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Old 06-29-2020, 04:55 PM
F1 Rocket F1 Rocket is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melboring, FL
Posts: 158
Default Screw knocker

I had to remove several tank screws that had most likely galled at some point. This tool worked like magic. I still have it and will lend it out if needed. Just cover the cost of shipping back and forth.
F1 Rocket #25
N14ZM "Dreamer"
Melboring, FL

Last edited by F1 Rocket : 06-29-2020 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:55 PM
sf3543 sf3543 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,008

I usually use my Dremel tool with a cut off wheel to carefully cut a slot in the screw head.
Once you do that, just use a regular flat bladed screwdriver to remove it.
Counter sunk screws are more difficult so you have to be careful. I save worn down cutoff wheels for those.
Works great for me.
Steve Formhals
A&P, Tech Counselor & Flight Advisor

Last edited by sf3543 : 06-29-2020 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 06-29-2020, 05:07 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is online now
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 15,196

If all else fails, and you need to use a screw extractor, the best I have ever used is basically a reverse cut drill style.

Designed to grab the material after getting deep enough, works for any style of screw head.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:26 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,421
Default gradual escalation

I tend to use a gradually escalating approach. Given that (I think) you have a screw that goes into a plate nut on the inboard skin lip of the wing, you don't have a lot of support to bang away with impact methods like the Screw Knocker or impact drivers.

The tip that Mike recommended, or the Anti Cam-out Ribs may work.

If not, my next move would be to saw a straight-blade screwdriver slot with a dremel. Use a really good screwdriver.

If that strips out, or twists the head off the screw, then you have to drill it. First stage is to drill small and try an Easy-out. If that doesn't work, then step up in drill sizes until you have drilled almost all of the screw out. How close you can get depends on how well centered your hole is. I've gotten to where there is just a thin sleeve with the threads, then I try to grab a corner of the thread and pull with a needle-nose pliers. Sometimes you get lucky and the thread piece of the screw just unwinds out of the hole like a spring. If not, get some clean thread showing and use a tap to chase the thread.

You can try to not run the tap all the way, so as to preserve the locking feature, but you may have to face the idea that in order to restore the threads, you might have to lose some or most of the locking feature. Lesser of evils. If you don't mind the risk of the screw backing out (it is just one screw in a fairing) then just tighten it well and check it on pre-flight. If it is more important that it not back out, use a star washer under the head, or Locktite.

Ultimately, if you have to drill so much that the threads in the plate nut are really shot, then when you get the fairing off, replace the plate nut.

Then, from now on, use Mike's trick and put some wax on the threads of fresh screws.
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:39 PM
Taltruda Taltruda is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 298

Throw away your Philips screwdrivers and buy JIS screwdrivers. Stands for Japanese Industrial Standard, and they fit Phillips screws better than any Philips bit! Amazon sells them from the brand Jessel I think. There's a guy on youtube called AVE.. look up AVE JIS screwdrivers to see them in action
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:42 PM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 5,381
Default Break, strip, drill (what ever order works) and move on.

I would go directly to breaking the head off and replacing the underlying nut plate. If it strips out then drill, like Steve said. Then just remove the nut plate with screw stuck in it.

Fiddling with a lot of trick processes will increase the risk of collateral damage. At least in my experience(s).

Painted 6.11.2020
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:55 PM
Yen Yen is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Benaraby Queensland. Australia
Posts: 206

I had this problem with a tank screw. I started to drill it out and the heat loosened it enough that it started screwing in. The head had come adrift at this stage and I removed the tank and was able to grip the thread with pliers and remove it. I would consider replacing the Philips head with Torqx head screws in future.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:20 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,274

Originally Posted by BillL View Post
I would go directly to breaking the head off and replacing the underlying nut plate. If it strips out then drill, like Steve said. Then just remove the nut plate with screw stuck in it.

Fiddling with a lot of trick processes will increase the risk of collateral damage. At least in my experience(s).
Yep, the screw head could have been drilled off and a new nut plate installed in half the time it took to type all these suggestions.......

(Had to do that a few weeks ago when the baggage compartment floor came up to install a step on the driver side of the RV-6....never even considered trying to save the screw or nut plate once it was obvious they were galled.)
Sam Buchanan
Fokker D.VII replica

Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 06-29-2020 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:27 PM
Jake14 Jake14 is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 306

if it's the lower wing root fairing you can access the nut plate with the upper fairing removed . Use a dremel to cut the nut plate and screw as close to the skin as possible. Remove the screw and replace the nut plate
RV-14A flying 350 hrs
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:41 PM
jliltd jliltd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
Posts: 803

Here is another vote for some valve grinding compound to dip the end of the screwdriver in before inserting in the screw. Also, good screwdrivers help. I will also second the JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) screwdrivers. My favorite. I prefer the"Vessel" brand made in Japan. Vessel is the Japanese Snap-On if you will. You will never go back to SAE Phillips screwdrivers. And if those don't work and you want to drill get some left-had turning drill bits. Those work a treat once the cutting edge catches and stops drilling and starts unscrewing the fastener.
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