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HELP!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by McHack, Aug 16, 2004.


  1. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ok, I messed up & I'm not quite sure what to do about it.

    I was installing the tuning machines, on my brand new USACG neck, which came out lovely, BTW. Measured, aligned, looking good, finger tightend the bushings, & drilled out some pilot holes for the locking peg screws...

    One by one, I'm hand tightening the screws, & when I get to the last one, the unthinkable occurs. The head snaps off the screw, just millimeters above the surface of the wood.

    I removed the tuning machine to try & grip the remains of the screw w/ some needle nose pliers, to remove it. Insufficent grip, the pliers kept slipping off.

    So, I tried to drill it out, progress is painfully slow, & the drill bit keeps slipping off.

    So, in re-installed the tuner, hoping to be able to use its hole as a guide to keep the drill bit in position. I bailed on this, as i began to worry about damage to the tuner.

    SO, the remains of the screw is still in the neck. Just enough of it is sticking out, to keep the tuner in position. BUT, its not locked down.

    What're my options? I have only hand tools, so I'm thinking I need to take it to a luthier, so he can use a drill press to bore it out, & plug the hole. Or, is it ok to leave as is?

    Any/All input will be greatly appreciated.

    BTW, the neck install came out GREAT!
     
  2. Well I have 2 suggestions for you, if you have or can perhaps borrow a pair of vise-grip pliers, that might be able to grab it.
    The other thing to try is if you have or can borrow a dremel tool, with the smallest disk just cut a slot in the screw in order to make a channel for a flat head screwdriver. I would warn you that the dremel is more risky as if it bounces off, like they do, you risk messing up your nice new headstock.
    Good Luck,
    Dirk
     
  3. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    There's minimal screw material above the surface of the wood. The problem w/ the needle noses wasn't that I couldn't get enough pressure, it was that it kept slipping off, because there's that little area to grab.

    The dremel trick sounds intriguing, but I'm worried I'll end up scarring the back of the headstock doing it that way, just because there's that little screw poking out. It's pretty close to being flush w/ the surface of the wood.

    I'm thinking about drilling a 2nd hold, next to the screw, & trying to wiggle it out, & then filling the holes. This way, I could at least make sure the mistakes would be covered by the tuner.
     
  4. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    That is probably your best bet. I find it almost impossible to keep a drill centered on that little bit of metal to drill it out cleanly; usually makes a bigger mess than I started with (been there, done that). Use glued wooden pegs to fill the holes, not putty or anything like that.
     
  5. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    You could try (someone else's - maybe Hambone's?) method: make a small coring drill.

    Get a small piece of metal tubing (such as hydraulic, or maybe water line) that has an ID a little bigger than the screw shaft OD. Create at least one "tooth" by either using tin snips (snip, and then bend one side outwards) or a file (file away material until you have a groove followed by a sharpened edge).

    You now have a mini version of a hole saw. Chuck it in your drill, center it over the screw, and drill away until you have exposed enough screw to get some needle-nose vise grips firmly onto the screw to twist it out, or go all the way down the screw (but not too far!) and drop the screw out.

    You can follow up with a regular drill bit to clean up and to size for a wooden filler dowel.
     
  6. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ooooo, I like that idea... It'll leave me a clean hole to fill. Rather than make one, I wonder if such an animal exists at Lowe's or Home Depot.
     
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    If you have not tried the vice grips, you should at least give it a try. You will get significantly more grip with them and it is far less destructive than the alternatives.
     
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    +1
     
  9. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well, 3 votes for going w/ the needle nosed vice grips is a concensus in here... Looks like I'm headed to Lowes/HomeDepot on the way home.
     
  10. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    GAH, no luck... Not enough material left to grab...
     
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Too bad. I'd probably make the core drill, and use it just deep enough to get a sufficient hold on the screw with the vice grips. Don't forget to keep pulling out to clear the chips with the core drill.
     
  12. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Funny thing, I took it to my local Mr Wizard, that's exactly what he said. Since I had it there, I just said, "Do it".