Serious Quality Issues with Warmoth String Trees (I think)

alexreinhold

Senior member
Messages
473
After having issues with string buzz, I decided string trees might be best (Sperzel staggered were just not enough in my case). I had two Warmoth string trees at home, so I decided to "simply" install them today. Things I did:

- drill into scrap piece of wood first to verify sizing
- loosen the tension of strings to absolut minimum
- drill into headstock and put in the screw (I put the screw in gently, steadily and straight - no force, angle whatsoever)

Here's the result:

IMG-20220430-122753.jpg


IMG-20220430-122722.jpg


Good: I just ordered overhanging Göldo string trees so the cosmetic error will be covered.

Bad: Given that I've had a streak of problems like this lately, I am seriously losing confidence in my touch for building guitars. Is there anything I could have done to avoid something like this or is this just horrific quality that Warmoth sent?
 

teleme01

Senior member
Messages
366
you had a problem and worked towards fixing it,  had a hickup and i believe you will fix it too,  the hardest part im guessing will be getting the broken piece out.  so to answer your question about abilities to build, you are a builder, you do what builders do.
 

ragamuffin

Senior member
Messages
913
Ouch! Waxing the screw and/or drilling a slightly larger hole *might* have helped prevent this, but it's hard to say for sure.
 

alexreinhold

Senior member
Messages
473
At this stage, I've drilled and screwed a lot on bodies and necks. This is a first. I'm wondering, would it be legit to claim that

a) the screw provided by Warmoth was subpar
b) this was mostly bad luck
c) I could have done stuff better (e.g. waxing the screw)

Or is it a combination? Honestly, when this happened, I just wanted to scream in anger...

Getting the screw end out is impossible I'm afraid. I really don't see how...
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,233
I've gotten screws like that out.  You do have to enlarge the hole a bit at the top to get a tool on it (in my case jeweller's pliers) but if you are careful and re-use the same hole, no one will be the wiser.

Not sayin' this is easy mind you.  But it's doable.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,217
You should pre thread the holes and wax the screws, at least waxing them should be standard procedure.

Though this may be of help to you, because sometimes despite all caution s**t sometimes happens. Here is a couple of posts from a pre pandemic build where it happened to me but with a drill bit. A similar fix will apply for a broken off screw.

https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=30781.msg437654#msg437654

https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=30781.msg439912#msg439912




 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,591
They are right.  Not sure if it’s a W issue per se as they don’t make them.  Fasteners as a whole have become of crap quality.  Using whatever is the cheapest blend to arrive at something that could be called a metal screw. 

Mayfly and Stratamania gave some good links. 
And I agree , always wax first.  In no wax, then at least some bar soap.
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,323
Not from warmoth but I had some screws bought from another reputable guitar part supplier and the heads stripped like they were made of wax.  I'm guessing qc is not the same in China since covid.  My work around is to get extra screws and be ginger.

they have kits for removing little screws

I'll say, never had a problem with Hipshot screws.  I think they are made in Korea.
 

alexreinhold

Senior member
Messages
473
Right now on my way to climb Mount Olympus in Greece. Back on Wednesday and will try all your advice then. If nothing works, I'll just cover the glitch with the new overhang string tree (should be 100% covering).

In the meantime, I'll tell Zeus that the Warmoth community says hi.
 

DuckBaloo

Senior member
Messages
282
Spud said:
You can thank Zinc.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1iCZpFMYd0[/youtube]

For the OP, wax is a "must do". Wasn't this neck wenge? The harder the wood, the more I treat it like metal, drilling larger the pilot holes and possibly tap out (in?) some threads.
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
Spud said:
You can thank Zinc.

I suppose someone somewhere makes a zinc screw, I don't think I've ever seen one.

What's confusing me, is I can only find one string tree on the W site hardware pages, and it looks nothing like Alex's ..

Strange, and he has a plan that covers adequately, so all's well, right?
 
C

Cowbell Fever!

Guest
Sadie-f said:
Spud said:
You can thank Zinc.

I suppose someone somewhere makes a zinc screw, I don't think I've ever seen one.

What's confusing me, is I can only find one string tree on the W site hardware pages, and it looks nothing like Alex's ..

Zinc is a large component of cheap pot metal, and is commonly used in making cheap zinc alloy screws which can be made strong, but more and more they are not. Never said 100% zinc.

The broken screw can be reamed out or grabbed as MaFly suggests with a small "vise grip" style pliers and worked out. The hole will have to be made slightly larger however. It is FIXABLE

Strange, and he has a plan that covers adequately, so all's well, right?
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,233
Hey!  I forgot about the brass tubing trick!  You take some brass tubing that just fits over the screw threads, cut a notch on the end with a file, then use that in a hand drill in the spot where the broken off screw is.  Takes it right out. 

Then you gotta fill and re-drill. 
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
Spud said:
Zinc is a large component of cheap pot metal, and is commonly used in making cheap zinc alloy screws which can be made strong, but more and more they are not. Never said 100% zinc.

Thanks spud, not really needing a lesson in die casting alloys, my day job has been centered on material science for several decades.

To reiterate, I've never heard of a die cast screw, it would be an odd choice, as less expensive tooling can be used to form screws from bar stock extremely fast. The common problem for a long time now is that below-spec fasteners are everywhere, not all bar stock, or forming methods are created equal.


Alex, I'm sure you haven't lost your guitar mojo, stuff that breaks is how we get better.

 

alexreinhold

Senior member
Messages
473
rick2 said:
So … what’s mount olympus like.  Did you see Zeus?

Super nice - really needed the nature breakout - but couldn't say hi to Zeus because the last kilometer was too dangerous due to the snow conditions. Though I did hike up with 4 Russians and made friends which is unfortunately special in this time and age.

@Mayfly thanks for the tip, I'll gently try both of your ideas. Will let you know.

@Sadie the string tree is definitely from Warmoth but they don't seem to sell it anymore. Got it around 1 year ago. Also, I'm not depressed about it anymore. Was just super pissed off in the very first moment. Thanks for the encouragement!

@Spud you need to chill a bit. People here have always been respectful and helping each other out. By now I've seen you in fights with Stratamania (one of the most senior, kind and helpful people in the entire community), Sadie (who is always respectful, super nice and truly knows her stuff) and even BroccoliRob got slightly triggered. You're a great guy and I really like your craft, but a little less alpha-attitude would do you good ;)
 

Sadie-f

Senior member
Messages
427
Alex, that sounds absolutely magical! Glad you got to do that. Also that ya made friends with some Russian folks, that's super cool.

I've rubbed elbows with some Russian mountaineers, my advice is be wary, but only because they're prone to thinking -40 is warm ;-).
 

alexreinhold

Senior member
Messages
473
Yeah, they were heavily ridiculously underequipped but still made it all the way - they're one of a kind  :icon_biggrin:
 
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