Strap Button Screw Snapped Deep in Wood

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by primussucks9126, Sep 5, 2016.


  1. primussucks9126

    primussucks9126 Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    Bronx, NY
    Hey guys, don't know exactly how it happened, but my 4003's bottom strap button snapped off, and the piece in the wood is in there pretty deep.

    What's the best way to remove it so that I can get a new one in there?

    IMG_20160905_121241109_zps3n8njuzv.jpg

    IMG_20160905_121255052_zpsszhk6wuq.jpg
     
  2. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Oooh, that's a nasty thing to happen - especially to a Rick. I've never had to remove a screw broken off that deep in wood; I've always been able to use the "cut a slot in it & turn it", or the "Grab it with Vise Grips & turn it" methods. But, I have removed bolts in engine blocks & stuff, that were broken of pretty deep. How?
    1. Use a broken screw/bolt remover, which works by drilling a pilot hole in the thing; and then screwing the remover in. The remover bit has reverse threads, so screwing it into the broken bolt/screw will (hopefully) turn it out of the hole. Do they make them that small? I don't know; but I imagine someone like Stewart-MacDonald (www.stewmac.com) would have them if anybody does... Then, glue a hardwood dowel in the hole, and install a new strap pin.
    2. Very carefully drill the screw out, using progressively larger bits, until you get it all. Then, again; glue a hardwood dowel into the hole, and install a new strap pin.
    3. Take it to somebody who's done this kind of thing before, and let them figure it out. They'll probably have the right tool for the job, anyway.
    With care, the finish won't be boogered up any more than it is already. Good luck with whatever you decide...:thumbsup:
     
    steve66 likes this.
  3. steve66

    steve66

    Sep 17, 2005
    South Florida
    you maybe able to get some jb weld and try bonding another piece of metal to the broken screw and take it out
     
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    bassbrad likes this.
  5. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    If you have no experience with screw extractors, number 2 is your simplest option. Just get several sizes of good drill bits and get to work. Tape off the area around the hole to avoid the "Oh crap I slipped" blues. Once you get most of the broken screw out you can try collapsing it.
     
  6. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    I'm thinking that if you can get the stub cleanly out with a screw extractor without buggering up the threads, you may not need to dowel the hole. Rics use strap buttons with integral machine threads rather than wood screws. (You're probably aware that before Ric started installing strap locks, the strap button and the mute adjustment screw were the exact same part.)
     
  7. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    That's a job for a core drill (hollow screw extractor), like zooberwerx is recommending.

    Another thing you can do is use a small diameter drill bit, and drill a bunch of little holes around the outside of the broken off screw, letting the drill bit ride right down the side of the stub. Surround it with little holes, and it will loosen up enough that you can yank it out with needle nose pliers. Then clean up the ragged hole with a single larger drill bit of a standard dowel size. Glue in a slug of hardwood dowel and redrill.
     
  8. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Really? I didn't know that. Are you saying that it's a machine screw, threading into something metal, inset behind the wood?
     
  9. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    It's a machine screw, but it's threaded into hard maple. No metal insert. When I was rehabbing my '83 4003 it was missing a mute screw. I upgraded the strap buttons to the Schaller-made strap locks that Ric currently installs (also with integral machine screws) and used one of the original strap buttons to replace the missing mute screw.

    BOLT STRAP/4003 DAMPER MUTE CH
     
  10. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Oh, okay, so the repair process is the same. Ideally, you glue in a maple plug. If you want use the Ric part, drill and tap the plug for the right thread (10-24?). Or, you could use a standard strap button and a long sheet metal screw, drilling a pilot hole in the plug.
     
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  11. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I got a set of these not expecting them to be any good for the price but they worked perfectly the two times i've used them. In saying that, I used them on screws with stripped heads so not sure how they would go with your issue, but for a couple of dollars it's worth a go and you'll have them for when you've got a stripped screw in the future.
    s-l500.jpg
     
  12. primussucks9126

    primussucks9126 Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    Bronx, NY
    Welp. Got a new dilemma. While drilling out the screw, the bit snapped off inside (I've used a drill many times, so I wasn't being careless). Other bits don't seem to be able to penetrate through the one that's stuck
     
  13. Take a pic if you can.
     
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Now you really need a core drill.

    Riis
     
  15. And might need to be bigger than before.
     
  16. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    You're not going to be able to drill into a drill.
     
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