Fixing a Headless Screw


Sometimes, something has to give and it might be a screw head. Because it is a stress failure, the metal gets hard and doesn't respond to drilling or cutting - plus what's left is too small anyway.

Here's a headless screw problem in my Twilight Zone. That's the mechanism for the mini playfield ramp diverter. The head for the right hand mounting screw is gone, leaving a useless stump. The previos repairer clamped it in place with a couple of screws on either side.  
The first step is to create a relief around the screw thread. I used a Dremel with a little milling ball attachment. This shape is convenient, as it digs and widens without going out of control. I simply ran it around the screw thread as a guide and got this nice circular pit.  
Now, the screw thread comes out easily with a pair of locking pliers.  
There's the now-empty hole.  
I patched it with marine stick epoxy. I believe this to be stronger than the wood stick epoxy. It's important to fill the hole and leave no voids. The bamboo serves as a guide for the screw hole, and provides something for the threads to bite into. I'll finish up with some wood coloring once the stuff is hard.