Cell phone repair trouble
February 27, 2013 10:29 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to fix my phone. How do I deal with a very tiny, hard to get at screw with a stripped head?

I'm trying to replace the glass touch screen on an LG Shine Touch using these instructions. The heads on two of the screws - one under and one beside the battery - are stripped and I can't get a purchase on them at all. I'm using the magnetic screwdriver I got with the new screen.

I have absolutely no experience with this. I've tried small amounts of sticky tack and rubber cement, but it didn't help. Should buy a slightly larger screw driver? Resort to superglue? Let me know your tips and tricks!

posted by delezzo to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Thin rubber band between the screw head and the screw driver, don't continue to strip the head!
posted by iamabot at 10:32 PM on February 27, 2013

One idea...

Set the driver to the screw straight at first. Give it good knock to the top of the driver down to the screw. This is just like you putting a hammer to the top of a screw driver while on the screw head.

Just a steady thump might be enough to allow it to rotate some.

Again you take your own risk with this as well...

Or you could do the same as above and use a minus driver. You are trying to make a new groove to allow the minus to turn the screw with the same. Considering it is a small screw, you may be able to make a groove or use the minus at angles to get some rotation. You can use a large minus driver to make the groove and a smaller one to try to turn the screw with that new groove.
posted by Bodrik at 11:29 PM on February 27, 2013

If the screwdriver has any sort of purchase on the screw head, a dollop of valve lapping compound is an old trick - gives the screwdriver extra 'bite' & helps stop it camming out.

You can find tiny EZ-outs, left-handed drills, etc. at McMaster-Carr - but that's half the job; because the screws are so small, the removal tools are extremely fragile and you're almost guaranteed to snap them if you use them by hand. Find a local watchmaker or manufacturing jeweller, or maybe a gunsmith, with a manual drill press or pin vice jig. If they've done much work at all they've almost certainly themselves snapped tiny screws deep in holes; removing a screw that still has its head on will be a doddle for them.
posted by Pinback at 12:27 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]

Free screwdrivers are probably poor quality, take one of the screws you did get out and buy a good screwdriver that fits correctly.
posted by 445supermag at 6:32 AM on February 28, 2013

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