Broken Tuner Screw Repair

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by TRexF16, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    I think most of the below is well known but there's one new twist that might be worth putting out for the group.
    I got a good deal on a Stagg Tele copy with a nice Bigsby clone off the local Craigslist, and part of the reason for the real low price was this crooked tuner.
    [​IMG]
    I got it home and pulled off the tuner and here's what I found:
    [​IMG]
    I knew I needed to make a miniature hole saw to get it out so I took some measurements. The largest outside diameter I could use and still have the repair hidden by the tuner was 3/16". I checked all my tubing and didn't have a good candidate so I headed down to the hardware store with a similar screw in my pocket to have a look-see. I was a little worried about the fact that all the available steel tubing was soft, and wanted something hardened to take a good cutting edge, then I hit on the idea of a roll pin. They are really hard spring steel, and a 5/32" x 1 1/2" roll pin looked perfect. The sample tuner screw just fit the inside diameter. I grabbed two of them for 40 cents each.
    [​IMG]
    They were thicker-walled than I'd have prefered but would work. First, I ground the most perfectly cylindrical end off square to take good teeth.
    [​IMG]
    Then used a thin cut off wheel in a Dremel to cut four teeth - I used the slot in the pin to get a leading edge on the first tooth. They don't show up well in the pic but each one has a slight negative rake. If I were to do this again I would first chuck the roll pin in a drill and hold it lightly against a spinning grinding wheel while spinning the pin with the drill, to get it closer to a perfect cylinder. Those with a lathe could take other approaches to the same end.
    [​IMG]
    I ran it in around the broken screw and there was a lesson learned here - it wanted to skate at first and that's how the chips got a little worse than before. Next time I will use an exacto to cut around the screw a little to make a hollow for the cutter to sit in so it can register on the protruding screw shank and not want to wander.
    [​IMG]
    Took some tweezers and plucked out the offending screw:
    [​IMG]
    Trimmed a bamboo chopstick to fit and glued it in.
    [​IMG]
    After drying I sliced it level and pared it with a chisel
    [​IMG]
    The tuner left a bad impression where it was tightened down with the nut on the opposite side, but the finish ended up being thick enough I was able to wet sand that down flat again at the end of the job. I flooded the area with CA and let it cure and shrink down, then scraped it flat.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The bare wood where I worsened the chip still showed through the color, so since there was a depression where the CA had shrunk into I drop filled that with amber lacquer I normally use for tinting necks. Once I build up enough I scraped level again, then wet sanded and polished the area, including those ugly dents.
    [​IMG]
    Then it was just a matter of positioning the tuner where it belonged and drilling for the screw.
    If you didn't know the story you'd never guess unless you pulled the tuner.
    [​IMG]
    I hope this helps somebody one of these days. Again, about the only thing new here was using the roll pin, and it was just as sharp after the job as before - I'm going to recut the teeth and actually put a lot of work into getting them really nice.
    Now I'm thinking somebody probably already markets these little mini hole saws ready made, but I haven't seen 'em.

    Cheers all,
    Rex
     
    Tervo and guitarbuilder like this.
  2. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well, done, Rex. Perfect execution of the technique. StewMac sells a kit with I think 2 different size little hole saws, but you made it look easy to just Dremel out your own.
     
  3. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Ha! Indeed, there it is. But at 25 bones just for the cutter, I think I'll stick with my own.
    Thanks for the point out though.
    http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...rs_and_Bits/Bits/Guitar_Screw_Rescue_Kit.html

    Rex

    EDIT: When I just looked at that kit I failed to note the alignment guide. Just noted it on a second look. Now that's the ticket and would have prevented my cutter from wandering when I tried to start the cut. I'm going to trick out my little cutter recutting the teeth and then make one of those guide too with some plexiglass. Thanks!
     
  4. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Thanks for the inspiration Rick, I just went down to the shop and knocked out a new cutter and one of those guider thingies like Stew Mac sells.
    I did the smoothing/rounding operation first before cutting the teeth to make sure the roll pin was cylindrical, then cut the teeth and made the guider thingy.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    And my guider thingy has cross hairs. Does Stew Mac's have cross hairs? Noooo. :)
    [​IMG]
    If Stew Mac puts cross hairs on their guider thingy in a month or two I'm calling my lawyer!
    Took maybe 20 minutes tops start to finish.
    Hope someone can use this tip.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
  5. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

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    Awesome. Cross hairs put it over the top. Nice repair.
     
  6. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Great job Rex..
     
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