If you are in any type of manufacturing whether you use metal or wood, chances are you have encountered some type of broken fastener in your line of work. You may have encountered broken bolts, broken taps, broken screws, broken pins, or broken dowels. Today we will discuss removing broken dowel pins.
As you probably know if you are reading this article, dowel pins are solid, headless cylindrical rods most often used in conjunction with socket screws. You may also be using dowel screws or dowel pin reamers. Dowels serve many functions they can ensure you put the gasket on correctly and hold the gasket in place. They also serve to align and prevent “walking” on heating and cooling cycles. Chances are if you work in the manufacturing industry, or you may work with automotive, farm, aviation, construction, or other industrial equipment you work with dowel pins in some facet.
You probably also know the headache associated with a broken dowel. You may be here because you need help getting a broken dowel pin out of a camshaft, need to know how to remove a broken steel dowel pin, or maybe you are wondering how to extract a blind/broken dowel pin from a flywheel. Whatever the case we know that a dowel pin may fail after many years of service as they tend to get brittle.
The hardness of the broken metal dowel pin is a key factor to ease of removal and time spent in the process. You are likely working with a work-hardened metal. If you are working with a drill, removing a broken dowel pin may take hours. Not to mention, you will dull your drill in the process.
If you are removing a broken dowel in a hole, you will have to replace the dowel. The process of removing the broken dowel will likely destroy it. Using heat and cold processes may be successful in removing your broken dowel, however, this process requires very accurate timing and great care to ensure only the dowel is affected.
Manual removal of a stuck dowel pin
If you decide to manually remove the dowel pin, this could be a lengthy process and will likely ruin the dowel pin. If you are removing a broken dowel pin from a block you have several options. You may choose to heat the block around the dowel and use vice grips to remove the broken dowel pin. If that doesn’t work, you should be able to drive them out the back using a 5/16 bolt that is just long enough to reach the dowel from the back side then hammer the bolt. A more complicated option would be to use a Dremel to notch the pin on the sides, then drill a hole in the top. You must be careful not to weaken the pin by removing too much of it because it will break. Then you will need piano wire and a crescent wrench. Loop the piano wire through the center while holding the flattened sides with the crescent wrench wiggle to remove.
So what if you don’t have several hours to dedicate to the removal of your broken dowel pin? Removing a broken dowel pin manually can add hours to your billing. You may not have the additional time or budget to dedicate to this tedious process, especially since it destroys the dowel pin anyway. Electro Arc’s products are designed to remove broken screws, bolts and drills in minutes. Our metal disintegrators have been getting the job done in minutes for 75 years!