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How I Tune Up A Square Drive Drill Bit That’s damaged from Cam-Out

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Blog entry by James E McIntyre posted 11-20-2021 08:13 PM 1133 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Cam-out is when a bit slips out of the screw head and damages the screw or the bit or both.

I’m sure many of you already know how to do this but for those new to working with tools this is a simple way to fix your square drive bit heads in a pinch.

This bit is a victim of cam out.

I place the bit as straight as possible in a vice and file down the tip with a corse diamond file. This shortens the bit a little and gets it down to a part on the bit where it’s not damaged.

Then I lay it flat on a mat and clean up the burrs on all four sides with a fine diamond file.

Now it works like new.
I tried doing this with a file but the material the bit is made of is as hard or harder than the files I have.

-- James E McIntyre



14 comments so far

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

6021 posts in 2506 days


#1 posted 11-21-2021 04:18 PM

You are a frugal perfectionist James! 8^)

I buy them by the 10-pack and still use the first two or so thus haven’t had the need to sharpen yet, but I’ll keep this in mind for sure!

Have you tried to fix Phillips drivers? I go through piles of these bastids.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1567 posts in 2576 days


#2 posted 11-21-2021 04:49 PM


You are a frugal perfectionist James! 8^)

I buy them by the 10-pack and still use the first two or so thus haven t had the need to sharpen yet, but I ll keep this in mind for sure!

Have you tried to fix Phillips drivers? I go through piles of these bastids.

- splintergroup

Frugal Smugal. It was my last one! Lol

No I haven’t tried sharping the Phillips yet, but I did see an article on how to do it.

But first I must master sharpening the star bits. 8=)

As always, Thanks for the kind and humorous words and thoughts.

-- James E McIntyre

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8235 posts in 2104 days


#3 posted 11-24-2021 11:17 PM

JEMI if I ever need a labourer for odd jobs, you’re hired!


You are a frugal perfectionist James! 8^)

I buy them by the 10-pack and still use the first two or so thus haven t had the need to sharpen yet, but I ll keep this in mind for sure!

Have you tried to fix Phillips drivers? I go through piles of these bastids.

- splintergroup


Actually I’ve gone rrs about and turfed all my Philips for Robertsons...

But back to the square drives…
  • 4 diamond files.
  • sandpaper
  • scissors to cut above sandpaper into strips
  • or box cutter and steel rule in case the scissors needed sharpenning and you havent bought the files, yet
  • 1 metal vice
  • 5-15 minutes work
  • manicured fingernails

Just to save 0.50c (as per splinter’s bulk purchase)...

So, I will go as high as $2.17 for each of your 12 hour daily labouring remittance (meal breaks not permitted).

If it was my last one, I’d forage around in my rubbish bins (quickly) for a replacement Philips screw and buy a pack of 10 drivers the next time I’m in Bunnings (our HD equivalent)...

I haven’t costed petrol and travel time to HD as you’d have to cost that to purchase the items for either scenarion.

BTW, what the hell do you use to break those indestructable square drives… anything similar to this?

I assume it is not classified as ”cordless”...

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1567 posts in 2576 days


#4 posted 11-25-2021 04:04 PM

Not sure what your quacking about LBD. But if you can get a good square drive for .50 cents your a better man or duck than me.

Like I said the Square drive was my last one and I tuned it up to finish my work.

I always enjoy when you dip your beak into our swamp.

If your celebrating, Happy Thanksgiving!

-- James E McIntyre

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8235 posts in 2104 days


#5 posted 11-25-2021 08:02 PM


... I always enjoy when you dip your beak into our swamp.

If your celebrating, Happy Thanksgiving!

- James E McIntyre


Thanks for the wishes JEMI... I don’t guzzle swamp water... but a Merlot bath is another story,

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1567 posts in 2576 days


#6 posted 11-25-2021 08:57 PM

... I always enjoy when you dip your beak into our swamp.

If your celebrating, Happy Thanksgiving!

- James E McIntyre

Thanks for the wishes JEMI... I don t guzzle swamp water... but a Merlot bath is another story,

- LittleBlackDuck

I also enjoy the Merlot but Cabernet Sauvig-yawn,

Makes me tired.

-- James E McIntyre

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8798 posts in 1866 days


#7 posted 11-26-2021 01:39 AM

Nice, but I also buy Robertson drivers by the dozen. And I’m still on my first one.

Have you tried to fix Phillips drivers? I go through piles of these bastids.

Buy JIS instead of Philips. They’re not tapered like Philips drivers are, so they’re much less likely to cam-out.

I like the Vessel Megadora 900 screwdrivers, personally.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

6021 posts in 2506 days


#8 posted 11-26-2021 04:26 PM

I try to use square drive exclusively for my projects because I hate the design of Phillips (almost as much as “flat” blade slotted 8^)

The phillips (drywall screws) get used for construction stuff around the house and being that they are so hard, they take their toll on any drivers I use, especially the Apex bits used with a drill/driver.
I have a few “proper” hand drivers that I reserve for easier stuff like brass hinge screws where lots of torque isn’t required. Perfect fit and carefully stashed away so they don’t get “corrupted” on drywall screws.

Fortunately, my brother uses the phillips style bits by the 100’s in his day job and keeps me stocked. Definitely a decision on finding those with a proper grind and hardness balance!

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1567 posts in 2576 days


#9 posted 11-26-2021 05:50 PM

All good tips.

Splinter when I stared woodworking in 2016, I didn’t know why Horton Brasses shipped both steel and brass screws with their hinges until I figured out I was supposed to attach the henges first with the steel then reattach them with the brass.

At least that’s what I thought they were for. Unless they added the steel screws in case I (camed out ) the brass.

Splinter what’s your thoughts on this?

Nothing last forever. Not lithium batteries, carbide or even diamond blades, bits or files.

-- James E McIntyre

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8798 posts in 1866 days


#10 posted 11-26-2021 06:48 PM

FYI, Vessel also has an impact screwdriver (the Megadora 980 ) that’s designed for removing stripped Philips screws so you can replace them with something good. Whack it with a hammer, and it drives the hardened tip into the screw while rotating it a little (12 degrees, iirc).

One of the brasses companies includes directions saying to use the steel first, then remove it, and then use the brass screws. Don’t recall which one it was off the top of my head.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

6021 posts in 2506 days


#11 posted 11-26-2021 07:56 PM

Yep, Brusso includes the steel screw. Often times trying to find a steel screw that exactly matches your brass screw can be tough, the Brusso’s are perfect.

The idea of pre-threading your hole with steel is an oldie, but breaking off a brass screw can be heart breaking 8^)

I’ll still use brass plated steel on some hinges just to avoid the heartache.

Dave, I have one of those impact screw extractors, ideal for old car door hinges, gummed up, rusty, and Phillips!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8235 posts in 2104 days


#12 posted 11-27-2021 12:04 AM



... Dave, I have one of those impact screw extractors, ideal for old car door hinges, gummed up, rusty, and Phillips!
- splintergroup

God tip, nut may be a tad overkill splinter... I’ve never broken a bit or snapped the head on a brass screw… though I’ve bluntened a few hammers , hammering the screws in.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

6021 posts in 2506 days


#13 posted 11-27-2021 03:48 PM

I used to hammer in screws when I was a kid, at first I just though they were really cool nails, then I just was too lazy to drill a pilot and go find a screwdriver.

Lately, if I’m being paranoid I’ll oversize the pilot holes, put a dab of epoxy into the hole and push the brass screws in.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8235 posts in 2104 days


#14 posted 11-28-2021 01:00 AM



... Lately, if I m being paranoid I ll oversize the pilot holes, put a dab of epoxy into the hole and push the brass screws in.
- splintergroup

Ahha… still not perfect unless you stain the poxy gold!... I don’t recommend using tapered drill bits as it wont let the poxy accumulate at the bottom of the hole = too much squeeze out… though, not a problem if ”Midasized”.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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