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Broken tailpiece screws

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Persuader, Feb 7, 2001.


  1. Persuader

    Persuader

    Feb 7, 2001
    upstate,ny
    I've got my friend's Alembic Distillate and noticed that 2 of the 3 brass tailpiece screws are broken off! It is lifting away from the body with tension on the strings so i took them off, ? is; how would one extract the screw tips that are broken and down in the hole? Pretty small opening for a drill and "easyout"- i do that on big machinery!
     
  2. I would be perplexed with this type of situation also but I just found a good way to do it from another board.

    Take a short length of metal tubing, just larger than the screw diameter, and improvise a plug cutter. You can use brake line tubing, brass or copper tubing, or just about anything that you can chuck in a drill. The secret is to cut a very small slit down the side of the tube and flare the edge that leads into the cut if used like a screw. What you are doing is making a cutting surface that will take just a small bit of wood out. Now, carefully sink the tube over the screw while you are turning the drill. Back it out frequently to clear the shavings and you will soon have the screw isolated and be able to pull it out. The hole left behind can be easily filled with a hardwood plug and glue for retapping. Since it's under the bridge, it isn't seen.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Sounds like another good tip from Hambone.

    You very well may be able to drill out the stubs with a brad point bit if they are broken off below the surface far enough to prevent the bit from wandering. choose a bit that's as close to the hole in size as you can get (probably 1/8") and with a variable speed drill, or preferably with a drill press, carefully drill right on down till you don't get brass shavings. As Hambone pointed out, it's a simple matter to fill the the holes for retapping.

    Brad point bits are made for wood use but brass is soft enough that it really doesn't seem to hurt the bit.

    This wont work on a steel screw , of course.

    Pkr2
     
  4. Persuader

    Persuader

    Feb 7, 2001
    upstate,ny
    Thanks for the tips guys, i hadn't thought of either approach, but i did end up using a tried and true method we use here on the farm ( i'm a dairy farmer by trade ).Since the screws are soft brass, i took a small jeweler's screwdriver and chisled a slot in the top of the broken stub by hitting the screwdriver with my 16 oz " finishing nail" hammer- lightly of course!! When i had enough of a slot to catch the driver tip, i applied torque with thumb and finger whilst striking the driver- an impact driver of sorts. It started to turn out and i was elated but the slot kept grinding off so i had to keep making another one and finally got the longer ( easier ) piece out. The 2nd was deeper but came out easier- shorter? and i was getting better by this time. Threads in wood are intact so i think i'm ok....my thumb hurts from slipping it on the screwdriver for 1/2 an hour....ah,small price to pay!! Thanks again for the advice;i love this board having just come here from the Plexi Palace- since i have switched from guitar to bass..... my marshalls are on the shelf. Jim
     
  5. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    That's a slick trick , Persuader. I'll remember that one.


    Pkr2

     
  6. nice tip hambone, you must have also been a auto mechanic
     
  7. Gruffy, I will never claim the territory owned by real auto mechanics. They are a different breed. But, I designed, built, and raced my own stock cars for about 12 years, never really successfully. No longer though. My crowning achievement was an 8th place finish in the 1999 Georgia Asphalt Championships.

    Persuaders idea, as simple and effectie as it is, should only be considered in circumstances like the one described. The soft screw and hidden location really allowed this method to work. If you go banging into hard screws in critical locations, there isn't any end to the damage you can do.

    By the way Persuader, I'll file your idea back in my mind also. I like it too! :)
     
  8. i must say then hambone that is a great call, i will also keep the drill from bouncing around and beating the bass.