How to remove a screw from woodwork?

camlanJanuary 19, 2013

While putting up new curtain rods in my 1900 house, I'm also removing quite a few old brackets for long-lost curtain rods.

And I've come across one screw that simply doesn't want to part company with the window molding. This is old, tough wood. I managed to get the screw about half-way out and now it won't move--either way. When my little electric screwdriver didn't work, I tried the electric drill, but nothing. And because I can't remove the screw, the bracket can't be removed, either.

Any suggestions on what to do next? I just want it gone, so I can spackle the hole and repaint and put up nice, new curtain rod brackets.

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Grab the screw head with pliers and turn it.

Vice grips is if you do not have a lot of hand strength.

And pull out as you turn it CCW.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Mon, Jan 21, 13 at 10:13

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 5:46PM
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It may help to put a drop of color from a felt pen or bottle of nail polish on one side of the screw so you can see if it is turning.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 8:01PM
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If you have never removed an old style tspered wood screw, after they come part way out the threads no longer engage the sides of the hole, and pushing the screwdriver into the slot holds the screw part way out and it simply spins.

If the screw feels easy to turn CCW, just grab it with your fingers and see if it will turn as you pull it out the last little bit.

Non-tapered screws do not have this behavior.
They cone out almost all the way and then often twist over sideways since there is so little of the tiny point in the hole.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 9:01AM
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Heating a stuck or corroded screw (eg with a soldering iron) will often break it free. I rebuild old mechanical contraptions and often resort to this trick.

If you've got it part way out vise grips will either get it the rest of the way or break it off. If it breaks off google screw extractors.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 4:23PM
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