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Broken Screw.


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my friend was replacing his straplocks and as he was unscrewing the screw it broke off, so it's stuck in the body right now. What would be the best way of getting this out?

-Jamie :D

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Your chances of actually drilling the screw out is pretty much impossible, they're simply to small and will probably work harden assuming you actually get the drill to start it.

What I've done in the past is get a piece of brass tubing, I think 5/32ID will work, you can cut some really small teeth on the end with a dremel. Put it in a drill (you'll need to put a solid rod in the end where it will go into the drill or you'll crush it) and then place it over teh end of the broken screw and start drilling, this will cut out a plug, then remove teh plug with the screw in it, put in a dowel of the appropriate size, and redrill.

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There are bits called easy-outs.....Most hardware stores should have them....They require being able to drill a tiny dimple into the broken end of the screw. It may be difficult finding one small enough though. Stew-Mac has a small set of screw extactors you may want to check into....I have a set, and I broke the teeth off of the smallest one the first time I used it. I haven't used the larger ones in the set. I know other companies make extractors, but for 1 screw, it may not be cost effective.

BTW......GLUE WON'T WORK!!!!

LGM and Kevan's ideas are most likely your best bet, if you can't get the screw extractors.

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An easy out will ONLY work if you can drill a hole to put it in first, and on a strap button screw where the shank is only 1/8" you will never get a hole drilled in it, that's also the problem for Kev's idea, it works ok on bigger diameter screws but you probably won't be able to grind a slot in it. If it's broken off flush with the body you'll end up cutting into the body more than the screw itself as well.

I've had this battle many times LOL

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Where can you get an easy-out without mail-ordering ? I went to home depot to see if they had any, and they didn't.

Maybe the auto parts place.

I want to try it on a broken locking nut screw in the neck (that's what you get when you let customers trade you some parts toward the work you do for them )

I've also used the toothed brass tube. Be very careful. the thing will want to walk all over, instead of going in right on target like a pointed tip drill bit does, assuming you'll try it with a hand drill. Drill press is safer for that, with the body clamped.

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Soapbar,

If there is a problem with the brass tube wandering (which I've never had an issue with when going over an existing screw) you can take it and place it on the body, and hit the other end with a hammer, this will leave a groove in the body that it will start spinning in, then it won't be wandering all over on you :D

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An easy out will ONLY work if you can drill a hole to put it in first

Did I not say that you may have trouble finding one small enough? Why do I bother?.....BTW.....If one looks hard enough through some of the industrial suppliers of tooling, there is a plug cutter, which has been described in the previous posts, as a shop-made remedy, that won't drift and give you a clean bore......

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Regarding my method:

- If the screw shaft is extending past the body edge, then you shouldn't have a problem with either a Dremel or a file.

- If the screw shaft is flush with the body (or inset a little bit), then you could try a chisel. You'll need to etch a center line, and then be VERY careful when you chisel. Take your time, do a little bit on each pass, and you should be able to get a deep enough track to get a driver in there.

- If you have a chisel that's approx. the same width as the screw shaft, then you *could* use the chisel 'direct' and cut out a slot by going in the same direction as the screw is going. Use the hammer and chisel to punch it straight on, cutting out small chunks at a time, until you have enough material gone to get a driver bit in there.

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An easy out will ONLY work if you can drill a hole to put it in first

Did I not say that you may have trouble finding one small enough? Why do I bother?.....BTW.....If one looks hard enough through some of the industrial suppliers of tooling, there is a plug cutter, which has been described in the previous posts, as a shop-made remedy, that won't drift and give you a clean bore......

dude, chill out, if you had quoted the whole line you'd have seen that I said on a shank that is only 1/8" you will not be able to drill a hole. I never disputed that you said you might have trouble finding one small enough.

So why do you bother? Because you're trying to be helpful, just like the rest of us.

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Solder won't be a strong enough bond either even if you could get it to solder together. There's a couple problems, first, the wood is such a huge heat sink that you'll end up charring the wood trying to get the screw hot enough to get a solder bond. But try breaking a piece of solder with your hands, it's not very hard to pull the solder apart is it, that's your weak link.

I'm not saying this to be negative, only saying it because in my 27 years of life, I've tried these thing every which way, now I stick to those that I know work, if you had access to an EDM machine you could get rid of it, but a $100,000 machine to remove a screw is hardly worth it :D

Of course, you could always just grind the screw flush to the body, and drill a new hole just above it and put a new screw in B)

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I'm gonna have to go with LGM on this one. Solder= waste of time. It's just plain not strong enough.

And to show that no one escapes my wrath:

Of course, you could always just grind the screw flush to the body, and drill a new hole just above it and put a new screw in :D

Yeah, but if the screw's not flush with the body (i.e. extended past the body) you could:

1. Use a pair of vise-grips to clamp on to the broken end and 'unscrew' it.

2. Use my 'make a notch' method and unscrew it.

B)

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When I have screws break off, they usually break off about a 64th below the surface.

I'm going to try to find a 1/16" reverse drill bit, because I've never tried it. If I can just get a center punch to put a nice little dot on the broken screw shaft I have a chance.

I also know the solder method won't work, at least for being able to turn the screw out, but you could make a lightning rod sticking out of the end of the guitar like that EVH photo in another recent thread.

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