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What screws are these? What to do?
Old 09-13-2012, 07:38 AM   #1
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What screws are these? What to do?

I was going to title this "Someone screwed us" just to beat others to it, but it really is no laughing matter.

The pictures shows the front panel of a Danish platform bed. We need to take this bed apart for moving. As can be seen, the front panel is screwed to the bed frame with four heavy screws. The screws have indentations about 4 mm wide and 6-sided/vaguely star-shaped, although the star "points" are somewhat dull. I don't think they are pure Allens, and they could be Torxes, but the six points aren't very distinctive. The screws are about 2 inches long and protrude through the back of the bed frame. Similar screws hold the bed frame to the headboard.

We bought this bed from the same local store that had, years earlier, sold us an identical-looking bed, which is put together with heavy metal brackets and comes apart easily for moving.

Coming back from overseas 5 years ago, we needed a bed to sleep in while waiting on our stored household goods, so we ordered this one before returning to the U.S.

When the man who delivered and set it up proceeded to use an electric screwdriver to put it together, bim bim bim, we didn't think to tell him to take the whole $#@! thing back, which we should have done. Now, the store is out of business.

Anybody know how to remove these screws to keep from ruining the wood? There is no "channel" for them, they are just screwed right in.

Thank you,

Amethyst
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MarylandBed20120912.jpg (439.2 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg MD Bed Screws 20120912.jpg (467.9 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg MD Bed Screws1 20120912.jpg (625.3 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg MD Bed Screw Inside 20120912.jpg (380.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg MD Bed Screws Drawer Side 20120912.jpg (458.2 KB, 38 views)
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:57 AM   #2
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Hard to see the detail of the bolt or screw head (my aging eyes). Could it be a normal hex that was stripped when installed?
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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I can't see all the detail of the fastener but it appears to be more of a bolt than a screw with an Allen head or torx head. I am seeing the end of the bolt as being flat and not pointed as on a screw. There should be a corresponding nut or other fastener on the mating part of the bed.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:23 AM   #4
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I can't see all the detail of the fastener but it appears to be more of a bolt than a screw with an Allen head or torx head. I am seeing the end of the bolt as being flat and not pointed as on a screw. There should be a corresponding nut or other fastener on the mating part of the bed.
That's what I'm seeing there too. If a Torx or Allen wrench didn't work an act of desperation would be to use a Dremel tool to cut a slot in the head to use a flat screwdriver to get them out. That would mar the head of the bolt though.

It does look like the assembler stripped out most of the head using the electric screwdriver.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
I can't see all the detail of the fastener but it appears to be more of a bolt than a screw with an Allen head or torx head. I am seeing the end of the bolt as being flat and not pointed as on a screw. There should be a corresponding nut or other fastener on the mating part of the bed.
Yep, and it looks like the fastener is shown in photo #4. It appears to be attached to the bed.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:33 AM   #6
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http://www.amazon.com/Screw-Extracto.../dp/B001TLIJU2
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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Yes, that's it looks like to me, a torx head

Torx - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If it is stripped you might be able to remove the pull out drawer and "tap" it out enough with a hammer to get a vice grip on it and then un screw it.

Also there are stripped screw removal bits like these...

Amazon.com: Alden 8440P Pro Grabit Broken Bolt and Damaged Screw Extractor 4 Piece Kit: Home Improvement
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:45 AM   #8
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There is another head that is not allen or torx that is six sided... I have them as options on my screwdriver with mutiple heads.... I do not know what you call them and have never used them on anything....

Your holes look a lot bigger than the ones I have, so you might have to go to Home Depot to find the right tool.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:55 AM   #9
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My guess is torx head, probably T10 or T15. Looks like the screw metal was pretty soft and partially stripped. I had three different torx heads including T10 and T15 in my $5 el cheapo screw driver kit. So check your changeable head screwdriver kits if you have any, you may already have the right bit. If the screw isn't too stripped to unscrew.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
When the man who delivered and set it up proceeded to use an electric screwdriver to put it together, bim bim bim, we didn't think to tell him to take the whole $#@! thing back, which we should have done.
I also cannot tell from these pictures. Take an impression with wax or modelling clay, and take that to a hardware store. My guess is they are torqs.

Why is assembly with an electric screwdriver a concern? Beds are made to knock down, the speed of assembly has no correlation to the quality. In fact, fast, convenient connectors are normally more expensive to make. It's a matter of engineering as to whether they are strong enough for the job - that's separate from assembly speed.

They didn't have robotic welders/assemblers for Model T's. So a Model T is better than today's vehicles?

edit/add: if the heads are deformed, buy replacement hardware. It's often available in better hardware stores, and definitively on-line. My local Ace has a whole section of 'Danish' hardware.

-ERD50
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:12 AM   #11
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These connectors are pretty common on bed platforms, wood futon frames and audio/video furniture. The picture isn't very clear, but it's probably a torx or allen wrench shape. There's usually a female metal connector on the other end too. I have these on my platform bed and a/v cabinet. Also have some that use a philps head bit. If all else fails, you can use a flat head screwdriver bit, but it must be a good tight fit to remove it, otherwise you'll strip the fitting if you try too hard.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:14 AM   #12
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I've run into these once before . Not Torx. I think I just kind of forced it with a straight blade. These are likely too tight to do that. I have no idea why these are somehow better than a regular screw.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:15 AM   #13
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Because the bed was sold as being put together with brackets. No screws were supposed to be needed. We were taken utterly by surprise by the fact that he used screws - there were no guide holes, etc. The bed was undoubtedly defective and we should have made them take it back, but we were just too tired and whacked out at that point. It is hard to describe everything we had just gone through, to get back into our country. We had not slept for 36 hours.

A.

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I
Why is assembly with an electric screwdriver a concern? Beds are made to knock down, the speed of assembly has no correlation to the quality. In fact, fast, convenient connectors are normally more expensive to make. It's a matter of engineering as to whether they are strong enough for the job - that's separate from assembly speed.

They didn't have robotic welders/assemblers for Model T's. So a Model T is better than today's vehicles?

-ERD50
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:19 AM   #14
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I've run into these once before . Not Torx. I think I just kind of forced it with a straight blade. These are likely too tight to do that. I have no idea why these are somehow better than a regular screw.
I can definitely tell you these joints are really strong. I tried to break up a wood bed frame using a big hammer. All the wood around these connectors broke, but the connection itself. These are much stronger than plain wood screws.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:42 AM   #15
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Yes, that's it looks like to me, a torx head

Torx - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If it is stripped you might be able to remove the pull out drawer and "tap" it out enough with a hammer to get a vice grip on it and then un screw it.

Also there are stripped screw removal bits like these...

Amazon.com: Alden 8440P Pro Grabit Broken Bolt and Damaged Screw Extractor 4 Piece Kit: Home Improvement

I have used a Grabit before and it did work for me. One of those AsSeenonTV things that really do work.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:46 AM   #16
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IMO...

Since the screws are in really tight, first make sure you identify a matching bit, then use that in a manual ratcheting screwdriver to loosen. When loosened, then use a electric driver to remove if you want to remove faster.

If you have a bit that's off, and just put that in a drill and try, that's a good chance the screw will just strip
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #17
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Easysurfer,

That is what I plan to do at the start. I will report back on how things go. I appreciate the hints and web links that people are sending - knowing that the forum folks know pretty much everything about making/fixing/using up/making do.

We really like the bed, want to save it, and hope it doesn't have to be junked because we were tired, stupid, and let ourselves be taken advantage of. We had had many excellent dealings with the original owners of the store that sold us the bed, and since we bought the second bed on-line, didn't realize that the business was under new (and obviously bad, since they're now out of business) management. C'est la vie.

Amethyst

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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
IMO...

Since the screws are in really tight, first make sure you identify a matching bit, then use that in a manual ratcheting screwdriver to loosen. When loosened, then use a electric driver to remove if you want to remove faster.

If you have a bit that's off, and just put that in a drill and try, that's a good chance the screw will just strip
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Easysurfer,

That is what I plan to do at the start. I will report back on how things go. I appreciate the hints and web links that people are sending - knowing that the forum folks know pretty much everything about making/fixing/using up/making do.

We really like the bed, want to save it, and hope it doesn't have to be junked because we were tired, stupid, and let ourselves be taken advantage of. We had had many excellent dealings with the original owners of the store that sold us the bed, and since we bought the second bed on-line, didn't realize that the business was under new (and obviously bad, since they're now out of business) management. C'est la vie.

Amethyst
Yes, you can go to a place like Home Depot and get a set of bits (they aren't that much) and trial and error to see what fits. Some of the sets include a racheting driver.

Here's one sample bit set:

32-Piece Screwdriver Bit Set-840865 at The Home Depot

I can't tell for sure from the picture what size bit the screws are, but I had a similar situation with similar looking screws and one of the assorted bits of my set worked out fine.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:10 AM   #19
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I think it is a torx and will come out easily. In no case will you need to junk the bed. If no other way, there is a tool used by machinists and auto mechanics called an easy out, designed to remove stripped and even broken bolts. You just drive it in with a hammer, and remove with a wrench. These are often frozen in, and taking a screw out of wood should be very easy by comparison.

The dealer likely didn't charge enough. You got a good deal, not a screwing. Every business that fails is not a bad business.

Ha
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:52 PM   #20
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Kind of looks like the connector bolts I just used in my chaise lounge. Mine have an Allen hex. Yours look like a stripped hex or maybe a torx. Hard to tell from the photos. In any case, you can take those off if they can't be used and replace them with the connector bolts and cap nuts on this page

http://woodworking.rockler.com/searc...nnector%20bolt
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