Posted by: Mike Randall | November 23, 2009

Screw Ups

While all that Garboard excitement was going on I’ve had this other minor disaster to contend with! I think in the last post on the Sole I had a pic of it being held in place with temporary screws. Well at least six of those screws decided they did not want to be temporary… yup the heads snapped of as I was screwing them out. Insert lots of swearing here!

Not being stainless I couldn’t bring my self to leave them embedded. So I did some Internet research and found this little tool on the Woodcraft website, specifically for removing broken screws.

Screw Extractor

I ordered three from the US and they arrived about a week latter. I read the instructions, all seemed pretty straight forward and the first screw came out no worries, the rest though – not a chance, all three removal bits shattered inside the hole, now I was really in the shit! More swearing!

What a screw up

I have a new approach in mind involving a Dremmel, soldering iron and needle nose clamping pliers, but if any one has any better suggestions I’m all ears. I think I’ll just stew on this for a bit while I continue planking.


  1. Real progress, looking good! Too bad that some screws won’t come out though. I don’t know if its possible to get a grip on the remaining bits. If so, you might have more luck with this:

    I was planning to buy one myself (if it works for you, let me know!)


    • Hi Michiel
      Thanks for the suggestion, that tool probably wont work in this situation as I can’t get a grip on the screws because they are below the surface. I’m resigned to grinding and drilling them out then plugging the resulting hole.


  2. Dear Michael,

    Sorry you are having trouble. If you end up ordering more screw extractors, shoot me an email–there’s a little trick to making them work without breaking them. My first one only lasted a couple of screws too, but the one I have now is three years old. You are on the right track with the soldering iron. I bet if you drilled small holes all around the broken screw, heated it, and then rocked it back and forth with needlenosed vise grips, she would come out of there.


    • Hey Walt,

      Great minds think alike! I just returned from my favourite tool store with a brand new pair of needlenosed vise grips! I pretty much intend to do exactly as you’ve described. While I was there I also bought a small forstner bit and a plug cutting bit to plug up the resulting hole. Though I think I’ll hang another plank before tackling the annoying screws.


  3. […] the trick here, epoxy will not stick to it. If only I’d done that when putting the sole on (see screw ups) All decked […]

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