Rounded Phillips Screw Tricks - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Rounded Phillips Screw Tricks

As a retired tech I still see huge numbers of rounded fasteners and still have friends and shops send some nasty ones for removal. I'm a masochist. :crazy

A couple of tricks which may help someone in dealing with rounded out Phillips heads, or better for about to be rounded:

1) Dip the tip of the screwdriver into some valve grinding compound or one of the sure grip type products which are valve grinding compound in a smaller bottle for more money. If you don't have a tin of this stuff, please put it on your list as it saves huge amounts of trouble. Also works well on rounded or about to be, bleeder screws, Allen head screws, hex bolts.

2) Use a gasket hammer (tiny one) to rivet the displaced, rounded socket area of the screw head. When the Phillips drive area rounded out, the metal was displaced to smack the top of the head face to displace steel back into the drive area. Then take a screwdriver bit and use the same tiny hammer to drive the bit into the screw to form a new, perfectly fitting drive socket. Make certain to keep the screwdriver axial to the screw and that usually does it. Nice part is that the screw can be reused in not critical areas such as the sheet metal covers on the little Honda generator in the photos.

3) Here's another I use often: use a very small and sharp chisel with the tiny hammer to make a groove in the side of the screw head. Chisel in radially to get a good notch, then grab a dull chisel of the same size, angle it and use the tiny hammer and chisel to rotate the screw. Once it starts to move, one can usually use a screwdriver or trick #2.

HIH

https://www.dropbox.com/s/li8r7pzvws...20Phillips.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mlx7zmg7ps...0Phillips2.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4n85dha0i9...0Phillips3.jpg
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post #2 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 06:18 PM
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Good tips. We used to deal with a lot of screws and always kept an oil sample bottle full of Comet. Stick the tip of the screwdriver in your mouth, dip the tip of it in the Comet then engage the screw, spit Comet residue out of your mouth about every 5th screw or so. I recall my bowels being more regular back then......

So, if you don't have any valve grinding compound around but do have some Comet it will do in a pinch, but you have to get the tip of the screwdriver wet first so the Comet will stick to it.




Last edited by planalp; 07-25-2014 at 06:56 PM.
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post #3 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 06:27 PM
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Good tips. I'll have to try those before I reach for this:


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post #4 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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planalp, you always type faster than I can read so having trouble keeping up. So, it's screwdriver into mouth, then into Comet, right?

Good back up, hadn't thought of using any of the scouring powders so will have to check as don't always have lapping compound. Is Comet a soft material such as limestone? Never thought about checking that but we used to put some Bon Ami down the carb on engines which had been babied after a ring job. Some times the abrasive seemed to allow the rings to seat. As it would have to come apart otherwise, it seemed a worth while attempt.

Diatomateous earth (floor dry and such) might work also, if Comet is hard enough.

I'd think Comet tastes better than grease based lapping compound although I suppose one could mix some fine carborundum powder with a good extra virgin olive oil?

Wasn't it here some years ago that someone posted to an oil thread, "What's the deal with extra virgin olive oil." Post came back, quick as a flash, "The more virgin the oil, the uglier the olive. " Still the best line ever.





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Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Good tips. We used to deal with a lot of screws and always kept an oil sample bottle full of Comet. Stick the tip of the screwdriver in your mouth, dip the tip of it in the Comet then engage the screw, spit Comet residue out of your mouth about every 5th screw or so. I recall my bowels being more regular back then......

So, if you don't have any valve grinding compound around but do have some Comet it will do in a pinch, but you have to get the tip of the screwdriver wet first so the Comet will stick to it.
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post #5 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 08:45 PM
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Indeed. Mouth, then Comet. I use the name "Comet" as a general reference to all scouring powders. I always preferred the name-brand green-tinted Comet: it consistently presented a delicate dance between the subtle textures of ground limestone and feldspar with a light urinal cake flavor.

My mantra: "If you won't stick your tools in your mouth, then you're not keeping them clean enough."

Actually, if you really don't have anything around or are on the roadside and want to do your best to make sure you don't strip a screw head, you can usually just get the screwdriver wet then stick the tip of it in some dirt somewhere. Dirt is generally pretty gritty.



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post #6 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 08:47 PM
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Way way (way) back when my buddy and I were kids just starting out on fixing (breaking really) our old Honda minis we used to strip out a lot of those little Philips screws. Never knew these tricks, they would have really come in handy!

We usually tried an impact driver (prestripped head) first. If that didn't work we would cut a slot in the head of the screw with a hacksaw blade (pre dremel days) and then remove the fastener with a slotted screwdriver. Lol, needless to say, our side covers were pretty interesting looking!

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post #7 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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So you're saying that dirt's pretty gritty?
But, does that mean that pretty dirt's more gritty?
Or country dirt's more gritty than that in the city?

We had a cottage in an area in which there was a lot of obsidian in the gravel. That sand really ate things!

"Urinal cake flavor!" You win, I laughed first and am still cracking up. Bet you learned to talk like that in one of the finest finishing schools?



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Originally Posted by planalp View Post
Indeed. Mouth, then Comet. I use the name "Comet" as a general reference to all scouring powders. I always preferred the name-brand green-tinted Comet: it consistently presented a delicate dance between the subtle textures of ground limestone and feldspar with a light urinal cake flavor.

My mantra: "If you won't stick your tools in your mouth, then you're not keeping them clean enough."

Actually, if you really don't have anything around or are on the roadside and want to do your best to make sure you don't strip a screw head, you can usually just get the screwdriver wet then stick the tip of it in some dirt somewhere. Dirt is generally pretty gritty.
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post #8 of 34 Old 07-25-2014, 11:09 PM
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I don't want to know what urinal cakes taste like.... Lol

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post #9 of 34 Old 07-26-2014, 05:57 AM
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Back in my Chrysler transmission mechanic days, I had once rounded off a small bolt head. I can't remember what size it was, but the head was about the size of a pencil eraser.

The guy working next to me walked over with a big air chisel in his hand, placed the corner of the large bit against the side of the tiny bolt head and "Braaap," just like that it was loose. I was quite impressed.



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post #10 of 34 Old 07-26-2014, 04:04 PM
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Robertson screws, they should have won the battle way back when....damned government!
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