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#284327 07/08/12 07:32 PM
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OK, I have an old 1930s double which has probably never been opened for service.

The screw are perfect, but the outside of the gun shows minor corrision. It function fine, but I hope to shoot it a lot and the internals undoubtedly are dry at this point. So I'd like to fully inspect and get some fresh grease and oils inside it.

I have a very good old gun guy in town here who has used a penetrating oil and low heat to try to free the screws. He has good tools. One screw moved, three haven't. No damage yet. The one screw that was removed showed substantial rust.

Does anybody have any "tricks" for getting frozen screws to move?

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A gunsmith posted the following on the Fox Collectors forum:

There is only one safe way to remove a really tight screw without messing up the head. You need a drill press. Unplug it before you do anything. Do NOT plug it back in until you are finished with the gun. This trick will work with any gun.
Find a bit from a screw driver set and fit it nicely to the slot in question. Chuck the bit up in the drill press. Again, the drill press is NEVER TURNED ON. Once the bit is chucked up tightly, place the gun with the slot in line with the bit. Now lower the bit into the slot by using the handle on the drill press you would use to lower a drill bit into work. Once the bit is in the slot, keep good pressure down on the bit, take the chuck in your hand while maintaining the downward pressure on the bit, and turn the chuck counterclockwise. If it will not turn, you may need to put a pipe wrench on the chuck. I have never ruined a screw or failed to remove a stuck screw with this method. Again, the drill press is NOT plugged in, this all happens manually.
PS. Two people make this a much easier process if an extra set of hands are available.


Wild Skies
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That's a good idea. I'll bet it works pretty well.

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Using the drill press works well, something will move. I had to put a lever on my chuck to move a Lefever pivot screw after it had soaked in ATF and acetone for a couple of days. However the next time I turn a screw and it breaks won't be the first. One nice thing the broken off head will have a nice slot.
bill

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The drill press method does work nicely. Saves the screw head slot from damage.
But as pointed out,, you can twist the head of the screw off very easily. It all depends on the strength of the screw.
With all that leverage, it will either turn the screw, twist the head off the screw or break the driver bit.
If you break the head off cleanly, you can usually complete disassembly. Then it's easier to drill out the remaining threaded core. That's not something to look forward to, but it's better than doing the job on the assembled gun and finish surfaces.

Most times it does a very nice job of removing the stuck screw.
A good soak in penetrant for a time is worth it before a trip to the drill press table.
A quick application of heat from the tip of a soldering gun just before the bit goes down into the slot of the screw doesn't hurt the effort either.

Each one you tackle is different.

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Before you do any of these things, strip the wood off the metal parts and put some Kroil on the screws. Get some on the top and bottom sides if possible. Let it soak for several days using more Kroil as needed. This is creeping oil so it is best to put the part on an old cookie sheet pan or something similar.
The idea is not to break off a screw head or twist a bit to the point of making it let go. If it doesn't move after a week of soaking try a little heat then put on more Kroil while the parts are still hot. Let it soak some more. I have found that if you have to, it is best to flood the inside with Kroil if need be to get it on the inside end of the screws.
I also use the drill press method but with my minnie mill, it has a knotched spindle ring at the top and a wrench that matches. I tighten the shaped and sized bit into the chuck, line it up perfectly in the screw slot. Keeping down pressure on it I back the screw out with the spindle wrench. This is much more controlable than using a drill press. It is really important, especially with very thin slots, to make sure your bit fits the slot well and fills it up as much as possible. If the bit needs to be thinned just a little I found that an 1 1/4 inch diameter grinding stone slowly turning in the Dremel tool will be the right size to thin them with. Go slow and dip it often in water to avoid loosing the temper in the bit, it is easy to get the small thin ones too hot. Bob

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I have ran into the same problem with a stubborn trigger plate screw that probably hadn't been removed since the Kaiser was a teenager. I made no progress after an extended penetrating oil soak until I figured out a trick.

I ground the tip of a cheap soldering iron to fit the slot tightly. Every afternoon I would set up the iron in the slot and let it sit for 15 minutes or so to heat the entire screw. Then put the oil back on it. As the screw cooled it pulled the oil down in around the threads. After a week or so it came out like it was installed yesterday.

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The drill press method that Wild Skies discussed is what I've done and it works great. However, be careful, I tried to remove a stuck screw with a drill press and split the top of the screw into two pieces. Of course then I was able to pull the piece off and clamp a vice grips to the stub. Unfortunately, I still had to have a new screw machined. All I'm saying is that the method works great, but you still better be careful.
Steve


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Shane - that's a brilliant idea. I've never heard of anything like it. You should send it in to one of Popular Mechanics-type magazines and collect the check they give for good ideas.


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I also attest to the drill press method. It works great with the corresponding caveats.

JC


"...it is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance."Ł Charles Darwin
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