Bent Screws On Old Bugs

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by WA3LKN, Jan 20, 2021.

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  1. WA3LKN

    WA3LKN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Old telegraph equipment, including bugs and other landline equipment often has been abused at sometime during its life, resulting in bent screws.

    I've tried several ways to deal with this over the years, and think the best way to attempt to straighten bent screws is by screwing on nuts, equidistant both proximal and distal the bend, if you can get a nut past the bend. Put it in a vise, using the nuts as a fulcrum, with a 1/4" wooden board pressed on the 'hump' of the screw. Tighten the vise until it looks straight. I put a dot on the screw head as a reference point so I can identify the place where the bend is worst, and that's where the wooden board makes contact with the screw. Sometimes you need a second fine-tuning go-around. Usually you can't get it perfect but can always make it better than when you started.

    If it's badly bent, and you can't get a screw past the bend, using wooden strips as the fulcrum is an alternative.

    When it's just the head of the screw that's bent, putting the screw in a hollow standoff that's slightly larger than the screw diameter, tighten the outer standoff it in a vise, and hammer the screw head with a rubber mallet flat against the top of the standoff.
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    KD2RDG likes this.
  2. KD2RDG

    KD2RDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cool tip.
  3. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like bending back malleable metal things that get bent. Like machine screws. Great fun. Saves a trip to the hardware store or
    time searching on the web.

    Especially pleased at rescuing a half dozen old sterling silver teaspoons that my family used when I was a child. After my parents' deaths, my niece took all the silverware except the teaspoons that my aging dad had "processed" via the Insinkerator (garbage disposal).

    I pounded those beautiful spoons back into functional shape and enjoy using them every day.
  4. KD1JT

    KD1JT Ham Member QRZ Page

    This reminds me of my grandpa, who would salvage wood for garden projects and such. And salvage the nails! Spent a few hours with grandpa straightening nails. Imagine that!
  5. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    [QUOTE="KD1JT, post: 5738757, member: 957201" Imagine that![/QUOTE]

    I don't just imagine it. If it's essentially a good nail, not rusty or too bent, I keep it and pound it straight. Especially if it
    is a high quality, heavily galvanized nail. I love those nails!

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