Broken tuner screw head....

Zionplayer

Active member
Messages
28
While installing my new Schaller Minis, the head broke off the of the first screw. I figure I didn't drill deep enough into the hard maple headstock.

Pain in the ass...after waiting 6 weeks for the neck......................the other 5 went in fine...but...here is the problem...

How to exract the busted shaft.

The smallest easyout  Home Depot had was a #1....and it looks a bit too big to do the job.

Other than taking it to a local luthier, (I want to build and set this project up w/o his help)...............................................
....any ideas as to where to get a small easyout capable of doing the job or other advice will be very much appreciated.

Swallowing my pride, I thank you.
 

GoDrex

Senior member
Messages
3,619
I was going to suggest the same thing. I used vice grips to unscrew a stripped string tee screw once and it worked really well.
 

Zionplayer

Active member
Messages
28
Here is a photo

I don't think that enough shaft is available to grip both sides of the busted screw.

What do you think?

Thanks
 

simple

Senior member
Staff member
Messages
2,101
Drill the metal out with drill bit (for metal). Dowel the hole back up with wood and glue. Redrill the pilot hole.
 

chuck7

Senior member
Messages
319
hehe, thats better than my solution of welding a steel shaft onto the screw shaft and using that to turn it out of the hole!  I think thats only appropriate for removing large bolts from engine blocks.  Unless of course you want to try for the "relic cigarette burn marks on the head stock" look.  :)
 

Zionplayer

Active member
Messages
28
I took it to a friend that owns a machine shop and he did just that.
He put it on a precision drill press, and bored out the old shaft.
So precisely was the tolerance that another tuner screw actually fits in the hole with no further fuss...

Another lesson on my first build: Drill with the proper sized bit deep enough :sign13:

Very happy now...I can get back to putting this together :guitarplayer2:

Thanks to all for your ideas......
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
Gregg said:
Drill the metal out with drill bit (for metal). Dowel the hole back up with wood and glue. Redrill the pilot hole.

Let me please, amplify a bit here....

Easy outs don't work on guitars.  Screw extractors might work if you didn't break the head off - they're for bad slots on an intact screw.

You have a head broken off.  Harder, but not impossible to deal with.  Really, its fairly easy with the right approach.

Drilling out a broken screw that is lodged in wood, is nearly an impossible task for a hand held drill, or even for a drill press.  In fact, a standard drill bit of any type is an iffy affair.  The use of a heavy drill press, with precision table... or better yet a vertical mill - and in either case using whats known as a center drill for a bit.  Center drills are short bits, that have bodies about 3 or 4 times wider than the bit itself.  It will not wander.  If you have such equipment, I'll assume you're yawning, since you already know what to do with it.  Most of us don't have that type of equipment though.  Keep reading.....

All of this leads to a more simple solution, one that the average home guitar assembler can do.

What you do... is go on down to the closest hobby shop and get some small brass or better yet... steel tubing.  The diameter should be such that it just fits over the screw body.  Cut a length about an inch and a quarter long, and file v notches in one end.  They dont have to be precise saw blade notches, just sharp v's will do.  Use a triangle file.  Then chuck the tubing section into a HAND POWERED CRANK drill.  Place the tubing over the spot where the screw is broken, and turn the drill so the chuck spins in the direction of screw removal - counter clockwise (backwards from using a drill bit).  DO NOT USE A POWER DRILL.  Use light pressure, and just keep cranking.  Check the teeth and resharpen if needed...  Pretty soon the tube will have wormed its way over the metal screw.  Its a tube, and cannot wander.  And pretty soon the screw pops out!~  Then you plug the hole and redrill.  If the tube fit well, you'll never see the repair, as the new screws head (or the thing you're fastening with the screw) will cover the dowel part - a totally invisible repair.

That works, I've done it a few times when getting used guitars "for next to nothing" because they had problems.  It works REAL well too.  Just use a crank drill, not power.  If you use power, the tube will fold and you might have a bigger mess to deal with - like a gash in the wood.  Crank with minimal pressure and steady speed... it doesn't take long.
 
O

OzziePete

Guest
Wow, CB that fix you described above is very clever mate!  :hello2:

I was thinking along the lines of trying to solder a blob of metal onto the broken shaft, giving the pliers something to grip. Yours beats mine hands down!

I tip my hat to you. :headbang:
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
not my cleverness , it was shown to me by an old timer

but i've used it, and it works just fine
 

stubhead

Senior member
Messages
4,669
Tools.jpg


There's no reason to pay more than $10, mebbe $15 with shipping.... I love hand tools, a "pin drill" is another groovy one. Chisels & keyhole saws might not make woodworking TOTALLY fool-proof - there are some right powerful fools out there - but everything that goes wrong goes wrong slowly. The less you screw up, the less you have to go back and fix - or pay someone to fix - so who's saving time?  :cool01:

How many horsepower was Stradivarius's router again?  :dontknow:

Oh wait, Stradivarius had "apprentices".... will work for food....
 
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