Topic : Brass screw removal

I have been trying to remove a keel band to access the hull and centreboard slot to renew the gasket there but have stumbled into an issue with the brass screws securing the keel band snapping on the shaft and the heads spinning freely.
Does anyone have any handy tips for removing these shafts so i can replace them once i have changed the gasket please?

Posted: 24/02/2013 15:00:18
By: Helen
How old is the boat and what size is the keelband?

Posted: 24/02/2013 16:22:04
By: Chris M - 3744
Its a 1992 boat, wooden hulled and keel band is about 1cm thick approx

Posted: 24/02/2013 16:31:36
By: Helen
You can leave them in the keel. Seal over and forget them and before replacing the keelband drill and countersink new holes in it close by the old ones. After fitting fill the unused holes and fair in.

Posted: 24/02/2013 19:54:05
By: East Coast Imbiber
And next time that you try to get them out heat up and cool down the heads with a hot air blower or soldering iron several times.  This will help loosen the screws and stop the heads breaking off.

Posted: 24/02/2013 20:12:31
By: RichardT
Mole wrench to grip on anything sticking out, or file off and forget.
Soldering iron to loosen them before you break them is best, even works if they are epoxied in!
Abrade the head of the screw and put a bit of solder on it so the iron gets it properly hot.

Posted: 24/02/2013 23:28:24
By: Chris I
soldering iron not hot air gun!

And turn then in tightening direction before undoing can loosen/break the seal without damaging the side of the slot most important for unscrewing

Posted: 25/02/2013 07:11:22
By: anon
Waking up the screw by several taps with a hammer on the top of the screwdriver first can also help but once broken off they can be removed successfully by using a rolled pin,(some call them split pins as used in engineering). The pins are hardened steel and come in various diameters. Use in a power dril on slow and reverse. They will drill round the outside of the old screw and if just the right size will eventually grab the remains of the screw and wind it out. It will leave a clean hole which you can glue a plug into. Sometimes the old bits of brass jam in the pin but you can push it out with a screwdriver usually but you may get through several pins. Some pins available here:<yp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&adtype=pla&crdt=0

Posted: 25/02/2013 10:41:53
By: chris
There exist special tools for doing this job very neatly on guitars & the like. A hollow bit to remove the broken screw and a tool for making a plug that will just fill the hole. Pricey, but it's good stuff.

Posted: 26/02/2013 14:40:07
By: Rod & Jo
Some good idears above for removing old screws and parts thereof. When refitting, I suggest that you use stainless steel screws for all applications (try "ScrewFix" merchants) and use a small amount of silicone rubber (bathroom sealer) on the tip of the new screw when you screw it into your new pilot or existing hole. This will a) make driving in the screw very easy (don't over-do it!) b) prevent water entering the grain through small cracks/clearances causing rot and c) make it much easier to remove in 20 years time! I try to use this on all fasteners - it will inhibit corrosion and acts almost like a "Nyloc" (anti vibration)nut when used on ordinary nuts and bolts

Posted: 27/02/2013 17:14:18
By: John Dalby 3534
Two more tiny points! The only application where I like to get the screw slots in line is when fitting keel bands where some carful filing is required to fair off any parts of the screw head not sunk into the band. A little silicon rubber under the heads will help prevent electrolytic corrosion between dissimilar metals!

Posted: 27/02/2013 17:21:13
By: John Dalby 3534


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