• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Screw broke mounting Gotoh tuners


Silver Supporting Member
I thought I was going to have trouble getting the ferules in but that went smooth.
Then mounting the actual tuners the D string tuner screw broke off if the headstock under the surface. These are the little screws that go on each end of the tuners. So that one screw holds down the end of two tuners of course.
I guess the screw was bad because I hadn't even gotten it close to all the way in. Almost 1/2 of the head end of the screw broke off.

So, anyone dealt with this and what are my choices?
Is it maybe stable enough with these type of tuners to just use it like it is?
The only thing I can think of is drill out around the hole and dig it out and refill the hole somehow.

I am chapped to say the least! :(


Gold Supporting Member
Been there, done that.

Gotta drill out the screw. If you have a drill press, it will go a lot easier.

Word of warning ... look REALLY CAREFULLY at the screws. Many times, there is a tall, unthreaded shoulder on the screw. If this is the case, you need to drill a larger hole at the top to accommodate, otherwise the screw will appear to bottom out, stop, and ultimately break off.


Mark Robinson

Platinum Supporting Member
It may be time to see a luthier. I do know that it is possible to make and possibly even purchase a small tubular drill bit, that will go around the offending fastener and enable you to get it out. If the tool has to be made, it's a job for a machinist.

At any rate, the screw can be extracted by a patient person using a drill press and so forth. Then the hole can be doweled, a proper pilot hole drilled, a replacement screw installed.

Each time any sort of drilling thing approaches the wood, there should be tape or a bushing applied to the bit, to indicate proper depth. It is very depressing to blast through the back of something. I found out the hard way, fiddling around with neck pickup screws in a parts Telecaster I built.

I saw an article on this somewhere, either Stewart MacDonald, or Vintage Guitar, possibly Mr. Dan Erlewine's column. You're not the first person with this problem and it is solvable.


if there is enough screw sticking out of the top, you might be able to grab it with small needle nose pliers and gently unscrew it out. if its stuck in all the way, time to drill her out and dowel it.


Platinum Supporting Member
if you're mechanically inclined, you can get a bit of brass tubing from a hobby store that's just big enough to fit around the screw, file or cut some sharp teeth into the end, and use that to drill around the busted screw. put the drill in reverse to do this, because often as not it will grab the screw and back it right out.


Platinum Supporting Member
What patpark said only if you can grab the broken screw with a small pair of vise grips then you can back it out. Remember that even if you drill a pilot whole for the screw you still need to use soap or wax as a lubricant when driving the screw. This should prevent breakage dew to friction caused by the hardness of the neck wood. Also stainless steel screws will hold up to the heat caused by the friction better. Hope this helps and good luck...

Trending Topics

Top Bottom