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How to remove stripped phillips head screw from strap button?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Digiplay, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not sure if this is the correct Forum to ask this question, but I'll post here, and if it's not, I'm confident it will be re-directed to the correct one :)


    A Tele I bought has Dunlop Straplock buttons, and the upper one is pretty loose.

    The previous owner got a little too aggressive when installing it (hard wood, he said :) ), and the head is stripped out pretty bad.


    No matter what size head I try, I can't get the screw loose, so any ideas?
     
  2. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Drill it out.
     
  3. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I agree drilling it out is the usual option, but one other thought if you want to avoid drilling it out. You *might* be able to hacksaw through the strap button itself just below the screw head. Then clamp a good, smaller pair of ViceGrips on the remaining exposed screw and unscrew it. It might be too close to the body to want to do this.
     
  4. milocj

    milocj Friend of Leo's

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    If you can drill the head off the screw you can then remove the strap button and should be able to turn the remaining portion out with Vise-Grips.
     
  5. clayfeat

    clayfeat Tele-Afflicted

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    Lay a wide rubber band on the stripped out head and try again with a screwdriver. Usually works for me.
     
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  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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  7. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    I thought of that, and whereas the strap button can be raised a little (hence why it's loose), I'd hate to scar up the body.
     
  8. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    That sounds interesting, as the head sits on top of the button inside the hole, so the drill bit will be too big to penetrate through the hole once the head is removed.
     
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  9. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Can you grip the screw head with pliers or something and slowly extract the screw? It'll be slow going and the screw may come out looking chewed up, but the screw sounds like a lost cause and it should be safe enough if you don't rush it.

    Maybe cover the relevant parts of the guitar with painter's tape or something just in case your hand slips.
     
  10. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Use an impact driver and push hard. Be careful not to come off the screw and push your driver and bit into your guitar though. Otherwise, you'll have to drill it out.
     
  11. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    No because the screw sits inside the strap button, and the hole is barely big enough for the screwdriver shaft to fit into, much less pliers SSS.
     
  12. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    if it's not totally boogered, a quality screwdriver helps. a SnapOn screwdriver will remove things that lesser tools will not. in fact, lesser tools can cause more damage. sometimes a dab of lapping compound will provide enough extra grip. my next choice is a left handed drill bit. if the fastener is loose enough, at some point the drill will stick and the fastener will back out. if that doesn't do it, drill off the head. the bit only needs to be slightly larger than the shaft of the fastener. 45 years as an aircraft mechanic... I've dealt with a few
     
  13. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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  14. tvas22

    tvas22 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Along with the rubber band trick, I have also had luck with a similar approach with tinfoil. Just bunch a little up, get it compacted and firm, place over the screw head and put a lot of pressure on when you're unscrewing. The foil packs in where the screw has stripped and sometimes that can do the trick.
     
  15. fleezinator

    fleezinator TDPRI Member

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    One end of the extractor is used to ream out the remaining bits of the phillips head grooves. The result is a smooth surface. The extractor is then flipped and it's this end that has teeth that bites into newly smoothed surface to pull the screw out.

    If you're able to reach in there with a regular bit, this shouldn't be any different.
     
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  16. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    If you are not concerned about the strap button, a dremel with a cutoff wheel would be safe/controllable near the guitar. Better control than a hack saw.

    Drilling the head off the screw could save the button.

    If there is any phillips groove left, you may be able to improve the groove by tapping a phillips head driver with a hammer. (Take it easy.) Also tapping it while trying to unscrew it.
    As others have said... rubber band, aluminum, steel wool, duct tape, etc. can help make better contact.
     
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  17. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    one thing that's worked for me with other stripped screws when things like rubber bands or whatever fail is to use a center punch. you first deform a slot in the metal all the way to the edge, then you start hitting with the punch on that edge in a counter-clockwise rotary manner until it unscrews you can unscrew the rest by hand.

    flathead, but the same general idea applies to philips and spring loaded punches.



    only thing is, i'm not sure whether the force would transfer through and crack the finish, never done it on a guitar.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  18. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    Cut straight across the head nice and deep and take it out with a flat headed screwdriver.
     
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  19. 61fury

    61fury Friend of Leo's

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    Agreed, you saved me some time with my much less concise attempt.
     
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