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  • Screw extractors

    Anyone know how to extract a very small Phillips head screw as found in a laptop computer. These are to small for regular methods to work, too small for any type of extractor I have found.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

    Southwestern Ontario. Canada

  • #2
    How small is "very small"? 4-40?

    What's the problem? Did the head break off, or just get chewed up?

    How careful will you need to be? Is it in a "delicate" area, or somewhere that won't be harmed by judicious brute force?

    Not knowing the details, I might be inclined to buy a tap-drill-size left-hand drill, center as accurately as possible, and see if luck is with you. You may need to use a ball end mill to get a good center to start drilling.
    Last edited by SGW; 07-24-2009, 07:48 PM.
    ----------
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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    • #3
      Cut a slot in the head with a #409 cutoff wheel in a Dremel tool to use with a flat blade screwdriver.

      Steve

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Steve Steven
        Cut a slot in the head with a #409 cutoff wheel in a Dremel tool to use with a flat blade screwdriver.

        Steve
        yep sounds good. no easy fix on small screws in a laptop

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        • #5
          You might also try grinding a little off of 2 opposite sides (with the Dremel) to create parallel flats and try to grasp it with a small pair of channel locks or vice grips.

          I've done that lots of times. If that didn't work.........I still had enough material left to try the slot method and flat screwdriver. Gives you a couple of shots at it.
          RPease

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          • #6
            If it isn't totally rounded out try a better screwdriver

            For me the biggest problem with Phillips screws is using the proper size driver. You don't want the one that is the same diameter as the screw head but only the one that fits snugly. (This throws people all the time, a flat blade driver about the same width as the screw head generally works ok unless you are a gunsmith etc.)

            Get down to Home Depot (I don't normally recommend them) and get a Husky HD-74501 interchangeable bit driver. It's only $7 or $8, and covers Phllips sizes 1, 0, 00, and 000, plus similar flat blades. Also it's made in Taiwan not China and seems to be pretty good quality.

            Then, use the size that fits SNUGLY into whats left of the screw head. Push down firmly and unscrew.

            If the screw and driver match, it's nearly a friction fit.

            On the compaq I'm typing this on, a #1 bit will actually stick in the screws, and stand fully upright. A #0 kinda fits and might work if the screw was loose but would strip the head if I pushed my luck.

            Anyway, I've successfully removed quite a few rounded-out Phillips head screws just by using the right size bit and a bit of pressure.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lunkenheimer
              For me the biggest problem with Phillips screws is using the proper size driver. .
              A big YEP to that. My big complaint is way too many folks try to use
              a #1 driver on a #2 screw and mess up both the screw and the driver.
              :-(
              ...lew...

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              • #8
                A dremel is going to blow crap into everything. use a swiss file instead or a jewelers saw and vacuum up the swarf.

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                • #9
                  Here's what I do:

                  Most laptops are assembled with blue thread locker. Get a new, close fitting screwdriver. If the screw is a bit buggered up, apply a dab of valve grinding compound to the tip. Put the tip of the screwdriver into the screw and press down firmly, it will feel a little gritty. While maintaining a constant downward pressure, give the screwdriver a sudden, strong twist. The grinding compound provides grip and the impulse will break the screw free from the thread locker and the rest is easy.

                  -Mike

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                  • #10
                    The offending screw holds down the DVD drive inside of the laptop.

                    My son took it to a well know store service dept. to get it removed and after three days they returned it all buggered up saying that they could do anything with it. Yes we could take it back and bitch at them but in the long run they will have a reason why it's not their fault for ruining it, so why bother.

                    The screw is very small, I haven't seen it but they are usually about a #2-56 or 3-48??? and getting grinding dust or swarf in the computer would be very bad.

                    Worst case, drill the head off carefully, will try panchula's idea about the grinding paste or make up a "special" tool that will grip the stripped head. Obviously applying excess force or heat to break a thread locker compound is out of the question.

                    Philips screw drivers are the most useless invention ever made by man and should be banned from the planet.
                    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                    Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by loose nut
                      Philips screw drivers are the most useless invention ever made by man and should be banned from the planet.
                      Not true. Phillips screw head limits torque and thus prevents over tightening. An excellent application of phillips screw is drywall screw, where you intentionally want the driver to cam out of the fastener.

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                      • #12
                        Trouble is, they're not forced to be "Phillips" screws. After the original Phillips cross-point fixing came the "Pozi-Drive" to aid quick assembly in industry. This was followed by "Supa-drive" 'cos the operaters couldn't be sure of hitting the cross-slot at right angles so the new one allowed a degree of miss-alignment. Since then, the far eastern manufacturers have had to get into the act with their own brand of cross-point and you will find that not only is the cruciform a different shape, the bottom of the slot has a different angle, thus guaranteeing if you use any other than the correct driver, you bugger the slot. Not much consellation but you need to carefully check.

                        Regards Ian.
                        You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                        • #13
                          The boy got the screw out, and Philips heads should be replaced. There are far better ones available, Robertson and Torx for instance.
                          The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                          Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                          Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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