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Old 08-29-2009, 07:45 PM   #1
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Hammer a screw?


I'm sanding a deck prior to a new application of stain and there are some screws sticking up above the deck surface. There is old stain and sealant covering the screw heads so I can't get a driver onto the screw to drive it below the surface. I'm tempted to hammer the screws into the deck so I can use my sander. What problems could I create by doing this? Might the wood crack or something worse?

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Old 08-29-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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Hammer a screw?


The screws might stay down, or they might pop up again later.

By hammering the screws down you "strip the threads" in the wood surrounding the screws so the screws don't hold as well any more.

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Old 08-29-2009, 08:19 PM   #3
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Hammer a screw?


Try and clean the screw slots with a sharp pick! A dental pick should do the job! Then you can remove the old screw and replace it with a new one!
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:49 PM   #4
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Hammer a screw?


Not a good idea as mentioned above, you will mess up the wood which the screws are screwed into.

I would try and get the screw out like Wildie said and then put a new screw next to the old screw - i would not use the old hole (unless you whent with a longer or bigger diam screw). Its possible if you sink the new screw first, you might compress the wood alittle and then might beable to use vice-grips to remove the old screw.

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Old 08-29-2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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Hammer a screw?


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Hammer a screw?
WAhoo!!! you just made my day.


anyway.. don't do that, you will lose all value the screw was giving you. take your time, pick out the sealant and use a driver to drive it in just below surface of wood.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:07 PM   #6
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Hammer a screw?


I know a lot of guys that have always said hammering is fine. That the head of a screw is made simply for removing the screw. They also told me to trust that both presidential candidates were telling the truth.

I hope I know better in all cases.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
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Hammer a screw?


Have you seen the new nail guns that shoot screws in ??
You can then unscrew them
I guess it happens so fast the wood doesn't know its been screwed
(I am serious - they make them)
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:28 PM   #8
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Hammer a screw?


If you can't clean the head adequately to remove the screw, you can use an Easy Out (this is an oxymoron, because the screws almost never come out that easily, but that is what the tool is called). The easyout is essentially a reverse threaded tap, you drill a small hole in the screw, tap in the easyout, then unscrew the easyout, and out comes the screw.

The key is to drill the correct sized hole in the screw, easy to do if the screw is brass, not so simple if the screw is stainless steel. I have removed dozens of painted over door hinge screws this way, works if you take your time and do it carefully.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:15 PM   #9
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Hammer a screw?


A dremel should work nicely to make a straight line on the head then you can use a flat to remove it. Just be careful you don't cut through the deck wood too or it will leave some marks that may not look good. I use this method a lot in computers. People bring me these super old computers and the screws are rusted in so it makes removing components very hard. Metal shards inside a computer is not a good idea but I make sure to clean up before powering on.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:33 PM   #10
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Hammer a screw?


Ive played with computers for a long time, hard and software.

Im so glad that you ended with....
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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Metal shards inside a computer is not a good idea but I make sure to clean up before powering on.




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Old 08-29-2009, 10:41 PM   #11
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Hammer a screw?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
By hammering the screws down you "strip the threads" in the wood surrounding the screws so the screws don't hold as well any more.
am i missing something here?

If I hammer a common or finish nail, what "threads" are holding that in place? I would think that at the very least, a hammered screw would have holding properties that are similiar to a ringed nail.

the only reason I can see for not hammering a screw is they seemed to be heat treated differently than a nail, and are much more brittle, so they would break easily if you aren't dead-on, instead of bending like a nail
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:51 PM   #12
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Hammer a screw?


Quote:
Originally Posted by iMisspell View Post
Ive played with computers for a long time, hard and software.

Im so glad that you ended with....






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Haha yeah thought I'd mention it in case someone gets a great idea but does not follow that last step.

Usually I just have the vacuum on while I do my cut, and the nozzle is right where all the sparks are going so they mostly all go directly in the vacuum.
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:18 AM   #13
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Hammer a screw?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Chips View Post
am i missing something here?

If I hammer a common or finish nail, what "threads" are holding that in place? I would think that at the very least, a hammered screw would have holding properties that are similiar to a ringed nail.

the only reason I can see for not hammering a screw is they seemed to be heat treated differently than a nail, and are much more brittle, so they would break easily if you aren't dead-on, instead of bending like a nail
Depending on the martial (weather the threads on the screw would strip or the threads in the hole would strip first) and how far you would drive the screw with a hammer, you would rip the hole to the screws major diameter leaving no meat for the screw to "bite" into. If you hammer a screw more then the lead distance of the screws threads, something is going to strip.

The size of the threads of a wood screw compared to a ring shank nail are much different.

You could also look at it as.... if you where to drive a screw with a hammer, it would be similar to drilling a hole the same size as the thread of the screw, the screw would just fall in the hole.

By hammering a screw, you would end up stripping the screw or the hole, similar to a screw or nut being stripped from being tightened too much.

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Sounds like you have some fun Red Squirrel.

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Old 08-30-2009, 07:08 AM   #14
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Hammer a screw?


vise-grip the head, pull screw, drop in half a toothpick, replace with new screw.
if you hammer it, it'll just rise again.... that's the Phoenix-Nail Syndrome....

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Old 08-30-2009, 05:43 PM   #15
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Hammer a screw?


Thanks for the input. I'll try to avoid using the hammer.

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