Hard to remove back cover plate? - Here's a tip.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by The Robman, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. The Robman

    The Robman

    Jun 15, 2017
    Here's a little tip I thought I'd share. If you have a flush electronics cover on your guitar that's hard to get off, don't risk damaging the finish by using a screwdriver, instead get an eye hook and partially screw it in, then use it as a handle to life the cover.

    GoLeafsGo, DavC, TolerancEJ and 6 others like this.
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Beats the stick of dynamite and sledgehammer method I was using.
  3. The Robman

    The Robman

    Jun 15, 2017
    Yeah, that method probably affects the finish a little, plus it might throw off the intonation!
  4. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Great idea- I often use a bent paperclip inside the screw hole to lift it off. I've bought some used basses where sadly you can see someone did use a screwdriver to pry it off. Some of them are on really tight too. Once you do get it open, you can also put one of those post-it tabs on the inside of the cover (You may have to add additional tape to secure it on the plastic inside) and just have a little bit of the tab jut outside so next time you have to open it to change batteries (if it's inside the cavity), just use the tab to lift it after you remove the screws. If and when you sell the bass, just remove the tab altogether.
    Zane DeBord likes this.
  5. Fold tape over on itself, stick tape to cover plate, pull up
    ExaltBass, SactoBass, StayLow and 7 others like this.
  6. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    I have heard of some satisfactory results using magic...I forget where.
    Ghastly, SactoBass, Mr. Sound and 3 others like this.
  7. Try a small suction cup
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I keep a small suction cup for this purpose, and tape rarely works, unless it's just lying there, in which case just turning the instrument over would work.
    SactoBass, Hercules and Frontporch like this.
  9. Flippy


    Jun 9, 2017
    You won't believe how easy those plates are to get off with a little help of gravity. Flip the bass right-side up and the plate will pop off under a gentle touch
  10. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Some of those darn plates can be jammed in there really tight. For that I use a tiny awl to pry up the cover.

    Stick it in between the cover and the screw hole, on an angle. Lots of leverage to pry off even the most stubborn covers. Neither the cover, nor the screw hole in the guitar body is molested.

    Once removed, I sand down the edges of the cover until it goes back in easily.
    five7 likes this.
  11. The Robman

    The Robman

    Jun 15, 2017
    Some of them are on WAY too tight for that.
    Templar likes this.
  12. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    It's amazing how tight some covers are.....(visions of a factory assembly worker using a mallet to install)
    el_Bajo_Verde likes this.
  13. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    As I'm my own factory, I don't have this issue. A couple of minutes with a piece of sandpaper (sanding the edge of teh cover), you can make the thing fit nicely without being wedged in there.
    Gravedigger Dav likes this.
  14. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Metal back plates loosen more easily and don't shrink or gets swollen. You can shake and tap them out, because of their sheer weight. On basses which has an OUTPUT JACK on the top front (opposite side of the plate) I use any long screwdriver, put it gently through the output jack (don't mind any dents on the back/inside of the plate), avoiding the wires and pins inside, and then tap on the back plates other end ever so lightly, and off it goes.

    I even think you can yank it from the output jack on the side even, but it all depends on how thick the body is. It's one of the reasons I like this solution on active basses where the battery lid and plate is in the middle of the back plate. Problems with lifting the back plate off? open the battery lid and give it a pull...


    But as it is, the batteries gives a certain weight to the whole plate anyway, so turn on it, and off it goes...
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    el_Bajo_Verde likes this.
  15. WindyCityHawk

    WindyCityHawk Inactive

    Jun 17, 2017

    Quite possibly Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

    Gluvhand likes this.
  16. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Yes...I often do this dance with the bass to see if gravity would help get the cover off- if not then I resort to other means BUT never with a screwdriver.
  17. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Neat idea, but if you remove the other mounting screw first then you open up a whole raft of possibilities without having to resort to the hardware aisle. :laugh:
  18. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    My J Plus has a back plate that has to come off for battery replacement and to adjust a mid trim pot on the board. I’ve never messed with the mid trim but there have been plenty of battery changes.
    I’m lucky in that the tiny phillips screws go into brass inserts so i’ve never had any problem with screws or screw holes. A little #0 x 1.5 phillips lives in the case. Once i get the screws out i just drop the point of the screwdriver into one of the holes, tip the driver just enough to grab the hole in the back plate, then gently lift and it’s off.
  19. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Same here, read post 10.
  20. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Fingernails work for me.