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Luke
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How can I remove a totally stripped small camera screw?

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Short, and to the point: One of the screws is extremely stripped and I want to remove it. Is there a kit for smaller screws like this, or some way to slot it?

Long: My wife dropped her camera in a pitcher of beer. The camera itself actually still functions, but has problems with the lens cover opening and some gumminess on the controls that in general make it not usable. I already went ahead and bought her a new camera, so now this puppy is mine for the messing with. I thought I'd try to pop it open and give it a good cleaning, but I am stuck on this tiny screw that is totally stripped.

Edited by: pollytintop, rj713, and oldturkey03 ( ) , bac ( )

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Luke
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I managed to get it out by slotting the screw with a dremel, then using an oversized flathead to VERY SLOWLY screw it out. The screw is completely ruined, but I did get it out! I don't recommend doing it this way, I think the glue would have been a better choice. The dremel cutter was bigger that the screw, and I did do some damage to the camera casing.

By the by, I was actually motivated by your teardown to restart this project! This all happened about 6 months ago, and I first tried to fix the camera but was unable to get this pesky screw out. Thank you for your inspirational (and instructional) article!

you're welcome. and I'm glad to hear you were able to get the screw out. I wouldn't have been brave enough myself to try using a Dremel! :)

bac,

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bac
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have you tried using a jeweler's screwdriver size smaller than the stuck screw, and firm, slow pressure - as suggested in this article? or the bonding glue idea they also mention?

p.s. the following doesn't answer your specific question, but should you get past the stripped screw, perhaps you may find this teardown of an older model Canon PowerShot camera that I took apart useful as a reference. Good luck with your repair.

Edited by: bac ( )

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crudmagnet
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If you can find a thin enough one for the tiny screw, the best way to undo a stripped screw is with a rubber band. Just place the rubber band flat over the screw, and it will will in the gaps and provide enough friction to get the screw out.

Cresny

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peter
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if the camera is a play toy, and the only problem is sticky buttons,

then wash it again, it might need a soak to get the dried residue off.It would have been better it you washed it immediatley to get rid of the beer

Firstly; remove the battery and ensure there is no charge left,and any cards. Then start with warm water and an old tooth brush, the a final rinse with distilled water, leave for many days in a warm place, near the back of the fridge is good.

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Brian
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I have always enjoyed the hard, yet brittle alloy of an Exacto Blade.

These are small pointed 'razor blade' types available in most hardware and all hobby stores. For small screws, use the blade with about a 15 degree point (pointy) and work the tip into one of the obliterated slots of the former Phillips head screw with a small, firm, slicing motion. The harder alloy will cut the screw's alloy, then break off as you work ;-)

With patience, you'll have worked a slot into the screw head (similar to, yet finer than, the Dremel solution above) And the tip of the Exacto Blade will be just about the right size to use as a screw driver as in the Dremel solution; firm pressure to keep the tip in the slot, and back it out. If it snaps, get a new blade. Beware of loosing patience and making a mess of it(candid personal experience). The wider your new slot is, the better leverage you'll have in turning the screw (radius=lever in this case). If you can get some jewelers diagonal cutters to bite into the screw's periphery on each side, you'll have MAX leverage!

I haven't had to resort to messy oils, but a Liquid Wrench application may help. Also relieve any stresses on the screw (like re-tightening the ones around it) so you are only fighting one thing at a time. Bent sheetmetal parts are notorious for jamming screws; try to flatten them first. Or better yet, turn the sheetmetal to free the screw, if possible! The screw also may have seized due to thermal contraction so warming the area may help (soldering iron-careful yadayada...)

Some products (Japanese) use precision Phillips-type csrews that LOOK like standards, but you should get a good set of Japanese screw drivers if you do this regularly. Search the Humanoid Robot built from Japanese servos, sites for details and sources.

On boats, its not uncommon to use oils, tapping, wait a few DAYS and repeat...several times. In a couple weeks- YOU WIN!

Now THATS persistence!!

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Spacer
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Another possible solution is to lightly dip a properly sized screwdriver in lapping compound. We've used this to replace stripped screws on aircraft quite a lot. Just be careful not to make a mess... it only takes a dab. If that doesn't work, then we'd bring out the Dremel.

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partypooper39
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You can't possibly know how happy I was to find these tips. The rubber band trick worked GREAT! I sell used watches on ebay and sometimes stumble upon a watch with screws in the back that hold on the back plate. Needless to say, I had 3 expensive watches which all had stripped screws, and no way to get them out. I drilled them out a little first with a small drill bit on the Dremel tool, then the rubber band and a slotted screwdriver and VOILA! I also want to note I had also used a bit of WD-40 to loosed them a little first.

Brilliant ideas and THANK YOU!

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