Anyone got a good trick for removing screw from a loose threaded insert?

I’ve got a threaded insert that’s spinning in the wood, can’t get the screw out. I think the insert might not be threaded on the outside, because it doesn’t back out when it spins. I didn’t install it, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on.

The insert is all the way through the deck, so I have access to the other side.

On the top side, the insert is below the surface and the screw sticks out past the insert, so I can’t do any tricks with a screw on the top side.

Things I’ve tried:

  • press on the screw from the other side while turning screw
  • hammering in a screw between the insert and the wood, hopefully wedging it. Maybe I can retry with a nail instead

Any ideas?

I’ve considered super glue hopefully wicking between the wood and insert. If it works it’ll make the threaded insert repair more difficult.

Also considering attempting to epoxy something to the insert, but there’s not much meat exposed, and I’ll probably end up epoxying the screw to the insert.

Next idea is to use dremel to notch the insert and use the nail idea.

Any wise old-timers have a good trick? @Eboosted you mentioned similar problems in the “drawer” thread? :slight_smile:


What insert was it? The copper brass one?

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I think zinc? Might be stainless. It’s silver, not gold. #8-32, close to M4. Not one of the common ones I’ve seen.

EDIT magnet sticks so I don’t think stainless.

Something is messed up, If you drill in to the bottom of the screw (center) with a regular drill bit in forwards, won’t that be like using a screw extractor except you will also be pushing the screw and thread out? Either one or both parts will come out then you can epoxy in a replacement…

What do we all think? or use a left hand drill & extractor from the top if you have one.

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The threaded insert is spinning in the wood. Either it’s not threaded on the outside, or the wood’s all toast and it’s spinning. Pushing on it from the top while unscrewing isn’t doing the trick. At least not with hand pressure. Might try with a clamp if I can find something hollow. Or maybe not even hollow…

Holy cow thanks guys. I got it. I found a t-nut that kind of fit on top of it, and used a c-clamp. It wouldn’t hold because the angles are all wrong, but added just enough pressure to back the screw out.

Thanks guys I think your thoughts helped. :slight_smile:


A different one popped out while using the jamnut trick. It’s the press-in type.

Lol please ignore all below unless you’re a fasteners geek.

Lol do I epoxy it back in, or swap them all out…

This is actually quite a puzzle for me. We’re cursed with both metric and imperial, cursing the rest of the planet too, with #10-32 skateboard hardware.

Since hex head is really hard to distinguish metric vs imperial, I forced myself to use only metric for hex/allen. I don’t want to carry both metric and imperial hex in my little skate tool bag. Madness…

Skate hardware is imperial, so I told myself phillips or hex head (bolts!) for imperial.

Leaving torx in reserve.

So I bought a ton of 10-32 stainless steel truss head phillips screws and threaded inserts, both softwood and hardwood.

Also bought metric threaded inserts, with socket head screws (hex drive). You know, to see what was up. M4 and M6.

Now these 8-32 screws enter my life lol. I bought 8-32 torx head screws, and was intending to add epoxy to the loose inserts. But now one of these inserts is damaged, and with all the trouble already, I’m tempted to move up to M4 or 10-32.

I’ll probably waffle on this for a week or two making this otherwise complete board unride-able lol.

This is the procedure I use, it’s bullet proof.

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slam it with a hammer till it comes out then just fill the hole with some wood resin mix or something or loose your nerves trying to get it out :smiley:

Thanks, awesome. Your site looks great!

Had this happen to me before, sucks. Now I use these inserts and dab some jb weld on the inserts before I screw them in…no issues at all.

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So how did you get it out? Maybe we can help people searching in the future.

It got ugly. The inserts I used previously had a small lip, so used a dremel to cut small groves in the lip and then hammered finishing nails into the groves to lock the insert in place and unscrewed the screw. Then I filled nail holes in with jb weld hoping it would hold the insert in place, which it did. Been using jb weld on all my inserts ever since.

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