Removing a hex screw with a stripped head.

osita70October 31, 2005

I need to get a screw/bolt out of an oak bed to take it apart. The problem is the hex screw head is stripped. The person who put it together made it extremely tight and then I ruined it by trying to remove it.

What do I do now? I read somewhere the you could solder something in there to make the opening smaller again but this is a wood bed so that probably wouldn't be a good idea.

I do need the screw once it comes out so I can't do anything too destructive.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


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A couple of thoughts
Can you take the remainder of the bed apart and try to "unscrew" the member that the screw is fastened to?

Can you hammer in a larger hex wrench and try to turn it?

Next option would be to drill it out.

I would not be too concerned with destroying the screw. If it is that badly stripped you shouldn't use it again anyway and even it is an uncommon screw, I'm sure there is a replacement available somewhere.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 1:17PM
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there's some screw type thing... forget what its called... which you drill into the stripped screw and because its threaded the opposite way, as you turn it it backs the old screw out.

does that make sense? If you go to a good hardware store and explain it they should know what you're talking about.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 1:31PM
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It's called an 'easy out' and will probably work if you drill the proper size hole.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 3:10PM
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First thing i would try is a pair of Vice Grip pliers---the locking variety.

Drilling and using an easy out takes a bit of practice and skill, as easy outs are very brittle and are much more difficult to remove if broken in place than the original problem.

Other methods are cutting a slot in the head, usually done with an air powered grinder and a cutting wheel, and using a large screwdriver/wrench combination ----- cutting the flats down to the next smaller wrench size---or trying one of the stud/bnroken bolt removing tools available.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 9:17AM
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They have removal kits at sears for about $20 for 3 size bits...You just drill it in reverse

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 10:56AM
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I've taken a Dremel took, carved a groove into the screw head and taken the screw out with a normal slotted screwdriver.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 5:14PM
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. I did end up buying a dremel to cut a new slot in the screw. Worked like a charm. Now I get to figure out some other projects to use the dremel for.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 5:26PM
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I did end up getting a dremel and used it to cut a new slot in the screw head. Worked like a charm.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 5:27PM
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Dremel is a great tool to have. Not wasted money at all.
Glad it worked for you.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 2:47PM
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I've found the best way to remove a stripped hex bolt is to weld a Allen wrench to the bolt.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to remove a stripped nut or bolt.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 11:58PM
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