fixing stupid mistake?

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  • fixing stupid mistake?

    In a moment of stupidity with the bit pulling out of my Vix bit, I attempted to tighten the bit retaining screw with a ball head 5/64ths Allen wrench.
    And you know they have a cut out (undercut) just behind the tip allowing the wrench to swivel a bit. Of course that is a weak spot and I knew about it. I avoided using it but in a moment of forgetfulness I used the ball end instead of the straight end... I felt it give a little and then it was too late.
    The ball head snapped off leaving the set screw plugged with the end.

    Remembering that this is a tiny 5/64th remnant (none of this "drilling it out" nonsense), is there any way to salvage this thing so I can work on it again? I already tired some microfine electronics tweezers and probes but there is nothing to grab onto. I can't seem to budge it. It appears that the silver hex of the driver has rotated a few degrees past the hex of the black set screw so it appears to be wedged in there.

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    Last edited by LCHIEN; 09-13-2021, 11:12 AM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

  • #2
    I'd probably try with a tip of a knife (I don't care about) and work it between the ball and the sides of the socket to make them parallel to each other and hope the ball end falls out.

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    • #3
      Or people say heat up the outer metal and maybe it'll expand and the ball end will fall out. I've never tried it myself but that's an option, too

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      • #4
        Maybe slotting the screw with a Dremel cutting disc, unscrew the set screw with a slot screw driver? New Allen screw after that.

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        • #5
          If a very small screw driver or even a pointed pick could lodge the ball loose, a strong magnet might could pull it out, if it doesn't fall out once loose.
          Last edited by leehljp; 09-13-2021, 12:55 PM.
          Hank Lee

          Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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          • #6


            I already used all the fine picks and probes I have to try and dislodge it. no luck. Its not loose, its quite tight so no magnet will work. I've slammed it open side down hoping it will pop out, no go.

            Unfortunately I don't have any reverse fluted small drills (or any for that matter). If I drilled it with a reverse bit it would either chew up the ball or unscrew the set screw either of which would be good.
            Or use a regular drill like 5/64ths and hope it chews up the ball. It probably won't rotate since its hex shaped in a close fitting hex hole. At worst I could break the bit

            My other choice is just use it until it jams and I have to disassemble it and then toss it and buy a new one. $15.50 may be less money than the work I will do to recover it.
            Last edited by LCHIEN; 09-13-2021, 02:00 PM.
            Loring in Katy, TX USA
            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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            • nicer20
              nicer20 commented
              Editing a comment
              What if you were to use a 1/16ths bit instead of 5/64ths to drill it? Wouldn't that be able to drill most of it out leaving a very flimsy thin walled piece (assuming you were dead center) that can be easily carved/pried out then?

              Just a thought.

          • #7
            Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post

            Unfortunately I don't have any reverse fluted small drills (or any for that matter). If I drilled it with a reverse bit it would either chew up the ball or unscrew the set screw either of which would be good.
            So maybe that's the answer...jam something (or epoxy) in there and back out the ball end AND set screw, and replace the set screw with a new one?

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            • #8
              I attempted to drill with a .041" bit, but the bit is limber and wanted to walk off the center every time.
              I'll try to center punch it to make a starting dimple.

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              whacked it three times with an 8 oz hammer and awl and only succeeded in blunting my awl. I guess Allen wrenches, even HF ones, are made of hard tool steel, hardly make an impression I could see, but it bent the tip of my awl. I could feel it hooked.

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              Tried making a screw slot across the set screw... I'm not sufficiently steady holding the dremel to make a clean slot.
              Last edited by LCHIEN; 09-13-2021, 04:01 PM.
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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              • #9
                Try pounding the piece on a piece of wood and hope it will shake out….. beat it like you are mad at it….. because you are!

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                • LCHIEN
                  LCHIEN commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Already tried that. Both as an problem solving theory approach and a stress reliever.

              • #10
                Perhaps the $15.50 route is the way to go. Been there, done that!

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                • LCHIEN
                  LCHIEN commented
                  Editing a comment
                  yeah, spent more than an hour on it and everyone else's time, too haha.

              • #11
                I've used the small (about 1 inch diameter) and very thin cutoff disks for Dremel style tools to make screwdriver slots when a fastener is stripped and stuck. It generally works well enough.
                For larger broke-off bolts (where the break leaves the bolt even with or below the surface) I'll build up weld blobs until there is enough to grab with vise-grip pliers. A quick zap with the Mig welder makes BB sized "extensions" to the bolt. Too bad that won't work for your situation.

                Still have the busted Allen wrench? Can you grind the broken end into a screwdriver tip shape and then hammer that into the broken off piece - maybe it'll be hard enough to make a screwdriver slot? Grind it slowly and cool it frequently so you don't end up softening it...

                mpc

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                • #12
                  To save the tool I’d grind off the side of the tube of the Vix bit (with the broke off wrench head stuck in it) all the way down to the shaft. Then saw off the ground off tube and drill and tap a new hole for a new Allen screw. It will be about 1/2” shorter but maybe that will not matter. Lots of work to save a $10 tool though,

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                  • #13
                    I have a Dremel with a thin abrasive disc of about 1 to 1.25" diameter.
                    But I cannot hold the dremel steady enough to cut a sharp screwdriver slot., even with the Vix in a small machining vice.
                    I end up with a dished out slot that the screwdriver climbs out of.
                    I'm thinking of a miter saw like device to run the dremel up and down preciesely with no side to side play but that is rapidly becoming too much work.

                    I've given up for now, the set screw is stuck in a usable way, I'll use the thing until it jams or breaks needing repositioning or replacement of the drill bit. and then buy a new one.
                    Loring in Katy, TX USA
                    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      I think your current solution is the best one. You might buy the replacement now though.I am far from expert in metallurgy but hex drivers are probably very hard, likely as hard as high speed steel. What I have done with broken taps is use a solid carbide end mill in a drill press. Correct speed and feed rate are critical. This method would likely cost more than the vix bit.
                      just another brick in the wall...

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                      • #15
                        Hard to let go when the little bugger is staring you in the face clear as day.
                        Loring in Katy, TX USA
                        If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                        BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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