Screw is taut and spins, but won't tighten or loosen (re:Ikea Furniture)

I’m assembling the Ikea Poang chair, and I have hit a bit of a snag. On the first part, when attaching the back slats to the frame, one side of one of the slats refuses to tighten (or loosen). I believe the screwhole is stripped, and currently there is a screw stuck in said screwhole. Any ideas on what to do? I tried pliers, but the screwhead is too shallow to get a good grip. If I do get it out, how can I remedy the screwhole if it’s stripped?

Get yourself some wood glue, it comes in a bottle just like Elmer’ glue and is quite similar. It has more solids in it and works better. If you have Elmer’s on hand and don’t want to buy wood glue, just use the Elmer’s. We used to use regular Elmer’s and mix in a little bit of sawdust to make our own wood glue.

Back the screw out, squirt glue into the hole, put the screw back in and just tighten it up snug. Let sit for a day or so until the glue dries.

are you speaking of a wood screw going into wood?

a strong magnetic screwdriver unscrewing and slowly gently withdrawing.

a nonmaring method for a wood screw, if you had a hot glue gun, is to put a dab on the screw head, glue something to it, turn to the left and pull out slowly and gently.

I should have clarified, it’s a metal screw going into a metal screwhole.

I like johnpost’s hot glue idea. You could also use super glue.

metal to metal is a different story. If anything is stripped, chances are you need new hardware, or you’re just missing the threads entirely somehow. Try to get both parts out of the chair so you can examine them closely. Ikea often has spares, if you can get to the store.

The problem is getting to the store :frowning: Hour-long drive, and I still want the chair. I’ll be pulling my hair out if I run into another stripped screw. Perhaps I’ll assemble it in the parking lot, if I repurchase.

To get the screw out …

  1. Find a sharp flat blade screw driver, or something similar, to go in under the head.
    The idea is to push the screw offset and then the thread at least touches the side.
    With the thread touching something with some force, F=uN and all, when you turn the screw the thread starts to produce a force to push the screw out.
  2. You can glue on something and pull …

This may be a little more than you want to do but if you’re talking about a machine-thread screw going into a threaded insert, you can replace either the screw (simple) or the insert (more complicated), depending which part is stripped.

Several folks have given good suggestions for getting the screw itself out. If the screw thread is stripped, take it down to your local hardware store and find a duplicate, matching the length and thread exactly.

If the screw is OK but the insert is stripped (they’re often made of something like zinc, not the strongest metal out there), you can remove and replace that part.

Threaded inserts generally use a hex key (allen wrench) to drive them in/out. Get a set of hex keys and find one that fits, then carefully unscrew the insert. Take it to the hardware store and get a replacement (check that the internal threads match the screw!), then carefully screw it back in and reassemble.

One other potential problem - screw makes it partway into the insert and sticks for whatever reason. Turning the screw hard causes the entire threaded insert to rotate in it’s own hole (this can be a real problem if the insert is in a piece of particle board, which is used in a lot of Ikea furniture). Once the insert is free to rotate you’re not going to be able to get the screw farther into it and depending on how firmly the screw is stuck to the insert, you may not be able to take the screw out by itself, you may have to try and get the screw to back out enough to get a firm grip on it (with visegrips for example) and then unscrew the entire threaded insert using the stuck screw as a handle. Now you’ve got to put an insert into a hole that is stripped out…this may require epoxying a new insert into the old hole or a trick like drilling the hole out carefully, then gluing a dowel of the same diameter into the hole (so the hole is now filled with real wood), letting everything set and then drill a new hole into the dowel and put a replacement insert in place.

That last one is your worst case…if you are handy it’s not very difficult and doesn’t require specialized tools.

Yeah, I was already trying #1 but the screw is like 90% in, there’s no room for anything to go under it. I’ve been adding some pull on my torque, but that’s been ineffective. Suggestions for #2? I only have elmer’s on-hand.