How to fix a broken bridge screw? - Telecaster Guitar Forum
The Number 1 Fender Telecaster Guitar authority in the world.
   

Go Back   Telecaster Guitar Forum > The DIY Channel > Tele Home Depot
Forgot Username/Password? Join Us!
Notices

Tele Home Depot Building a T-Style guitar? From scratch or from parts. This is the forum for you.


Wilde Pickups by Bill & Becky Lawrence WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Amps, Mods, Pedals dallenpickups.com Warmoth.com seymourduncan.com


Forum Jump


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 23rd, 2013, 10:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
Tele-Holic
 
D_Schief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Age: 61
Posts: 822
How to fix a broken bridge screw?

Disclaimer: I have limited wood-working skills and limited tools.

I have a tele body that has one of the bridge screws broken off just below the surface of the body. The other three screws seem to do an adequate job of holding the bridge firmly in place, but I just feel like four working screws should just be "better." (Or maybe it's my anal-retentive nature that hates knowing that things ain't exactly right hidden there under the bridge!)

So I have a DeWalt 18volt battery powered drill. Can I drill out the screw with that without making a huge mess? What type of bit is required? It seems like if I can drill it out (or carefully chip away enough wood to get a firm grasp on the screw shaft with a pair of pliers) that I could then clear out a clean hole, glue a piece of a dowell rod and then sand it smoothly over, and re-drill the bridge screw hole. It will all get covered by the bridge in the end.

Which of these techniques (or what other approach) would you use? Or, would you just leave it alone and go with the three good screws?

D_Schief is offline   Reply With Quote

Old August 23rd, 2013, 10:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
Poster Extraordinaire
 
guitarbuilder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hemlock, NY
Age: 60
Posts: 9,436
You need to get a piece of tubing slightly larger than the diameter of the screw shank and file some teeth into it. Then put that into your drill and drill down around the screw. When you are even with the bottom, break off the plug and pull out the wood and screw. Then plug the hole and redrill for a new screw.

see post 2 in this thread.
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home...en-screws.html
guitarbuilder is offline   Reply With Quote

Old August 23rd, 2013, 11:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
Tele-Holic
 
D_Schief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Age: 61
Posts: 822
That seems like something I can do, so long as I don't really have to use a drill press and can just use the DeWalt.

Thanks!
D_Schief is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links   #
Sponsored posting
 

Old August 23rd, 2013, 11:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
Vizcaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Glen Head, NY
Age: 50
Posts: 3,112
Happens to the best of us. But don't go trying to dig holes around it for a pair of pliers. if the screw is thick enough and close enough to the surface, you could try to cut a slot in the broken shank with a cutoff wheel on a Dremel rotary tool in order to sort of create a slot-head on the screw to be removed with a very narrow screwdriver - but that's tool-intensive and can easily make a mess of the surrounding wood.

The tubing-extractor trick is the way to go here, especially because when you're done, it leaves a clean round hole that you can repair with a plug or a dowel.

Another tool-heavy option, but a "plug cutter" is preferable to a dowel since the plug cutter tool allows you to make your own plug that's better than a dowel in two respects: (1) face grain instead of long grain, and (2) you have some control over the species of scrap wood that you're using to cut the plugs from. Ideally a plug cutter is used with a drill press and a bandsaw to liberate the plugs from the scrap, but a hand drill and a screwdriver to pry them out works also. However for this application you might not want to use a tapered plug cutter (which are great for cosmetic repairs since they're really tight glue line at the surface, but aren't as good for a structural repair like this since a tapered plug can leave a gap hidden under the surface). Oh, and good luck finding a thin 3/16" plug cutter unless you get the pricey kit from Stew Mac. So what you're looking for is a 1/4" or 5/16" plug cutter (3/8 is starting to get pretty big) and a matching drill (bit) to size the hole after you're done with the tubing.
__________________
"Why don't you just make 10 louder, and make 10 be the top number, and make that a little louder?"
Vizcaster is offline   Reply With Quote

Old August 23rd, 2013, 12:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
Poster Extraordinaire
 
Ronkirn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Age: 67
Posts: 8,296
the root of the recurring problem is the screws that come with 'bout all hardware are made of a very poor grade steel assuming you were lucky enough to get screws that are actually made of steel...

What those of us that have grown tired of the repair Jack shows in the posted thread is to chunk the screws that come in the package, and get Stainless Steel screws to replace 'em.

the source for the SS screws: 'bout any large Hardware Store, or McMaster Carr...

Oh... If you're ordering from McMaster... they also can supply Stainless Steel tubing.... YOu can make the tool from it... advantages.... the drill chuck will not crush it... and its hard enough to stay sharp through the operation.

Ron Kirn
__________________
"The Further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." George Orwell


take a peek at my new offering....
http://ronkirn.com/blackie.htm
Ronkirn is offline   Reply With Quote

Old September 14th, 2013, 01:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
Bentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Kelowna B.C, Canada
Age: 17
Posts: 4,027
Yeah, copper tubing is what I could find, and I had to make about 4 drill tubes because they were too soft.
__________________
"Johnny says he's bound
By only six strings to this world"
Bentley is offline   Reply With Quote

Old September 14th, 2013, 02:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity
 
jefrs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Newbury, England
Age: 59
Posts: 13,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarbuilder View Post
You need to get a piece of tubing slightly larger than the diameter of the screw shank and file some teeth into it. Then put that into your drill and drill down around the screw. When you are even with the bottom, break off the plug and pull out the wood and screw. Then plug the hole and redrill for a new screw.

see post 2 in this thread.
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home...en-screws.html
^^^ This what to do.
Probably the only thing to do if you cannot grip the screw. If there is a little showing you might cut a screwdriver slot with a Dremel cutter, or you might get a pin chuck or a vise grip or an engineers clamp onto it.

Variations

1) use a 'cork borer' - usually a set of concentric sharpened tubes with tee handles to push and rotate them. They do not fit a drill.

2) old telescopic aerial - sharpen the end like the cork borer (spin the end against the bench grinder) cut a slot or two across it with a small knife swiss file. These tubes are not tough so use a wheel brace, a hand powered drill, not the electric hand drill. Like most ad-hoc tube hole borers, they seem to need re-sharpening several times with the file to get the job done.

Where I've had this happen in a wall, I've had to use a hammer and cold chisel to remove enough plaster and brick to get at the screw so I could pull it out, wall-plug and all, and then repair the damage with repair cement and filler-plaster, and start over again. Similar effort here except we want to limit the damage.
__________________
There's two kinds of people, those that hear the music and those that don't.
jefrs is offline   Reply With Quote

Old September 14th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity
 
jefrs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Newbury, England
Age: 59
Posts: 13,031
Option "do nothing" - leave it alone, is a serious option.

The bridge plate will not fall off.

The strings hold a tele bridge on, the screws just stop it wandering about. Buggering about with it can do more harm than good.
__________________
There's two kinds of people, those that hear the music and those that don't.
jefrs is offline   Reply With Quote

Old September 14th, 2013, 02:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity
 
jefrs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Newbury, England
Age: 59
Posts: 13,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Schief View Post
That seems like something I can do, so long as I don't really have to use a drill press and can just use the DeWalt.

Thanks!
You are probably best using a wheel brace because you can really feel where these are going with the best control.
__________________
There's two kinds of people, those that hear the music and those that don't.
jefrs is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


» Random Photo for Guests
04 Highway 1 Tele w/upgrades
Untitled Document



 


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2



IMPORTANT:Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult! No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2
© TDPRI.COM 1999 - 2014 All rights reserved.