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Screwed by a broken neck screw?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BassChap, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. BassChap


    May 17, 2013
    I unscrewed the neck of my bolt-on Warwick Corvette Pro-line, a mid-90-ies Germany made axe, as I want to give it a clean-up/refinish job. Three of the screws came loose quite easily. The fourth one was very thight. Although I tried to pry it loose as gently as possible, the screw broke on me. :atoz:


    First question: what now? The groove plier springs to mind. However there might be other things to consider. Anyone?

    Then, an inspection of the body shows that the area around the screw had been glued with what looks like epoxy. See photos below. The epoxy has some thickness (just over half a mm) as can be seen on the second photo. Why would the previous owner (or his/her luthier) applied this glue? The neck did not come loose right after removing the screws because of the glue. Any insight or advise is appreciated.

    Cheers, BassChap.

    2014-02-28164410_zps40fedf53. 2014-02-28164450_zps25960377.
  2. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Mesa Engineering! Warwick-G&L-Source Audio Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    The screw was broken before you got it. Previous owner hid that fact by gluing both the neck to the body and the head of the screw back together. That sucks.
  3. If you can get some good locking pliers like vise-grips in Holland, I would say that's your best bet. Looks like there is enough metal to grab onto
  4. that would be my guess too
  5. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    If it seems like it may break when you try to turn it with locking pliers, (vise grips), you may get it out easier by heating it with a soldering iron. Be careful to not burn the wood. Use bees wax on the screws when reassembling.
  6. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    +1. Vise-Grips. Be sure to clean that epoxy lookin' stuff out of the neck pocket too. It looks pretty thick.
  7. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    You should be able to grab the end of that screw with a Vise-Grip (locking pliers).

    Grab the screw tightly, as low (close to the wood) as you can get.
    You don't want to allow it to slip; it could strip or crack off again.

    Once you have a VERY firm grasp on the screw remnant, rotate the Vise-Grip/pliers counterclockwise and the screw should spin out relatively easily.
    (Perpendicular pliers will exert much more torque than a screwdriver can)

    Once the screw remnant is out, scrape the glue residue out of the neck pocket.

    When that's done and you're ready to reassemble your bass, replace the screw with one that matches the 3 that are intact.
  8. That sucks bro I couldn't imagin that happening to me
  9. f64


    Oct 31, 2009
  10. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    See if you can use a screw extractor instead of vice grip pliers, if you are able to drill a small hole in the remainder of the screw, the extractor has a left hand thread and will bite into the screw and enable you to get it out with no further damage. Vice grips always stand a chance of chewing the protruding part of the screw into a mangled lump....you can google how to use the extractor properly.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Heat the heck out of it with the aforementioned soldering iron. +1 on the vise grips. You want the tension just tight enough to flatten the threads without crushing the body of the screw.

  12. What worries me is if the screw was originally loose, the previous owner epoxied it in rather than shimming it. It may not come out very easily.
  13. BassChap


    May 17, 2013
    Thanks for all answers, guys! You are right, I didn't get screwed by the screw, but by a previous owner! There is glue in the screw hole in the body as well, so the head was definitly glued in there. It staggered me how quickly the head came off...

    I'll look around for some locking pliers, I don't have these myself. However, I think a relative of mine might have them. I'll look into screw extractors as well. It must be a small one as the area to drill a hole in is quite limited.

    There is no epoxy visible around the screw end, so I think it wasn't glued in.

    I'll get back to report my progress later on.

    Cheers, BassChap
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Well, that may be good news but I'd still hit it with a soldering iron just the same.

  15. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Don't waste your time looking into a screw extractor. There is no way you are going to find one small enough to remove a screw that size, and even if you did, there is no way you would be able to drill a hole in the center of the screw.

    Vice Grips are your best bet, the epoxy shouldn't hurt you to bad, if you can get a good grip on them and can move it just a hair, the epoxy will have broken and you should be home free. The soldering iron tip was a very good one. If you happen to break the screw, you will need a hollow screw extractor, then you will need to dowel the hole. Its really not that big of a repair.

    Oh and just replace the screw when you get it out, the threaded inserts are completely unnecessary, and are very easy to screw up without a drill press.
  16. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    The screw threads should not engage the wood of the neck.

    They should pass through a clearance hole.

    Keep this in mind when you reassemble the bass. I had to shim the neck on a cheap fretless, and found that the factory holes were too small, causing the screws to engage the wood of the neck, which can result in the neck not seating to the body properly.
  17. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I'm assuming that you mean that the neck screw holes in the body should let the screw holes pass through them with out touching the sides?
  18. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    +1 on using a soldering iron first, then, while hot, clamp the vise-grips perpendicular (as prev mentioned), as low as possible, then turning counter-clockwise. It should come right out-
    I don't think that epoxy was used or the body wood would (?) still be attached- the glue is clean.
    It is a lesser glue, which is good in this case.
  19. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Another vote for heating it first, then put a death grip on it with your vise grips. Ease it out rather than trying to get it all in one push. Put some CCW pressure on the grips, then lightly tap down on the screw with a small soft mallet or deadblow hammer.

    It's possible the hole in the neck is punky and the screw is also glued in the neck.
  20. grisezd


    Oct 14, 2009
    P Town, I think you might have that backwards. Unless, of course, your bass has screw heads countersunk into the fingerboard!