TomG

Removing Chicago Screws

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I have made a half dozen specialized leashes for a customer and they decided that they now want nickle hardware instead of brass.  Unfortunately, I used Red Loctite instead of blue because on a couple of previous orders, he had "claimed" that some of the screws came loose. I personally find this a but hard to believe because they all had the blue Loctite and were installed using a Weaver screw clamp and a power screwdriver.
So my question is how do I remove the brass screws? I've tried using a 3/8 drill in my drill press, but part way into the head, it spins. I tried a cutting chisel, but the leather layers(3) are so tight I can't get the chisel in and even if I did, the bottom edge of the leather would probably cushion it so much the chisel would not work.
My next attempt is using a dremel grinder, but that seems sort of doomed to fail, but what do I have to loose.
Oh, yeah... No, I can't just cut the ends off and redo it. The leash would be way too short.

 

 

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You might apply a little heat with a soldering iron to the screws ?

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I concur to use an electric soldering iron. If you have a lot to do, reshape the soldering iron tip into a flat screwdriver blade. That way it can be used to turn the screw as it heats it.

Or make a complete new set of leashes and sell on the ones with brass hardware

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Wait... why would you change the hardware? He asked for it the way you did it? If he wants new hardware ask him to pay for new collars?

Sometimes you get no thanks for being nice. If you damage the collars while changing the hardware will he still pay you?

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Excellent points

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5 hours ago, fredk said:

I concur to use an electric soldering iron. If you have a lot to do, reshape the soldering iron tip into a flat screwdriver blade. That way it can be used to turn the screw as it heats it.

Or make a complete new set of leashes and sell on the ones with brass hardware

Tried that.  It gets so hot it starts to burn the leather.
But.. I think I found a solution, but haven't tried it in the shop yet.  I clamped the screw as tight as I could get it in the Weaver tool, held a heavy flat blade screwdriver between my legs and engaged the screw head.  Used a 5/16" drill bit in my small cordless and was able to drill through he smooth side and it popped off.

Now to rig a table vise to hold the bit, And use the drill press.  I don't like a spinning drill that close to the jewels or femoral artery....

 

5 hours ago, fredk said:

I concur to use an electric soldering iron. If you have a lot to do, reshape the soldering iron tip into a flat screwdriver blade. That way it can be used to turn the screw as it heats it.

Or make a complete new set of leashes and sell on the ones with brass hardware

Thought of that, but it's a proprietary design, complete with a gold logo, so I'd still have to unscrew one end at least to modify it away from his design.

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2 hours ago, KingsCountyLeather said:

Wait... why would you change the hardware? He asked for it the way you did it? If he wants new hardware ask him to pay for new collars?

Sometimes you get no thanks for being nice. If you damage the collars while changing the hardware will he still pay you?

Oh yeah.. He's paying for the change.  Damn near as much as new leashes.  But, if I can remove the screws relatively quickly, it will be the easier method for me.

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9 hours ago, TomG said:

I have made a half dozen specialized leashes for a customer and they decided that they now want nickle hardware instead of brass.  Unfortunately, I used Red Loctite instead of blue because on a couple of previous orders, he had "claimed" that some of the screws came loose. I personally find this a but hard to believe because they all had the blue Loctite and were installed using a Weaver screw clamp and a power screwdriver.
So my question is how do I remove the brass screws? I've tried using a 3/8 drill in my drill press, but part way into the head, it spins. I tried a cutting chisel, but the leather layers(3) are so tight I can't get the chisel in and even if I did, the bottom edge of the leather would probably cushion it so much the chisel would not work.
My next attempt is using a dremel grinder, but that seems sort of doomed to fail, but what do I have to loose.
Oh, yeah... No, I can't just cut the ends off and redo it. The leash would be way too short.

 

 

HI Tom, probably no surprise but I often make up tools to suit a particular purpose. Here below are an example of some  of the cheap pliers I drill holes into and bend into weird shapes and so on. I looked up to try and find the weaver screw clamp you referred to and could not find it so in case it could help.....

The blue handle pliers work wonders when you need to grasp anthing of a round shape. As you see at the end I have shaped it to be able to push down over the head of a screw to hold but not damage the leather beside it.

 

DSC02426_resize.JPG

From left great for holding any small tubular shapes but made to help make it easy to join the melt together belts for some machines. 2. Little tuck in at the tip helps to open up those small 5mm split rings. 3- plastic tube over to stop scratching. 4 Holds crocodile teeth when inserting into caps as well as to squeeze the cap tight.   5. rivet and screw removal and tube holder.

 

DSC02430_resize.JPG

DSC02428_resize.JPG

DSC02429_resize.JPG

 

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@RockyAussie Brilliant ideas! 

Im always damaging stuff while trying to fix it. Why not damage cheap tools to save the good stuff!

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On 11/05/2018 at 6:45 PM, KingsCountyLeather said:

@RockyAussie Brilliant ideas! 

Im always damaging stuff while trying to fix it. Why not damage cheap tools to save the good stuff!

Gee thanks,:P I am still curious to see what the Weaver screw clamp is/looks like. Could  anyone post a picture please?

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Well thought out pliers, you must have a great lateral thinking mind

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1 hour ago, bullmoosepaddles said:

@RockyAussie Found these on Ebay.

https://www.ebay.com/i/112957220025?chn=ps

The Weaver Leather catalog shows the same tool for $16.95.

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24 minutes ago, Sonydaze said:

The Weaver Leather catalog shows the same tool for $16.95.

That's the one.

I think I got mine for around $20 on sale

 

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@SonydazeGreat thank you. I did a Google search that was the first one I found. I need one, so that will save me a few bucks. Many thanks

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Right, so those massive pliers will help you to release mildly stuck c/s, but not ones glued together

Now, if [theres always an if] the OP had used paint to lock the threads, the paint could have been softened by the soldering iron heat, or if he used super-glue either the heat or a few drops of acetone/nail varnish remover soaked into the c/s joint would have done the job

Edited by fredk

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Yeah.. I've done th e Loctite Blue and the superglue,  but this customer says they keep coming loose.  I think he's not being 100 percent straight with me, so Red it is.  If he still loses screws, then he's fired.  I've already done that once but he can't find anyone else stupid enough to do these so I took o e more order from him.  

Already regretting it

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I'm wondering if he means by becoming loose, the whole Chicago Screw is able to move, not that they are unscrewing? You put them on tight in the leather work shop, but after a few days/weeks the leather dries a bit and shrinks allowing the C/s to be looser than when you fitted it [?]

I had something similar when I riveted bosses on to some shields. I did them real tight but after a couple of months the bosses felt loose, there was about half to three-quarters of a mm between the boss rim and the wood shield. The wood had dried and shrunk. In that case I just peened the rivets some more to tighten them

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Not shrinkage.  He said they are coming out.  He resells them, so...

 

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I do not know, but does Loctite work well on brass? Just a thought. I use the blue wood to leather with nickel plated Chicago screws all the and never had a problem. Any answers will be appreciated. As I have never used brass screws before.  

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Loctite what? Loctite is the brand name. They make thread lock, various adhesives including superglues

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Loctite thread locker, I'm sure. I've done mine with the blue, because I know how hard the red is to remove. I tried to remove a couple on a neighbor's belt that I made. Couldn't do it without doing damage. I smell a fish here with the customer. I've been using Loctite thread locker in gunsmithing for quite a while, and a couple of decades with dental equipment before that, never had a failure, unless the threads were coated with grease or something before application.

I've since decided to just figure the CS is a sacrificial element if I want to remove it, and use a Dremel to cut a slot in the smooth half, and replace the CS with a new one. I've got bags of them, don't know why I tried to save the one. Just got silly, I guess.

Jeff

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17 minutes ago, bullmoosepaddles said:

I do not know, but does Loctite work well on brass? Just a thought. I use the blue wood to leather with nickel plated Chicago screws all the and never had a problem. Any answers will be appreciated. As I have never used brass screws before.  

Oh yeah.  That's why I'm so puzzled.  The only thing I can figure out is that I am putting a hell.of a lot of torque on them screwing them in so maybe when they stripped out.

 

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All of my Chicago screws have fairly coarse threads, so the Loctite thread lock is pretty much necessary. I likely use TOO much thread lock. I've always been one of the "if a little is good, a lot is better" people. THAT has bitten me in the arse on more than one occasion. 

Jeff

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The Weaver tool is also handy if you have to drill out a rivet. 

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