Help Extracting a Broken Screw

chesdin2July 27, 2011

Hi, I was removing a hinge screw and had a #8 wood screw shear off about 3/4 inch below the surface of the wood, leaving another 3/4 or so in the wood. I was hoping to get some advice on how to best get the remaining piece out so I can put in a new screw to hold the hinge.

I can think of two options:

1) Use an "easy out". The problem is that the screw diameter is so small and it is embedded so deep that I think that would end in frustration.

2) Dig the piece out by drilling a large hole in front of it, then use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to unscrew it. Then, I would refill the hole with epoxy and re-drill a hole for a new screw.

Does anybody have any other creative ideas? Thanks!

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Use a plug cutter to remove the wood and the metal, then bore the hole up to the next size plug; glue in plug and trim surface flush, re-drill for screw.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 11:25PM
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I haven't used one but it seems like it would work...

Here is a link that might be useful: Wood Screw Extractor

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 7:27AM
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That is a great idea... Thanks for the suggestion. I will give it a try and report back. But I bet it will work fine, especially since the wood is soft pine.

Thanks for the quick replies!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:00AM
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The plug cutters really need to be used in a drill press to limit burning.

They work very well.

Drill down as far as you think the screw tip is, then push the plug with a scratch awl to break it free.

The broken piece of the screw helps make the plug break off at the bottom of its length.

You may need to clean up the bottom of the hole with a regular drill bit before gluing a new piece of wood in to fill the hole.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 11:14AM
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Some follow-up: I was about to start cutting the plug out when I got a different idea. As a quick recap, these screws were holding the hinge to a door to our bedroom. What I tried, just for fun, was powering in a 1-5/8" fine- thread drywall screw into the door jamb right into the same hole as the broken off screw. It bit into the wood (soft pine), went just to one side of the broken piece, and pulled tight, keeping the hinge in the same place.

Not an elegant solution, but about 1% of the effort I'll see how it holds...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:07PM
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"1-5/8" fine- thread drywall screw"

Drywall screws are hardened and not really suitable for anything requiring strength.

They tend to break at very inopportune moments.
If you have other screws in the hinge it might be OK.

Make sure there is at least on 2.5 inch+ screw in each hinge to get into the studs.

It helps a lot even on interior doors to prevent sagging.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Good point about the drywall screw... I CAREFULLY backed it and the others out, and then used a couple of 2.5-inch decking screws. Probably because the framing wood is relatively soft they went right in, even going past the broken off original screw portion. Hinge is good and tight now.

Thanks again...

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 5:54PM
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