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Old 03-17-2017, 08:00 AM   #1
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Cutting screws


We have replacement knobs for an old dresser. The screws are too long. I'm going to use my Sawzall to cut them off. But, I can't be precise so what can I do about any remaining protruding sharp ends of the screws so we don't get scratched when using the drawers?

I can't cut the screws too short or the nuts won't stay on. My go-to solution would be to slap some duct tape over the ends.

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Old 03-17-2017, 08:03 AM   #2
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Re: Cutting screws


If you cannot replace the screw with a shorter one that ends in the face of the drawer, you can grind the end down smooth using an angle grinder or an electric drill with a grinding wheel.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:04 AM   #3
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Re: Cutting screws


I decided, to prevent cutting thru bottom of drawer, to put knob on backwards so I'm cutting on outside of drawers.

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Old 03-17-2017, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: Cutting screws


Daniel, maybe my Dremel will smooth ends?
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:17 AM   #5
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Re: Cutting screws


Dremel works great for smoothing metal, I use a similar tool frequently to smooth sharp metal ends.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:31 AM   #6
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Re: Cutting screws


Cut them a thread or two short and then use Acorn nuts and loctite.

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Old 03-17-2017, 08:40 AM   #7
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Re: Cutting screws


I would use a hack saw rather than a reciprocating saw. Slow and easy, and cut all the way through, as opposed to part way and braking it off, to minimize damage to the threads. Would be a lot easier in a vise, if you have one. Run the nut all the way onto the screw, clamp the end that you're cutting off in the vise, cut to length, carefully clean the cut end with a hand file, trying not to distort the threads, then back the nut off, and it should chase the threads good enough that you can restart it when you install the handle. I imagine those screws are not very hard, so a metal nail file might even be the ticket to fine tuning the ends of the threads after you cut them; I keep a couple of those in my machinist box for small jobs.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:44 AM   #8
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Re: Cutting screws


Use the Dremel re-inforced cut off wheel and cut flush to the nut ( plus a hair into the nut ) to prevent a burr. When you re-install the knob on the correct side put 1 drop of blue thread locker on the threads to prevent the nut backing off.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:23 PM   #9
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Re: Cutting screws


SO, it would be so much easier just getting the right sized screws. Take one of the longer ones with you to the hardware/big box store and have them hook you up with something shorter. Then you don't have to worry about firing up the Dremel or the Sawzall.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:25 PM   #10
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Re: Cutting screws


Use wire strippers that have screw cutters on them.
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Old 03-17-2017, 03:25 PM   #11
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Re: Cutting screws


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gymschu View Post
SO, it would be so much easier just getting the right sized screws. Take one of the longer ones with you to the hardware/big box store and have them hook you up with something shorter. Then you don't have to worry about firing up the Dremel or the Sawzall.
I couldn't make out the screw head for sure, so thought they might be like the ones I ran into while helping a neighbor a while back where they had a stud epoxied into the knob, But if they're through bolts, yes, as Gymschu said, just get new screws. So much easier and not much more than pocket change. Also pick up either a paint stick or small bottle of Testor's paint, and they'll fit right in.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:24 AM   #12
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Re: Cutting screws


I'd never manage anything if it wasn't for all the help here.

'acorn' nut is an idea!

Haven't heard of 'blue thread locker' before but want to use it so the nut diesn't fall off.

I tried taking the long screw off but couldn't and didn't want to chip the knob.

We have wire strippers from when my daughter learned to change outlets, but not sure if they have screw cutters on them.

I don't have a hacksaw but the sawhorses my daughter just bought have a vise attached. It looks flimsy compared to the big metal one my dad had on his workbench, but maybe it will work for this little job.

I have a big nail file that was in a box of stuff I got at an auction. It was great when I painted another dresser an the drawers stuck.

Ok, I'm prepared for success!
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:22 PM   #13
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Re: Cutting screws


Final results 3 hrs later.


First we couldn't attach vise grips that were attached to saw horses. Had to
stop and google.

I found a scrap of wood the thickness of the drawer and drilled a hole to hold the knobs while we cut them. Then attached that wood to the saw horse so our fingers were safe.

I bought a metal cutting blade for my Sawzall. We marked the screws where to cut. The Sawzall was too big and jittery. It jumped around and wasn't accurate. It mangled one nut, on the screw, but we had a spare.

We tried the Dremel. It cut much better. There were really sharp burrs left so we bought acorn nuts (nuts with caps). Altho I plan to run my rasp over them.

As someone said the screws were soft enough that even tho we didn't always cut thru we could snap the end off with pliers.

Thrilled to be finished, daughter decided to use the Dremel to cut a very thin board. It was the top of one of those vanitys that go behind a toilet. She only wanted the top shelf part.

No one warned me about Fire when using my Dremel.

I was sitting in the garage watching when I noticed smoke. First a thin wisp then a cloud around her head. I yelled at her and she stopped. She had seen it but thought it was sawdust. No fire but hours later theres a hint of smoke odor in the garage. She finished an my poor little Dremel was burning hot to the touch.

Two projects completed in one day. Thats a record!
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Last edited by Startingover; 03-19-2017 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:50 AM   #14
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Re: Cutting screws


Quote:
Originally Posted by Startingover View Post
Final results 3 hrs later.


First we couldn't attach vise grips that were attached to saw horses. Had to
stop and google.

I found a scrap of wood the thickness of the drawer and drilled a hole to hold the knobs while we cut them. Then attached that wood to the saw horse so our fingers were safe.

I bought a metal cutting blade for my Sawzall. We marked the screws where to cut. The Sawzall was too big and jittery. It jumped around and wasn't accurate. It mangled one nut, on the screw, but we had a spare.

We tried the Dremel. It cut much better. There were really sharp burrs left so we bought acorn nuts (nuts with caps). Altho I plan to run my rasp over them.

As someone said the screws were soft enough that even tho we didn't always cut thru we could snap the end off with pliers.

Thrilled to be finished, daughter decided to use the Dremel to cut a very thin board. It was the top of one of those vanitys that go behind a toilet. She only wanted the top shelf part.

No one warned me about Fire when using my Dremel.

I was sitting in the garage watching when I noticed smoke. First a thin wisp then a cloud around her head. I yelled at her and she stopped. She had seen it but thought it was sawdust. No fire but hours later theres a hint of smoke odor in the garage. She finished an my poor little Dremel was burning hot to the touch.

Two projects completed in one day. Thats a record!


Sparks are produced sometimes when you use metal bits on metal - high speed turning wheel on metal.

If you're cutting wood, too high speed will cause wood to burn. It happens too when using a power drill to drill holes through wood.

The grinding stone bits make deburring cut screws quick and easy. Sanding band bits also work.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:13 AM   #15
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Re: Cutting screws


Do you have an oscillating multi tool?
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