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Steel screw removal- help!

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by jack figgie, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. jack figgie

    jack figgie New Member

    I have just acquired a 1960ish Trailcraft 16ft Explorer skin on frame canoe. It was beautifully built from a kit purchased in the back of Boy's Life magazine. It needs new canvas which I can do. However, the outwales and keel are held on with STEEL screws. I need to remove 30-40 of these in order to reuse the wood and I have not been able to budge a single screw. Aside from burning the boat and saving the screws, does anyone have any ideas.I really want to reuse the wood. Thanks Jack 4905
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I've never done it, but some folks here have suggested holding a soldering iron to the screw to heat it up, then trying... I think if you do a search here for "soldering iron," you'll find more info.
  3. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I've done it. Paul's on the mark. Apply heat. I put a tight fitting screw driver in the slot and then heat that up. The heat tranfers to the screw. try turning it in and then out. Back and forth. You may have to resort to buying a screw extraction tool and then plugging the holes by glueing in a dowel, but I think the heat will do it.
  4. OP
    jack figgie

    jack figgie New Member

    Thank you for your suggestions. I'll try them. I hope this reply goes somewhere. This is my first attempt at forums and threads. I do know how to hand stitch and do have my own sewing machine. Thanks again Jack #4905
  5. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    If you break off a screw and can't get it out.....and need to, you can use a plug cutter to cut around it. Then pry the plug out along with the broken off screw and glue in a new plug to accept a new screw.
    Steel screws are a big frustration to restorers....., but we're commonly used when brass or bronze were not available.
  6. Hummy

    Hummy Canoe Dude

    Take a look at the Grabit Pro. Its similar to a screw extractor, but much faster and easier. They come in many sizes and are made in such a way (short and stout) that they are nearly unbreakable. Its a two sided bit, the first end is the "burnish" tool. (drill), and then flip the bit around and to extract the screw. I've used them on broken lags, engine bolts, deck screws and most recently on a camera body with great success. I think if I had to do a lot, I would buy two of the same bit and set them up in two different drills or screw guns. I generally use a light cordless impact driver. VERY important one reads the directions. Both the burnish end and the drill end must be operated in REVERSE.
    I buy them on eBay when I need them...

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