Fixing Bubba's work

Old 06-18-2015, 01:54 PM
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Default Fixing Bubba's work

So, when you get a good and munged set screw that looks like it was stripped on the way out and overtightened on the way in, creating nothing to get purchase on when trying to remove it again.... what's your favorite method of remediation? How about when it's in really tight quarters?

I'm going to pillage the garage and see if I can find the easy outs but those are a bear so I'd love to hear some other suggestions.

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Attached Thumbnails 11425251_10152841660566237_8872129407607791672_n.jpg  

Last edited by ArchaicArcane; 06-18-2015 at 01:57 PM. Reason: resized pic
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:17 PM
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perhaps it is just the light of the pic, but it looks like plenty to grab there...

Make sure you use a hard tip screwdriver, I also put the driver in and tap it into the screw before turning. this helps it set the screwdriver and helps loosen the set screw.
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Old 06-18-2015, 04:33 PM
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I think it's the light (and shadow) of the pic. It's likely a result of the difficulty of even getting light in there and getting a good shot.

Even pushing as hard as I can, the screwdriver just climbs smoothly out and across the top of the screw. I'm using what I think are hollow ground tips in my megapro screwdriver. They're not as hard as I'd like though, I've twisted both of my blades today! This machine is so unwilling! I smacked the screwdriver a few times with my hands, no luck. Then I smacked the end with a wrench, still nothing to grab. My MegaPro is my go to when stuff just doesn't want to come loose and it's not making the grade today.

I also put some tri flow in there to marinate and hopefully have a good "talk" with the set screw to let it see the error of its ways. Nothing yet.

I've also had to do a similar operation on -both- of the brush caps because they're both broken off flush with the motor.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:01 PM
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Can you get a drill in there? A left handed drill bit works wonders(heat, vibration, and removing material so the rest can relax that .0001 of an inch all at once). Many times the bit will back the damaged screw out without further effort.
If you have the room these work pretty well. Similar to the left handed bit but more specific. Again, you need to get a drill in there. I have a set but it's been a while since I've seen or used them(very full and disorganized shop). I don't remember cursing and launching them across my shop so they must work ok.
https://www.google.com/search?q=sear...33029324074281
I'm sure you already know this but it might help others. When drilling use a good center punch to give your drill a good starting place where it won't wander. Use a very small sharp bit to start, then go up in size.
If you screw up the threads in the hole you can drill and tap for the next larger size by the look of it.
Sometimes heat helps too. Try a hot soldering iron on it since a torch is out of the question.
I hope this helps,
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:35 PM
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Oooh! I didn't think about the soldering iron! I LOVE that idea!

ETA: DH managed to get the whole hook shaft out that I was fighting with so we have clearance to do anything now.

He's is outside with it at the moment trying an easy out (left handed bit thing). I gave up personally when I couldn't get the drill bit that you need to tap with to go anywhere. So my way of adding "omph" today is by adding DH

It's the drill bit part that always makes me curse. I should have been able to test sew tonight but now that he's got the hook shaft out... uh probably not. It cleaned up OK but doesn't have a bobbin case or a light fixture and the light wiring is damaged. Too costly I think to fix so it will likely either be parted or used for my "road show" as the tear down machine instead of my own personal featherweight.

I'm hoping to keep the threads though because it may be for parts. If it's not for parts, technically I don't need to remove the hook - I'd just like to get some of the caught threads out that I couldn't by "wiggling" (no,.. the handwheel - not me!) and tugging the thread ends at the same time. This poor little machine is the dirtiest I've ever dealt with. And itchy dirty. Good grief!

Last edited by ArchaicArcane; 06-18-2015 at 07:36 PM. Reason: See Blue
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:41 PM
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My boss gets those out with a screwdriver tip, put in one end of the slot, sideways. Then he taps it counter-clockwise with the hammer. ...I hope that makes sense.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:28 PM
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Yes it does Annette! Thanks! I will try that next time. Though this is the first screw I've needed an easy out for a sewing machine so it may be a while before I get to try it!

For the moment, DH managed to get the hook off the shaft - so the shaft isn't at risk anymore, but the set screw is still stuck. It's marinating in the high test for the night and he'll take a crack at it tomorrow night after work. Poor little featherweight!

I'm going to ice my wrists and lower back tomorrow - this one really took a lot out of me for some reason! - and take it easy til he's home to try again. The Spartan cleaned up well and fast. Need to put a spare motor on it to test sew it tomorrow.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:07 AM
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Hmmm. I read a book about guitar repair, and the author had a trick that might work: If the head of a screw is stripped or broken and doesn't have enough purchase for the screwdriver, he'd just cut another slot in it with a tiny Dremel tool bit. With a sewing machine you'd have to be careful about the filings getting into the gears, but it would give you a place to rest your screw driver.

Music gear is in a similar boat to sewing machines: they're precision equipment that often ends up in the hands of people who are all thumbs, and stripped screws happen
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:44 AM
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I've read about that too somewhere but I can't recall where. I had initially considered that but my hands just aren't steady enough that I felt I could do it without ruining the threads on the hook. That said, I should have mentioned something to that effect to DH who still has steady hands.

It's a great solution for someone steady enough to pull it off. I think as for the gears, ideally, you'd get the whole shaft out like DH finally did, or I'd probably try to hose the gears down with something like naptha that would take any grease off as well until I was convinced all of the filings were gone then regrease.

I agree with the assessment that musical instruments can be sometimes unintentionally abused by their owners too.
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:18 PM
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I’m just curious as to how you determined that the screw head had been ruined by Bubba? Are you sure that it wasn’t “Sweet Thang” instead? I can’t tell from the photo....

CD in Oklahoma
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