How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

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SVariance1
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How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by SVariance1 »

Would anyone have a suggestion on how to remove a broken screw from this Gaines Mailbox?
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Mike
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runner9
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by runner9 »

Are you about to grab it with needle-nose pliers and then turn it using the pliers?
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SVariance1
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by SVariance1 »

I tried to use the needle nose but now there is nothing left to grab.
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IowaFarmBoy
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by IowaFarmBoy »

Was the head on the inside and it broke off? Does the threaded hole extend all the way through or does it stop so there isn't access from the other side?
onmyway33
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by onmyway33 »

Can you use a small file or a rotary Dremel tool to grind a slot on the face of broken screw? Then take a small flat head screw driver and carefully back the screw out?
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SVariance1
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by SVariance1 »

http://www.gainesdirect.com/images/Shou ... loseup.jpg

This what it looked like when it was connected
Mike
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by IowaFarmBoy »

I like onmyway's suggestion about trying to make a slot. That could work well if it isn't too corroded into place. Some people recommend getting a drill bit that bits the opposite direction of normal bits and drilling. They apparently back it out but I have never done this. I have an assortment of screw extractors from Sears that I use with similar problems. Which type to use would depend on accessability of the broken screw and what there is to get grab on to. These tools aren't cheap and usually come in sets so it may not be worth buying a set depending on the cost of your mailbox.
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by itstoomuch »

3 $teps.
1. Remove entire box from post.
2. Place box in a firm and unforgettable place.
3. Put new box on post.
4. Work on old box until screw is out.
5. Repair. Probably best to replace other hinge so that they wear evenly.
6. Remove temporary new box.
7. Reattach repaired box to post.
8. Garage sale temp box or keep as spare.

Sorry, it was 8 steps. On a tablet and correcting errors is like removing screws.
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mjf55
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by mjf55 »

Drill it out. Use cobalt drill bits, starting with a small diameter ( no more than 1/8 inch). Go slow and use oil. Make sure you are in the center of the old bolt. I don't like screw extractors because the may break, and then you may as well buy a new mailbox. If the end is threaded, then you reach the proper diameter, tap new threads.
BIGal
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by BIGal »

it is really difficult to suggest a resolution with just one picture...if you had shown a couple of more if may have helped. Is it possible to drill through from the opposite side?....It looks like the box is aluminum...if you drill it out slightly larger you could use a stainless steel bolt with long threads and possibly put a nut on each side to hold it in place...Again, hard to say without better pictures or of the other side that is still not broken....Also, agree with itstoomuch suggestion of removing from post and working on it at a better position.
livesoft
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by livesoft »

The gainsdirect web site has more pics. But a user pic taken from the right side (as shown in the first photo of this thread) should show the end of the screw in the aluminum (?) threaded hole. Drill the screw out from this right side as described in the previous post. Any handyman could do this for you, too.
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CJC000
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by CJC000 »

Replace with a Fort Knox mailbox. Expensive, but will last generations...
mhalley
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by mhalley »

I used one of those extrators that hooks to a drill to remove a screw from a door recently and it worked fine. You might also need a flexible adapter if it won't line up.
https://www.amazon.com/5pcs-Damaged-Scr ... +extractor
https://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Extensi ... +drill+bit
McCharley
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by McCharley »

File a slot. That is the answer. :sharebeer

If you think it is bound, treat it with penetrating oil before trying to unscrew and let soak, with occasional hammer rapping, for several days.

An impact driver is a tool legitimized by this crysis. :D
Tamales
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by Tamales »

An alternative to filing a slot to emulate the most useless screwhead design in history (edit: slotted head) would be to grind two sides, parallel, and then take your pair of 6" Knipex pliers-wrench which everyone surely has (or a small adjustable wrench if that's all you have) and twist it out and hope it doesn't snap. If you have a small butane torch, heat it up before trying to extract it.

Manually grinding a slot might not work here because the screw seems to need a lot of torque to break it loose, and even a precision, factory ground slot for a slotted screw head is not very good at accepting a lot of torque. Grinding the sides so it becomes more like the head of a bolt might allow more torque to be applied. As someone suggested, a few shots of WD40 (or PB Blaster, which I've had better luck with than WD40) and maybe even letting it soak for an hour, might help too. The general problem seems to be the small size of the screw.
Last edited by Tamales on Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by FrugalInvestor »

Easy out screw extractor. See here.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMrDYJvY0Ts
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itstoomuch
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by itstoomuch »

BTW,
You have used WD40 or similar in preparation for extraction? :oops:
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squirm
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by squirm »

Just drill it out.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by Epsilon Delta »

If I had to guess that's a stainless steel screw in aluminum.

In that case heat is your friend. Al expands more than steel. After you've soaked with penetrating oil and filed a pair of flats for grip, apply heat to the outside of the box adjacent to the screw (the right side on your original photo), then try to twist the screw out.

Depending on climate, just bringing it into the house might help. But i'd use a hair drier or heat gun.

Note that it's possible to melt aluminum with a blow torch, so take care if you use one.
Note that most penetrating oils are flammable. Really only a problem if you use a blow torch, but it wouldn't hurt to wipe off any excess before you apply heat.
timmy
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Re: How to Remove a Broken Screw from Mailbox?

Post by timmy »

This post is screwy

What a screwed up situation

If he doesn't fix the mailbox, he'll be screwed
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