I'm wondering if there's an idiom similar to an idiom in Czech. In Czech, it's 'Vylámat si na něčem zuby' ~ 'To break one's teeth on something'.
To try and do something but failing nonetheless. It's almost always used after the fact, but it can be used as a warning too.
'He tried to untighten the screw and spent all day on it and still nothing. He broke his teeth on it.'