The Ideal Tool
Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in January 2007.
I finally got to some long-put-off reorganization of my home office. Part of my procrastination was related to the task of relocating my monitor. I have a very shallow desk, and for that reason the monitor is mounted on the wall with a nice aluminum VESA mount. If you need to mount a flat-panel on a wall (or other), I highly recommend the Sanus VM-1. I have two; the second is used to affix the TV to the staircase.
At any rate, my previous installation had left the screws affixing it to the wall in less-than-adequate condition. The top bolt was nearly stripped, probably because I’d used a cheap allen key with a lot of slop. Secondly, it was really stuck in there. I tried a half-dozen different allen keys, screwdrivers, pliers, and even tried prying the head of the screw off with a hammer & screwdriver. That only succeeded in damaging the mount. I then tried filing down the edge of the bolt head to put a socket on it. Failed.
A desperate rummage through my toolbox yielded a vintage wrench that I’d found on the street a few years ago. It was small, curved, and according to a stamp on the handle: patented. What the hell, I thought and gave it a shot. The first attempt failed, but then I realized that the wrench was not only adjustable, but had a pivot as well. If I flipped the wrench around, then the tourque of pulling the wrench around (or the bolt resisting said torque) would tighten the wrench’s grip on the screw head. Aha!
After a few turns, I had succeeded in getting the rotten bolt out of the wall, and salvaged the mount base. Success!