Anyone have a strap lock screw break off in their guitar before?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by vchizzle, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. vchizzle

    vchizzle Supporting Member

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    And have advice how to get the broken screw out:mad:
    There's only about a 1/16" sticking out of the guitar, not much to grab on to.
     
  2. Structo

    Structo Member

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    You could try to cut a slot in it with a dremel and cutoff wheel.
    Then use a screw driver to screw it out.

    If there just isn't enough to get a hold of you can make a plug cutter out of some tubing.
    Take about an inch and half of some tubing, brass, copper whatever you can find and cut teeth in one end with a needle file.
    Drill over the screw until it's deep enough to pull the plug and screw out.

    Glue the proper sized hardwood dowel in and redrill for strap button screw.
     
  3. vchizzle

    vchizzle Supporting Member

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    If there was a little more sticking out, dremel might be an option. Its too close to the body for me to use a cutoff wheel without risking going into the body.

    I'll consider doing something like the second suggestion if I don't find anything less "intrusive" :)
     
  4. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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  5. NyteOwl

    NyteOwl Member

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    You could try putting some duct tape directly over it to protect the body before carefully using the Dremel.

    You could also try just leaving it as is and drilling a new strap lock/button hole right next to it. Screwing the new strap lock/button into place might flatten it down...
     
  6. mickslick

    mickslick Member

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    Use a small vice grip type pliers to grab that little piece sticking up then just twist until it comes out. Works great, as long it sticks out even just a hair. Much less intrusive than dremmeling and the like.
     
  7. guitarpkr67

    guitarpkr67 Supporting Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking.
     
  8. Fides

    Fides Member

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    I very recently had this same problem. I was fitting my brand new guitar with strap locks. As I was screwing in the screw, the head broke off. I nearly cried.

    I tried several things including using a screw extractor. Absolutely nothing worked for me because (1) the screw was too small to use an extractor and (2) there wasn't anything left to grab. Because it was a new guitar, I had to take it in to a local guitar shop (SF Guitar Works). Geoff had to drill around the screw to remove it. He then placed a new screw. He did such a great job that I can't tell the difference. These screw heads often break off because the original hole that was drilled was too small for the screw and the screw has to be screwed in pretty hard (thus the breakage).

    Good luck! Hopefully you won't have to take it in (mine cost $150 to repair)
     
  9. vchizzle

    vchizzle Supporting Member

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    I'll try this first. I didn't have luck with a regular pliers, but that might just work with a vise grip if I find a small one of decent quality. If worse comes to worse, I'll use the extracting tool that frankencat is talking about. I don't have an issue doing that, but wanna exhaust other options first.
     
  10. Structo

    Structo Member

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    Also guys, you should always lube the screws with some bees wax.
    Two major causes of broken screws.
    Too small of a pilot hole.
    No lube on the screw, especially when screwing into maple.
     
  11. b2sc

    b2sc Member

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    There was a very good write up on extracting broken screws from guitars using shopmade extractors within Dan Earlwine's Guitar Shop column within the last couple of month's in. Vintage Guitar Magazine. If you need me to narrow down the issue, let me know and I probably can send you a scan early next week...
     
  12. vchizzle

    vchizzle Supporting Member

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    Well, I couldn't find any extractors locally. I ended up using a 1/16" drill bit and drilling holes around the broken screw until the screw was free all the way around it. I know, kind of ghetto style repair method, but I had to make it work. Then I took a needle nose pliers and unscrewed the broken screw. I then drilled the hole out with a 5/16" bit, glued and doweled it up. Let it set 24 hrs, sanded the dowel flush with the body and applied some touch up stain(most of our furniture matches this guitar :D ).
    Drilled a small pilot hole for the new screw/button and attached it. It turned out really good. Before I put the button on, you could see a slight outline of the dowel, but not bad at all. With the strap button attached it hides the dowel entirely so all is good. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

    Here's a pic of the finished job:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Mattbedrock

    Mattbedrock Silver Supporting Member

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  14. vchizzle

    vchizzle Supporting Member

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  15. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    It doesn't look like you needed any advice. The end result is what's important and that looks fine.
     
  16. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    Fabulous repair job!!! Nicely done!!
     
  17. vchizzle

    vchizzle Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the compliments guys. I was actually pretty worried about it. And honestly, while I was drilling all the holes and then got the broken screw out...I was a little worried. It wasn't pretty to begin with :D

    But once I got it drilled out to the dowel size I felt much better. Once I got it done today, I was thinking H3LL YEAH!!! It looks good!
     
  18. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Good work and you saved $150. (!!!??)
     
  19. NyteOwl

    NyteOwl Member

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    In lieu of beeswax, regular bar soap will work, too.
     
  20. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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