Carbide Turning Tool Problem

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DagS

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Feb 28, 2020
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Montgomery, TX
I have a carbide turning tool that the set screw in the cutter has seized and I have managed to strip the head of the hex set screw. I have tried drilling it out, purchasing a kit to remove stripped screws and even tried JB Weld all to no avail. To reiterate, the threads are not cross threaded just the head is striped such that a hex/allen wrench will no longer work in removing the screw. Is there any way to get the screw out or is the tool now useless in the fact that the cutter head cannot be removed/replaced.
 
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jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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Try moving the cutter itself. Maybe the screw will loosen if you try to turn the cutter. Make sure you are careful of the sharp cutter. You may need to replace cutter. If this happens again, heat is the answer. If you can still grab the screw with something then apply some heat. I like to use a small propane torch. For things like this I use my pencil torch. For larger things I use a small bottle torch.
 

magpens

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You say .... "I have tried drilling it out" .... what happened ?

I would think that this is possible. . You would have to clamp the tool to your drill press table . . The screw might be hardened steel which would be hard to drill.
 

DagS

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Feb 28, 2020
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Location
Montgomery, TX
The screw is so small and hole so shallow the eazy out technique did not work. There just wasn't enough meat for my cutter to grab. The screw must be hardened as the only thing I was able to accomplish with drilling is to break a couple of drill bits. I have not tried heat. Will try that next by clamping the tool down and applying some heat and with some channel locks will try moving the cutter to loosen it. I would like to save the tool if possible so trashing a cutter head is a small price to pay. Thanx for the advice. Will report back.

John
 

Curly

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You could try a small carbide burr in a Dremel and drill out the screw head. Once it is off the insert will come off and you should be able to grab the shank that is left with small pliers or vise grips and turn it out. The burr will cut the screw with ease but touching the insert will destroy it. ;)
 

jjjaworski

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Las Cruces, NM
Most likely you may have to break the insert so you can grab the head of the screw with a pair of pliers to remove it.
These screws are hardened so drilling too much away is apt to damage the threads in your tool.

If it wasn't for the insert, you could try using a small center punch to try and nudge the head of the screw to get it started. Using this method will most likely crack the insert anyway.

Maybe some penetrating oil on the screw and then use the pliers as John suggested may work.

Good luck.
 

leehljp

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Feb 6, 2005
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What kind of drill bit are you using? The gold TiN and standard bits are not doing the job. Do you have access to cobalt bits and a drop of cutting fluid?

Heating is a great help but if you can't get a grip, you have two alternatives - cobalt drill with cutting fluid, or taking it to a local machine shop and paying them $10 - $20
 

Paul in OKC

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May be past this, but sometimes you can drill the head off, remove the insert and grab the remaining part of the screw to turn it out. (many times done a t work with insert holders. My other go to is breaking the insert by tapping with a hammer, then remove the screw. The screws while hard, can be drilled with a good bit. If you have one small enough, turn the tool upside down and drill from the bottom. Many times that will grab the screw and it will come out that way.
 

hooked

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I had the same situation with an Easy Wood carbide tool. I had tried everything and I finally called them for help. They suggested the Alden Pro Grabit. I heated it up and then used the grabit and it came right out. They also told me it probably happened from tightening the screw down too much. They suggested just lightly hand tightened is plenty.
 

DagS

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Feb 28, 2020
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SUCCESS!!!!!!!!! I was finally able to drill the hole deep enough so that my extractor had a little "meat" to grab on to. I applied a little heat and it backed out. In hindsight this was my fault. As one of the previous posters said I likely tightened it down too tight. The cutter head is trash but the tool is saved. Thanks for all the advice. It pushed me over the edge and made it happen.
 

howsitwork

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Earl

carbide is enormously strong under compression .

I have had success by using a dremel with a diamond disc to cut a slot for a screw drive across the screw. This will also cut the insert .Safety glasses are a must wear for this job though.
 

egnald

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Congratulations on your success. I have considered buying some anti-seize to use on mine, but I haven't bought any yet. Instead I put a bit of lithium grease on them when I put them back together. Although grease has a low to moderate anti-seizing property I figure it is better than nothing. For sure though I avoid having any kind of lubricant (especially sprays) that contain silicone in my shop. Silicone likes to migrate and since very little will stick to it it can cause problems with the adhesion of finishes. - Dave
 

LK&T

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Sedro Woolley, WA
One thing is to make sure the allen wrench you are using is not rounded over and this will keep from messing up the screw.
That's a good tip. More than once I've removed "stuck" Allen bolts by using a pristine wrench and happy thoughts. Mostly bicycle repair stuff..... you get to fix a lot of stupid as a bicycle mechanic.
 

penicillin

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One thing is to make sure the allen wrench you are using is not rounded over and this will keep from messing up the screw.
That's a very good point and I agree 100%.
- - - - -
Contrarian View:
On the other hand, the allen wrench and small chuck jaw screws that came with my Nova G3 chuck are an absolutely perfect, tight fit together. ... It takes considerable time and patience to insert the allen wrench into each screw. I have been so tempted to grind tiny chamfers in the end of the allen wrench just to make it easier to insert!! :-o

I haven't done it yet, for the very reason that @jttheclockman mentions above. I have also been tempted to buy a ball-end allen wrench for it. In the meantime, I get by without changing anything. It takes extra time to attach and remove chuck jaws, but it works.
 

lyonsacc

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I've had this happen. About every 3rd or 4th time I now put a small drop of oil in the hole before I screw the cutter back on.
 

jttheclockman

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That's a very good point and I agree 100%.
- - - - -
Contrarian View:
On the other hand, the allen wrench and small chuck jaw screws that came with my Nova G3 chuck are an absolutely perfect, tight fit together. ... It takes considerable time and patience to insert the allen wrench into each screw. I have been so tempted to grind tiny chamfers in the end of the allen wrench just to make it easier to insert!! :-o

I haven't done it yet, for the very reason that @jttheclockman mentions above. I have also been tempted to buy a ball-end allen wrench for it. In the meantime, I get by without changing anything. It takes extra time to attach and remove chuck jaws, but it works.
When I was still working I bought a few sets of those ballend allen keys because in the electrical field we always have lugs that are allen keyed in many devices. As you mentioned it takes time to set the key just right or else it does round over and then sometimes hard to get in the allen screw or even hard to get out and this gets frustrating working on lugs. Bad mistake. They were worse than a rounded key because at times the screw was not deep enough to get past the ball part even though that ball still had the facets on it all abit small facets. The wrench fell out of screw. So I bought a set of the tee handled ratchet allen keys and they worked very well in some places because once you set the key in the screw you do not have to keep removing it and in tight places where you can not swing the key all around they worked great. But still had the old style too but learned to treat them with care.
 

jeff

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Sorry about another spammer getting in. They are getting smarter. I won't post what they're doing to appear legit because I don't want to give them any hints as to what's working. I manually approve every membership and look at several things to determine whether it's a spammer. This one passed the sniff test, but I still had some doubts.
 

jttheclockman

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Jeff thanks for doing what you do. Yes it is a hard job. I think we all understand the evil ways hackers and spammers are infiltrating all our daily lives. I am sure I do not have to mention credit card problems and those nagging phone calls that we all get. Gets tougher and tougher to keep up but we all must keep on our toes. Again thanks for keeping this a reliable site in so many ways.
 

Bats

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Jeff thanks for doing what you do. Yes it is a hard job. I think we all understand the evil ways hackers and spammers are infiltrating all our daily lives. I am sure I do not have to mention credit card problems and those nagging phone calls that we all get. Gets tougher and tougher to keep up but we all must keep on our toes. Again thanks for keeping this a reliable site in so many ways.
Hello! I would like to talk to you about your car's extended warranty!

(agh! wait! no! not the banhammer!)
 

leehljp

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I turn more regularly than you do, but since it's mostly a hobby, neither speed nor output is a factor in my choice. I began with conventional tools from www.scrooz.com.au and then acquired a few carbide tools, primarily in hollow forms. I've found that using traditional tools allows me to make cuts of higher quality. Still, I also find that I prefer cutting over scraping. Although using carbide cutters to remove wood can be quite successful, I don't have the same satisfaction. Additionally, I discover that using the angle allows me to define smooth curves more easily than using the carbide cutter.
I am far from a professional and have never been in a location with experienced turners around, but I have learned a lot from Mr. Experience through the years.

I agree with your assessment for carbide cutters. I am turning some decorative capitals 14" and 16" diameter for some columns for a church. The carbide inserts do get a lot of wood out of the way without having to sharpen or hone, but when I put the HSS home sharpened tools to the capitals, that is a nice feeling. And I discovered that just a small adjustment to the angle makes a big difference in the curves.

This is some big turnings (for me) and I am super cautious. I am at almost the limits of my lathe with the two 16" capitals.
 

mick

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Mar 13, 2005
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Decatur AL, USA
I've had this happen once also. Now I will occasionally loosen the screw and clean it and the hole then put a dab of anti seize on it. Never had this problem since.
Sometimes a little prevention is better than having to fixing something!
 
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