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Removing Damaged Screws


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I'm trying to install new locking tuners in my parts strat. When i put the old tuners in I wasnt really paying attention and damaged the screw heads on a couple of them and may have also stripped them? Has anyone had this problem before? any tips on removing the screws?

I seem to recall seeing an infomercial for something that removes damaged screws but i have no idea what it was.

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One option is to try to grab the screw head with locking pliers and turn it out. But you probably can't get the pliers in there. If the head breaks off, you can remove the tuner and grab what's left of the screw with the pliers.

Otherwise, you need a screw extractor. Usually that means the spiral kind where you have to drill out the center of the screw first and then turn the screw out with the extractor. That won't work with screws that small. You need the type of extractor that digs into what's left of the screw head ... like this example :

Craftsman 7 pc. Drill-Out/Screw-Out Power Extractors

Sears item #00952157000 Mfr. model #720SR

(Not to endorse Sears or that product, but it's an example ... search on the web site ... the URL is ridicuously long so I didn't post it here.)

Another idea is to cut a slot in the screw head with a Dremel and try to turn it out with a slotted screwdriver.

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There's a few methods to do this. There's the way's above but before you try them, get a screwdriver that's a really good fit in the slot, make sure that you keep pressure straight down into the screwdriver and try it. Screwheads get striped because people use screwdrivers that just flap around in the slot. Make sure that you keep a lot of pressure on the screw to get it to go, be very careful not to slip and take a divot out of the guitar.

The other option is to solder a small bolt to the end of the screw, wait for it to cool and unbolt the whole lot. I'd wait to get a second opinion on this though, I've heard of it done but I've only done it on bolts, not screws in wood.

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