Screw gone bad

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Will, Jan 16, 2008.


  1. Will

    Will Member

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    One of the screws on the neck pickup frame gone bad so that I cannot unscrew it to replace it.How would I take it off?
    I thought I could saw the frame but it will make me glueing it again......

    [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Drill it out. Use a drill very slightly larger than the screw shaft (compare it with one of the others) so that it breaks the head off immediately it gets below the bottom of the flared section. Be careful not to go any further, or you'll damage the plastic and make getting the rest of it out harder.

    Remove the pickup. Then you should have a small stump in the body that you can get a pair of pliers onto and unscrew it.
     
  3. rooster

    rooster Member

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    Try getting an emergency eyeglass repair kit at Walgreens/Osco/CVS/somesuch drugstore. The small flat-blade screwdriver might just do the job at digging in enough to unscrew it, then throw it away and get a new screw. When you put in the new ones, make sure you have a screwdriver that exactly fits that screw. I have a "buffalo tools" POS phillips that exactly fits those things.

    Also, StewMac may still sell the little tool, like a precision screwdriver with 4 barbs on the face of it that dig into the very edges of the phillips slot.

    HTH.

    rooster.
     
  4. frankencat

    frankencat Lex Luthier Gold Supporting Member

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    Personally, I would just bust the pickup ring and then grab the screw with a pliers. Unless this is a vintage '58 or something you can get a replacement pickup ring pretty much anywhere for around $5 and the hassle and risk of drilling the screw head out is not worth it IMHO.
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Hassle and risk?!!

    Sorry, but that's ridiculous. Firstly replacing a pickup ring with an exact match of the same color and appearance as the rest of the parts is not always a trivial matter, and secondly there's a good chance you'll damage the finish under the corner of the ring as you rip it off. That's 'hassle and risk'.

    Do NOT do this.

    There is no hassle and risk involved in carefully drilling out a small screw head like that, I've done it probably a hundred times or more in exactly this sort of situation.

    Sorry, no offense intended, but to tell someone to deliberately break one thing they don't need to and possibly damage the guitar when there is a simple way of doing the job properly is just plain bad advice.
     
  6. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    All great advice.

    ...I just had to pop in to see if this thread was about, well...c'mon, "Screw gone bad"?...couldn't just pass it up.
     
  7. rkchkr

    rkchkr Member

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    of Johns suggestion....use a left hand drill bit.....if you get lucky ,it might just grab the screw and back it out far enough to get a grip on it without actually drilling the head off.....if not...you still just drill the head off

    PS:...using a left hand drill also eliminates the possibility of the bit grabbing the screw and driving it in further...possibly cracking the ring
     
  8. Structo

    Structo Member

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    Sears had a gizmo for unscrewing stripped screw heads.
     
  9. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Time Warped Gold Supporting Member

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    LMAO!! Ditto
     
  10. frankencat

    frankencat Lex Luthier Gold Supporting Member

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    John, I didn't mean to literally rip the thing off, sheesh, give a guy a break. ;)
    You can easily break or cut the ring off around the screw any number of ways. Try a wire cutter or tin snips or something, I dunno, it just doesn't sound like a big deal to me. The hassle and risk part is that it's a hassle for most folks to drill out a screw head and use an extractor. Is is difficult?...not really...if you've done it before. There is always a risk whenever you get a drill around the top of a guitar. I don't care if you are Dan Erlewine himself, everybody slips once in a while. If you are confident and know what you are doing and you take precautions and have the proper tools then by all means, drill it out. And if one ring is slightly off then spend another $5 and buy another one. I have made a living in the past from being a guitar tech and that's just my 2c. Just trying to help out.
     
  11. Will

    Will Member

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    Thank you all for your answers :BEER.

    I knew the tittle would take your attention :rolleyes:.

    John is right as always and I was about to do what franketcat said: breaking the ring and pull up the srew but I thought there could be another way to do it without harming it.....
     
  12. frankencat

    frankencat Lex Luthier Gold Supporting Member

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    Will, whatever you do go slow and easy and if you are not sure about what you are doing, take it to a tech. It's probably a 15 minute job for someone with the tools and the experience. Good luck :)
     
  13. Will

    Will Member

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    I´ll do so frankencat. I guess I can do it no problem.
     
  14. frankencat

    frankencat Lex Luthier Gold Supporting Member

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    BTW, if you are gonna drill it, use a bit that is slightly larger than the screw shaft like John said and just drill straight down into it. The head of the screw will pop right off. The problem on the neck ring is that you won't have a whole lot of screw to grab on to but it'll probably be ok. Use some blue low-tack masking tape or something to cover the immdiate area with before you start working. Did I say slow and easy?....
     
  15. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    Sorry, maybe I over reacted, but...

    I can't think of any way of doing this that wouldn't involve some risk of finish damage. You are always going to be working with cutting tools right against the finish.

    I didn't say use an extractor - just cleanly drill off the head of the screw. You can then grip the stump, which will still be sticking up above the surface even with a very thin pickup ring (the only exception might be a Firebird).

    I never have when doing this - and I mean not once. I won't say it couldn't happen, but if you're at all careful it's almost foolproof because the drill will stay in the damaged screw recess from the start and can't slip. I probably should have said to use a hand drill, though :).

    If you're not confident and capable of doing this correctly, you really shouldn't be anywhere near a guitar with tools... ;)

    But why destroy parts at all when the best solution doesn't involve doing so? There is absolutely no sense in using a more risky method and wasting parts. There's really no reason you should even need to change the first one, why force yourself to do even more unnecessary work to change another as well? Especially as on anything other than a brand new guitar it will usually be obvious that the parts aren't original (and it does matter to many people, even on non-vintage guitars).

    Like I said, no offense intended. I just honestly thought it was the worst possible way of doing the job and I would never advise anyone to do it like that.

    (edit: just read your follow-up... :cool: )
     
  16. Martian

    Martian Member

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    Get the hammer. If that doesn't work, get a bigger one.

    (Just kidding, of course.)
     
  17. indytruckboy

    indytruckboy Member

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    Well, that's it. The guitar is ruined. Better send it to me for proper disposal.;)
     
  18. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    Screw extractors work fine for me, but I already have a set. most people have a drill and a set of bits so that is the best solution. I've also used a Dremel to cut a slot and use a flatblade screwdriver to screw it out although The Dremel is very risky to use on a guitar as they are hard to control and will wreck any surface they touch accidentally. So don't use the Dremel unless you already have the experience of using one.
     
  19. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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    Drill and a trusty Easy-Out set.
     

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