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  • Need some help with some furiously stuck screws...

    Stuck screws, that makes it on topic right?

    So one of my quadcopters secures the props to the drive shaft with tiny little machine screws, and the screws come with something like locktite pre-coated onto the threads. It's not anaerobic liquid like Loc-tite, but it's job is to prevent the screws coming out during flight.

    I have to replace a motor, and to get the shell open, I have to take all 4 props off.

    They are phillips head and came with a (not terrible) matching screwdriver. They just won't budge.

    I stripped the phillips slot out on one, and am halfway through cutting bits off with a dremel and cutoff wheel.


    Any chance that heat would soften up the thread locking compound? I could wrap a piece of wire around my soldering gun and get -some- heat in there.

    Other fabulous ideas???

    I'm stumped and I'm grounded until I get the motor replaced.

    The screws are 1.29 mm in dia and 7.5 mm long, likely metric just to give you a sense of scale. The coating is a dry plasticy looking stuff. Two of the four screws are right hand thread, and two are left hand thread, and I promise I'm turning them the correct way to loosen.

  • #2
    Check the replacement screws that came with it. Are they left hand threads? Have you tried turning it backwards?

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

    Location: SF East Bay.

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    • #3
      When I have to heat up a small screw and have to be careful about it's surroundings especially if it's plastic I will usually heat up a small nail to cherry red and hold it to the screw head. That usually transfers enough heat fast enough to the threads to soften the loctite. You may have to repeat the process a few times.

      JL.............

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      • #4
        Heat the screw with a soldering iron until the first whiff of burning. Dip the driver into fine Clover compound, and twist away! ;-)

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        • #5
          Doug, I have used TIG to heat screws to get them out, if you need help let me know.

          Comment


          • #6
            That material is often a plastic that is applied with a solvent, and dries out. leaving the plastic material to add friction to the screw.

            Heat may work, although given it is a quadcopter, it may be hard to do, they use a lot of plastic.

            You might try solvent such as MEK, getting it soaked in through the thread area. Might not need to get a lot of it in there, just enough to weaken the plastic material may be enough.

            Consider replacing the screws with hex or torx socket drive if you get them out........
            4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

            CNC machines only go through the motions

            "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

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            • #7
              Those screws are generally JIS and not Phillips.
              Get some JIS screw drivers or bits and you should have no problem.
              Len

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              • #8
                The quad came with the appropriate screwdriver which fits pretty well.

                Yes, half the screws are right hand thread and half are left hand thread, but I marked them as such when I installed the props, so I promise I'm turning them in the correct direction.

                Solvent....I'll try that first. Can you still buy methylethylketone any more? Wonderful stuff, though toxic of course.

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                • #9
                  Part of the problem is the amount of torque that you can transmit through the Philips head profile. If simply increasing that would help, then get some of this stuff: http://www.stellaseven.com/catalogue...=7&Clv=2&Cid=7

                  It works better than you could imagine. Use a tiny drop on the screwdriver head, insert it in the screw, and apply progressively more torque - you might need some kind of a wrench on the screwdriver to do this.

                  I've had this stuff in my toolbox for years, it does what it says.

                  Ian
                  All of the gear, no idea...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by michigan doug View Post
                    The quad came with the appropriate screwdriver which fits pretty well.

                    Yes, half the screws are right hand thread and half are left hand thread, but I marked them as such when I installed the props, so I promise I'm turning them in the correct direction.

                    Solvent....I'll try that first. Can you still buy methylethylketone any more? Wonderful stuff, though toxic of course.
                    MEK is/was available at HD last time I was in the paint department. A marine supply might have it in smaller quantities. Isn't MEK still used to solvent weld Acrylic? Maybe a plastics fabricator would have a small amount.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A visiting technician from a company servicing equiptment showed me a wonderful trick, file a soldering iron bit to fit the screw, Phillips pozi whatever, even Allen, poke it in the screw heat it, leave to cool, repeat, freeze spray or air duster in between to cool, couple of cycles and they loosen, very handy for small screws.
                      Great for delicate kit like you find in labs and such
                      Mark

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CalM View Post
                        Dip the driver into fine Clover compound, and twist away! ;-)
                        One of the best suggestions yet, many people don't realize the extra "traction" this creates on phillips head screws to keep the driver from "camming out"

                        permatex makes a water based valve grinding compound that's even better for this application as grease based will allow for more slippage

                        I rarely ever strip a phillips head screw anymore - I just don't push them to the point of stripping as that's totally counter productive, better to back off a notch and try other things than ruin the only place you can effectively apply torsion.

                        I will take a chance with hand held hammer driven impact drivers when the application warrants and sometimes dip the bit in some valve grinding compound...

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                        • #13
                          Wonder if a Bit and brace would give some anti-cam out resistance.
                          mark costello-Low speed steel

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                            One of the best suggestions yet, many people don't realize the extra "traction" this creates on phillips head screws to keep the driver from "camming out"
                            permatex makes a water based valve grinding compound that's even better for this application as grease based will allow for more slippage
                            Second this. This seems to be one of the best kept secrets of the mechanic/handyman world. I've used that valve grinding stuff, it is like magic sometimes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I like the "add grit to get traction" suggestion ... will try that.

                              What I have been doing and which I do find gets a good result is to use a properly sized screwdriver (we all agree this); but to drive it straight and apply solid downward pressure. That is, hold it very straight and accurate before turning it. This can be difficult, so if the screw will not behave I put a socket on the end of the screwdriver and drive it with a socket wrench. That makes the "hold straight, push and turn" much more accurate and the result more effective.

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