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Thread: Removing very small set screw?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    CA
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    740

    Removing very small set screw?

    The rear sight (Metrolite) on my 1911 has a very small set screw.

    The allen head is rounded off therefore the set screw can not be loosened.

    The sight needs to be adjusted.

    Kimber is sending another set screw.

    The screw needs to be removed without maring the slide (bottom of the hole); because that would inhibit the fine adjustment of the sight.

    What is the best approach to remove the set screw?

    Even though I am getting a replacement screw, I think a larger torque screw might be better.

    A mill is avaible for the operation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    39
    Carefully center the screw under the center of the mill spindle, and use a carbide drill just smaller than the minor thread diameter.

    If sucessful, you can pick the remainder of the thread right out.

    A left hand twist drill would work best, it MIGHT just screw the remainder of the screw right out..

    Or, a small carbide end mill will also work.

    When removing broken screws even down to 0x80 these methods have worked for me, but it takes a delicate touch on the down feed handle.

  3. #3
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    try the left hand drill bit with a amount of heat...hot air gun hair dryer....
    you would be suprised how easy some come out.

    mike in co

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    85

    JB Weld

    Sometimes you can use a new wrench and JB weld it to the screw. Let it set up a if you are lucky it will come out.

    KG

  5. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    I have had good luck using a torx screwdriver to remove damaged hex screws. Rogina

  6. #6
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    washington.........STATE that is.
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    I would find the best fitting hex or torx I could, then degrease the screw and the wrench with something potent like MEK or at the least acetone. Blow it out with your air hose and degrease again. Heat it up with a pencil torch or a heat gun and degrease again.

    Now mix up the best epoxy you've got, hysol if you've got it, otherwise JBWeld or DEVCON at room temperature a, this time tap it into the boogered head and glue the wrench into the hole, tap it in as far as it'll go.......

    Go to bed.

    At least 24hrs later try to screw it out.

    If it doesn't come, try using a torx bit in a small impact hammer or just tap the bit with a hammer while turning it with a wrench. The tapping is the key, when you tap it disengages the threads momentarily.

    If all this fails then you're stuck drilling it out but that will suck most sanctimoniously IME.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Usually, I get screws that are so buggered up from people trying to remove themselves that I go right to the drill 'em out method from the start, so as not to waste time.

    But, I guess SOME of them might be able to be removed by the other methods listed here.

    I also deal with a company that uses small, stainless screws, in stainless parts that are used in vacuum chambers, so the screws and parts have to be REALLY clean in order to go into the chamber.

    Often, the screws break off when they try and remove them, due to galling.

    I have a deal with them, they have to bring the part to me BEFORE they try and remove the broken screw themselves...

  8. #8
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    I thought about the epoxy angle.

    Finding a left hand drill bit that small might be difficult. Enco? Once I get the replacement from Kimber I'll take a measurement.

    I did qualify Saturday with this pistol by aiming right at the 15 yard line. At 3 and 7 yards there wasn't much compensation.

    Being perfect is difficult at times:-)=

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Poetry, Tex.
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    I agree with Rick. I am lucky to have a variety of carbide endmills and drills. I have my best luck with carbide endmills.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    St. Louis
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    I would realize that once you get that set screw out, the rear sight will be a bear to move. Kimber rear sights are notorious for being outrageously tight in the slide. Unless you have dealt with this before, I would document where the gun is shooting and give it to a pistol smith that has experience with Kimbers. Or send it back to Kimber for adjustment.

    Go over to the 1911 forum and read the horror stories about this very issue.

    Good luck.

    Bob

  11. #11
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    Thanks Bob.

    I'll check it out.

    It appears most folks don't know the slot has a slight taper. (goes in from right to left)

    This thing really needs a torque screw.
    Last edited by John S; 01-30-2013 at 08:00 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    209
    You could try this, find or make a steel punch that is the minor diameter of the set screw hex hole, place it in the setscrew hex hole hole and give it a good pop with a hammer, it will upset the material that the set screw is pressed against and relieve the pressure against the threads. Then try some of the above good ideas or an EasyOut might work as well.
    Charlie

  13. #13
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    Thank you Charlie! That should be in Kinks.

    Nice description.

    al

  14. #14
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    San Antonio, Texas
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    EZ Outs

    I use EZ Outs to remove screws like this.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred J View Post
    I use EZ Outs to remove screws like this.
    Sometimes they work fine as long as you don't break the EZ Out off....
    Last edited by Rick4070; 01-31-2013 at 06:59 PM. Reason: thought clarification

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