Extract a Broken Screw
Murphy's Law guarantees that screws will break at the worst times.
Fortunately, I've found a simple way to extract the headless shank and
repair the damage. I use the countersink collar from one of my
drill-and-countersink sets. Make sure the countersink's bore is
slightly larger than the buried shank. Use the countersink to drill
around the broken screw. If drilling alone doesn't free the shank, the
oversize hole creates room for needle-nose pliers to grip and turn.
After the broken screw has been removed, glue in a plug cut from the
face of another board. Face-grain plugs hold screws much better than
end-grain dowels. Pare the plug flush with the mortise, and you're back
This story originally appeared in American Woodworker November 2006, issue #125.