Rusted, stripped and stuck set screw.....

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Pandastylebass, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. Pandastylebass

    Pandastylebass The Moon Machine

    May 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    I recently got a used bass and for the first time in many years of modding, I have run into a stuck set screw in the volume knob on a p bass.
    Some details
    It's a flathead set screw
    I have tried the following (which have not worked)
    Soaked it in rust busting spray and cleaned all rust out
    Different size screwdriver bits
    nothing has worked, now the screw is pretty stripped but I so getting a grip on it is tough.

    Is my next step drilling out the screw?
    Anyone have any magic that I don't know of.

    **I know heat is another good option but I do not want to melt the pickguard
  2. mech

    mech In Memoriam

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    I've used a left hand twist drill the size of the hole. Since the drill will be running "backwards" there's a good chance the cutting edges will catch the screw and back it out. Have two people. One to hold the knob with a GOOD pair of pliers or vice grips and one to have two hands on the drill. Low speed with moderate pressure and it's very important to not drill at an angle. PG on or off the bass is your choice but I would have the PG off. Easier to replace a PG than fix a scarred body.
    Doctor_Clock likes this.
  3. We use this stuff at my shop all day long. It almost always works. (Miltec)

    Put a drop or two down into the recess on the knob where the screw is and turn the knob so it is "up" and the fluid stays in the hole, with the screw under the droplets.

    Let it stand at least overnight and come back in the morning with a screwdriver that bites well, or as best as you can in the slot.

    I'll bet it comes free.
    Doctor_Clock likes this.
  4. Pandastylebass

    Pandastylebass The Moon Machine

    May 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Going to give it a try!!
  5. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    If you have a small point tip for your soldering iron you could put it against the screw and get it hot to see if you could break it free.
    Unless you are trying to save everything but the setscrew, why not just break out the dremel and a cutoff wheel and cut the knob off? Tape up the guard real good in case of a slip, then just start taking off sections off the knob until you can pull the remains off the pot shaft.
    Gt6s likes this.
  6. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    If you have a soldering iron try what fhm said.

    Except the part about cutting the pot shaft. That's a lil extreme at this time, imho.
  7. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Sometimes you just have to pick your battles. If you have the tools to do so, it’s probably more cost effective to cut off the knob. A new pot + knob should cost < $10, and the Miltec is about $14. However, the Miltec might be handy to have around. Anyway, just offering a different point of view.
  8. Cut the side where the screw is located.

  9. Pandastylebass

    Pandastylebass The Moon Machine

    May 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    First I tried the soldering iron and it did not work.
    Then I tried Miltec and it also did not work.
    So my next try was taping up the bass with masking tape vice gripping the knob and trying to drill the screw out. This took about an hour, I was trying to be careful and finally, I was able to get the knob off.
    Thank you all for your help!
    mech likes this.