Trying not to drop 'em
Shortening Small Screws
© Frank Ford 2008; Photos by FF

Not long ago, when I was making my little hand tapper I needed some really short little set screws.  Here's the shank of the tool, along with the shortened screw and the size I had on hand:

I  knew I could simply grind off  the ends, but these little guys are really hard to hang onto, so I hit on this idea for a way to get the job done easily and with a fair bit of precision.  First, I took a small piece of steel the same thickness as the length I wanted for my set screws and threaded it to fit them:

Then I threaded a screw up through the plate so the head was flush with the surface:

Using the appropriate size hex key to keep it from rotating, I introduced the screw to my grinding wheel:

No problem to grind it flush with the plate, assuring me of the correct length:

Backing the screw out cleaned up the threads on the end, too.

Here, again, is the result:

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