Stripped Screws Glasses Repair

Eyeglass frames are somewhat unique in the mechanical world in that , with few exceptions, they have screws but not nuts.  

In some rimless frames, there are screws that proceed on through the lens and into capture nuts, and in the case of those screws breaking, or the nuts loosing their internal threads, they can simply be replaced. Unfortunately , in most regular eyeglass frames, that is not the case. Should any of the three common sets of optical screws fail such as the hinge screws, the lens hoop retainer screws or the screws that retain the nose pads in the receiver cups at the end of the nose pad harps, the frame is rendered unwearable.

There are two basic kinds of screw repairs in the eyeglass frame world. First, there are instances where the receiver section of the frame has had the threads wear out, and the screw simply will not tighten or will not remain tightened even with a fresh new screw with perfect threads. This is frequently indicated by a customer that complains of a lens screw that constantly requires tightening.

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In this case, the first option is to drill out the worn threads and tap out the hole to the next largest optical hole size, and supply the next largest size of optical screw.

Should the worn hole size already be of the largest diameter that the section of the frame can be safely drilled out to, the repair calls for  what has been one of the most common repairs in the eyeglass repair industry: the procedure called Fill, Drill and Tap

In this process, the hole is filled with an alloy, such as an alloy of gold and Monel, and then drilled to provide a new fresh hole of the appropriate diameter to receive a tap that will establish fresh new threads, and then fitted with the correct optical screw.  Ironically, although this procedure was a mainstay of eyeglass repair for over a century, and was done by apprentices, it has all but disappeared in general repair practice.

Filling a stripped screw hole

Filing a stripped screw hole with gold and monel alloy fill

FRAMEFIXERS.COM maintains the facilities and supplies to provide the correct drill and tap to restore any threaded receiver section as well as the machining equipment to form the head and thread of any original screw to match original screws on any eyeglass frame.

Mailing Instructions for Repairs: Mailing Labels

The second and more difficult broken eyeglass frame screw repair problem is the case where a screw is broken off in the frame.

his renders the frame unusable and is frequently compounded by incorrect attempts to remove the screw body fragment remaining in the frame.  This is frequently due to a lack of experience or understanding of what is required to remove a screw fragment from a threaded hole in an eyeglass frame.

Optical screws are typically hardened to a Rockwell hardness of 8.0 or 8.5 or even 9.0.  For this reason, trying to drill the fragment out with a steel drill, even one of good quality is fruitless. This results in damaging of the area around the screw aperture, and in the worst cases, which we see frequently, the drill starts a hole parallel to the original, and then breaks off in the frame.  This then requires the removal of the original screw fragment, as well as a hardened steel twist drill fragment. 

Fortunately both can be done easily with the correct equipment and skill. At FRAMEFIXERS.COM EYEGLASS CO, we use a wet slurry drilling technique by submerging the unit in a cooled propylene fluid and a cutting compound of corundum powder or diamondtine powder on a copper wire drill. Such a drill technique will actually drill through a diamond, making the broken frame problem simple by comparison. This is followed by the previously explained process of running a tap of the appropriate optical screw size into the receiver hole, and supplying a fresh good quality optical screw.  The frame is then set for return to service and has a reliable mechanically sound repair that is cosmetically fine as well.

To watch the full Fill, Drill, and Tap repair of a stripped screw, follow the links!