Welcome to the 191st Metamorphosis Monday!
I spent mine running lots of errands and trying to get a few things done around the house. A long while back I shared this view of my screened-in porch. As you can see it is a full story up and I have bird feeders hanging from shepherd’s hooks off the decks on either side of the porch. The feeder on the left is hanging from the deck that holds a table with an umbrella and the grill. The feeder on the right is hanging off the deck that holds another table with a pergola overhead.
Whenever I fill the feeders, Mr. Wily Squirrel comes along and cleans them out in no time at all. The birds hardly get anything because he and his buds camp out on the feeders. I wouldn’t mind Mr. Squirrel having some of the seed but he gobbles it all down in just a couple of days.
Even when I tried “hot seed” in a window feeder….
That barely even slowed him down. Apparently, he likes his food a little on the spicy side. (More pics of Max and wily Squirrel can be found here: So Much for Hot Seed)
I’ve tried various things over the years and some work for the short turn, but eventually Mr. Squirrel figures out some way to get around my latest obstacle. They are wicked smart! When I tried putting a slinky on the shepherd hooks (a trick I read about somewhere) he stayed off the feeders for about 3 days, then he figured out he could still run up the hook on top of the slinky and get to the feeder. Since this particular feeder shuts down if he gets on the ring where the birds land, he hangs from the top and cleans it out.
So, yesterday I was in my fave birding store and I saw these extra long shepherd’s hooks. I bought one and once back home, I attempted to remove one of the shepherd’s hooks so I could install the new, longer hook. I quickly ran into a problem. The bottom two screw tops had so badly rusted, they just sort of crumbled when I tried to screw them out.
So I asked the nice guys at Home Depot what to do and they recommended this thingamajig called a spiral screw extractor. Have you ever seen one of these? I had not. When I got home, I watched a video online showing how to use it since the package had very little information…mostly just the pics you see there on the front.
The way it works “supposedly” is you drill a hole into the top of the screw that you are unable to remove.
Next, you tap the screw extractor down into the hole you’ve made. Then you take a wrench and screw the extractor back out of the hole. The screw is supposed to come out with it.
I used a 1/8 bit in my attempt to drill a hole in the top of the rusted out screw, as the directions on the package recommended. Almost immediately the tip of my bit broke right off, striking me on the arm. Ouch. Good reason to always wear safety goggles. You can’t really tell it that well in the pic below, but the top of the bit is missing. I threw it in the trash but then took it back out to take a picture to share. It’s still pretty sharp on the end so I’m wondering if it could still be used.
I don’t really get how you can drill a hole into the top of a rusted, metal screw. Maybe it requires a much stronger drill bit than what I currently have. Anyone had any experience with this?
I gave up on the shepherds hook on that side of the deck (the deck with the grill) and decided to work on the other one that hangs off the deck with the pergola above. Fortunately, all four screws came right out of the plate that held the hook. It was in a more protected area and the tops of the screws hadn’t rusted/deteriorated too badly.
I pre-drilled four holes for the mounting base for the new shepherd’s hook and here’s how the new hook looks in place. I also added a baffle to the top of the feeder, something I’ve tried in the past and didn’t work. But now that the feeder is so far out, I’m hoping Mr. Squirrel will not be able to leap out and land on it. If he climbs out the long hook, hopefully the baffle will baffle him…har, har. Sorry, couldn’t resist.
If wiley squirrel jumps onto the ring (where the birds land) it will shut down. If he climbs out the long shepherds hook, hopefully he won’t be able to get past the baffle. Time will tell if this works…I’ll keep you posted.
So, have you ever used a spiral screw extractor? Any tips on how to drill a hole into the top of a rusty screw? I hope someone out there can offer some tips on this predicament because I’d love to remove the other shepherd’s hook and install a longer one on that side, too.
For more squirrel fun and to see how smart these little stinkers are, check out this post about Leon and Pearl: Squirrel Outwits Bird Feeder, The Story of Leon and Pearl
Looking forward to your wonderful “Before and Afters” for this Metamorphosis Monday!
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