for flattening the screw head.
But overall a good tutorial. I have done the same thing before with rusted bolts.

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poopiekat

4226 posts in 3201 days


#11 posted 09-16-2014 05:49 PM

I guess it goes without saying that there are more ways to get it done other than the way I have demonstrated it above.
This short presentation was geared more towards those who might benefit from learning about the procedure, so that they know there is hope in salvaging old planes with broken-off screws.

Sylvain: A screw that is broken off below the surface of the casting needs grinding. As in the Ohio plane around which this piece was written. Files, chisels, hammers will not be of any value, unless there is a stub of screw above the casting. Left-hand bits still need grinding to be properly piloted.
This is why I included the Dremel use in this pictorial. These two deeply embedded screws today, ( the Ohio was partially above, and partially below the surface) came out easily, and in less time than it took to write about it.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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johnstoneb

2148 posts in 1640 days


#12 posted 09-16-2014 05:56 PM

Thanks PK for starting a great thread.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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poopiekat

4226 posts in 3201 days


#13 posted 09-16-2014 06:27 PM

Thank YOU, Bruce! I enjoyed sharing a few details of my plane repair work this morning.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Sylvain

639 posts in 1966 days


#14 posted 09-16-2014 06:40 PM

Thank you PK,
I did no see that it was broken below the surface.
the tip about not pounding on cast iron is also excellent.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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upchuck

540 posts in 1132 days


#15 posted 09-16-2014 11:21 PM

popiekat-

I’d add a long soak in penetrating oil. Long = hours, days, or weeks. Breaking off the extractor in the bolt/stud complicates the whole process.

chuck

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