Broken screws

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by MrMoser223, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. MrMoser223

    MrMoser223 Woah! Wait a second I didn't do it!

    Hey guys quick question... I was installing a switch panel on my fiberglass center console with SS screws. I predrilled with a small drill bit and started screwing them in with hand screwdriver. The first one snapped off with only about 1/16 exposed and the second one broke off at about 1/8 exposed. I immediately quit and gave up for the night. Best idea before i broke something :mad: Any ideas how to remove the broken screws? I tried a pair of pliers with no luck...
  2. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    I've done that a couple times too.  :-[

    I dremeled a flat on one side, then used vise grips to unscrew it

    Using a sheet metal screw in fiberglass requires the drill be just a hair smaller
    than the thread diameter of the screw. Not like working in wood.
    Screws are not recommended for use through fiberglass alone
    in any situation where it's important for the fastener to stay put.
    Better to use a machine screw, washer and ny-loc nut.

  3. MrMoser223

    MrMoser223 Woah! Wait a second I didn't do it!

    I thought about doing that but where my switch panel is mounted the console is 1" think and i was only using like 3/4" screws and they broke off before they were fully seated so i cant get them from the back:(
  4. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Work from the front. Chisel out a recess around the screw through the gelcoat.
    Drill the next screw hole a larger diameter, then bedded in 5200 to fill the slight damage.
  5. MrMoser223

    MrMoser223 Woah! Wait a second I didn't do it!

    Wait! Misread your reply... Okay i think i get what your saying on removal. Can you get SS sheet metal screws? I want it to look clean and professional next to my SS wheel..
  6. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Fasteners can be purchased in a variety of metals from aluminum to stainless steel.
    Check the local hardware store for options.
  7. MrMoser223

    MrMoser223 Woah! Wait a second I didn't do it!

    Okay sweet! Thanks Brett, Life saver once again!!
  8. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    My ACE hardware has racks of screws/bolts/nuts/washers in every variety that can be purchased individually if you don't need to buy a box of them.
  9. jms

    jms don't let common sense get in your way

    stainless is soft - it snaps quickly - especially small screws like #6's - it's important to drill the hole the right size...

    attempting to chisle out an area around the screws that are broken,that may not be the best approach - you're gonna create more damage.a better approach may be to use a small dremel bit,grind around the broken screw - just to provide a grip area for a set of vice grips - i'm going under the assumption these are small screws - yes ? doing this,you can get a set of vice grips on the broken screws and back them out...

    nothing wrong with screwing into fiberglass - provided it,it's thick enough,and it's not cored with a composite - composites won't hold a screw very well.thru bolting,is good for stressed mounting - like rod holders,cleats,railings,etc - mounting parts like a switch panel,there's no stress.thru bolting with lock nuts isn't allways needed - if the glass is thick enough,using machine screws and drilling the holes correctly,the glass will actually become "threaded",the screws will seat,and will never back out,or come loose,untill it's time to remove them - ocean yacht used this technique alot,other mfg's used it as well...
  10. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    What he said
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