Yeah, I'm very frustrated. I haven't taken many forks apart, but I never thought I would be pulling my hair out with these little guys. I keep concocting plans, running downstairs and trying them out only to be screaming 5 mins. later. I actually tried a thing wooden dowel against the damper rod, but it was too thick. Anything thinner is most certainly going to snap when putting pressure on it. Put it this way, a 1/4" iron pipe is too large.