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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. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Didn't read the thread completely...

    If you have to ask this question on TDPRI and the guitar was worth anything did anyone suggest "take it to a tech who knows what they're doing?"

    I have been using a Dremel to extract screws forever, I cut flathead slots in stripped screws pretty regularly on more utilitarian stuff. And yet for my > $1000 guitar I would probably still take it to a tech. I've taken stuff to a local tech who could do this in his sleep, and even if he hit that 1 in 1000 chance for him where he'd screw it up, he'd have no problem repairing the body or finish if he screwed it up. Worth the cost!
     
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  2. Southboundsuarez

    Southboundsuarez TDPRI Member

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    I say that I must concur with the anticlockwise left handed drill bits. They must rank way up there with sliced bread!
    I never understood how the heck they got away with calling the screw extractor type of tool an "Easy Out" ? That is the biggest oxymoron I have ever heard! There is nothing easy about using an easy out. I can rarely think of a time ever that I have had a screw that was stuck enough to break off or strip out that could successfully be removed using an "Easy Out". If it is stuck enough to strip the head, the Easy Out is likely "not" as in easy not going to work. Even adding to the aggravation is that the brittle hardened tool is often at risk of breaking off and further putting you into bind!
    The reverse drill bits are an awesome thing and the only tool that I have had multiple successful results! My tip is to absolutely center the bit. I you can use a spring loaded center punch to help center the the bit all the better! Go slow and consistient with the bit speed and keep a steady firm hand. I wish they made a reverse on a drill press! Common cordless hand drill is the usual machine for this operation. It seems counter intuitive but go ahead and use cutting fluid if you have it. Once the bit gets a good bite and grabs, you can power off the drill and turn to whole drill motor by hand as the body of the drill motor provides a great amount of leverage. TAKE YOUR TIME! IF YOU FEEL FRUSTRATED ,,, S T O P & REGROUP!

    I have had problems with those Dunlop Straplock screws before. It seemed as if the used the cheapest mildest and softest wood screws for their strap buttons. However, always liked their strap system and the longer but otherwise normal strap button. I have installed them in almost every guitar I owned. I finally figured out why I had problems getting the screws to fully seat before stripping the heads. It is because the screw is a great deal longer and better guitars are built of harder tone woods. You must drill a deeper pilot hole for the longer screw! My older guitars all had chewed up phillips heads if you ever looked at the screws in the bottom of the strap buttons. My newer guitars no longer have that issue. I drill the hole deeper with an undersized pilot bit and I use a real screwdriver with a proper #2 phillips bit!

    Btw..... What do you get when mixing vodka and o.j.? I believe that is called a Screwdriver for you to enjoy after you complete your install!

    Now what do you get when you combine Milk of Magnesia with your vodka and orange juice?
    That is a Phillips Screwdriver and is useful to manage the ulcer caused from the stress and frustration of using a screw extractor or easy out
    !
     
  3. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    1) No, no one did, but no one's at fault for that, as EVERYONE involved has sincerely tried to help me.
    2) Kind of late to look back now, wouldn't you say beninma? :)


    Thanks!
    Jerry
     
  4. Southboundsuarez

    Southboundsuarez TDPRI Member

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    Yes the button is much deeper than a regular strap button.
    That also makes it difficult to use a spring driven impact driver and bit.
     
  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Flat: 7123 Diamond Wheel. Use the end of it. Go slowly to make the flat surface.

    Vee: "grinding" was the wrong term, technically. You just need anything sharp that makes a guide vee, just to get your hole started on track.

    If the flat grinding is going well, and you feel confident, then just do that deeply enough so that you create enough of a tunnel to guide a drill bit on center. You need probably 1/8" depth minimum, but 1/4" would be even better. Like I said, though, go slowly. You will heat up the metal and burn the wood.

    And just to reiterate, this is just how I would do it, on my own guitar, or someone else's, on which I was expected to do a professional job that was practically invisible. In your case, I simply recommend leaving the screw in place and making a new hole slightly over from it. Easy, quick, free, works.

    In response to your last paragraph, that is exactly what I’m saying to do…but you need to come up with a way to get the bit started down the right path. That’s not going to happen with the broken off end of the screw looking like it does. It needs to be flattened, and divoted. Or just ground down far enough that a drillbit will be guided by the wood. I mentioned this earlier in this post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  6. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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  7. Southboundsuarez

    Southboundsuarez TDPRI Member

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    I dunno, call me a big dummy...As I many times will set aside common sense for macho pride,,,, but I would refuse to pay someone else to do something so as simple as turning a screwdriver, thousand dollar guitar or not...... I have no problem turning wrenches on my ol' lady's 42 thousand dollar automobile too!
    Then again I always say that my own ignorance is blissful!
    Actually, it is much prudent advice to hire a pro. Often you get what you pay for, and peace of mind is often a very nice luxurious thing to experience!
    Just be sure to comparison shop because like many trades not all mechanics are equal.
    I wholeheartedly respect hiring the pro. I myself just cant force myself to pay another to do what I may believe to be within or close to my own capability.
    Of course those damn DIY videos make it all look so damn easy! Tim the tool man Taylor take heed! Go drink another phillips screwdriver!
     
  8. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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  9. mtglick

    mtglick TDPRI Member

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    Been there many times myself, usually with those stupid headstock screws that maple necks love to eat.

    This will absolutely solve the problem--if it's roadworn anyway, might not be much of an issue to cover the surgery site. If you go carefully, you can freehand this with a power drill in 5 mins and be glued up in less than 30. Dry, sand, paint, drill, install. Put a felt dot under your button (or upgrade to a straplock) if you don't quite get it right.

    However---if you're still looking to back that screw out, and none of the other very fine options above appeal, there's another path I've used. Go buy a very thin (1/16" or so), cheap steel drill bit and some JB weld (or Kwiksteel, etc). Drill down into the center of the screw, around about 1/4" or so. Put the bit into a pair of pliers and bend it at about a 30-45 degree angle (more and it will certainly break, but given the relatively thin bit, you should be able to put a kink in it--that's all you really need. Apply a bit of JB weld to the tip of the bit and insert into the hole--enough that there's a little squeeze out. Let it cure. Then, using the bent bit and a pair of pliers positioned over both "legs" of the bend, slowly back the screw out. The first 1/8 of a turn must be done consistently and without twisting the bit using just the bent end--the bend is there to give the pliers something to grab onto, and to reduce the torque so the screw has a chance to move before the JB Weld gives way. Sometimes it helps to put a little lateral pressure on the bit, to make sure that it doesn't back out of the glue. Once it's moving, you're good to go.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    I also just saw the picture, yikes that's a deep one! Those spiral screw removers might not work, so I'd say either cut your losses and just drill a new hole for a new strap button, or drill out a plug then gently hammer in a dowel (with glue) to refresh the correct location for a new screw. It would be the same technique for when the hole is stripped, videos and info galore on youtube!

    Good luck!
     
  11. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry to hear about the bad luck. If I understand where things are now, this is the best way to recover.

    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/...MI-qGxq8qK7QIVJRh9Ch1Rug4WEAQYASABEgLlxfD_BwE

    You drill around the broken screw, remove it, and plug the hole with a dowel. I don't recall if your guitar is Alder or Ash or something else, but you can get plug cutters and cut a plug out of the same type of wood as your body (if you have access to that type wood). End grain is fine in the location where you screw is. Then drill a hole for a new screw. Your new strap button will likely cover up the boo boo.
     
  12. Fretts

    Fretts TDPRI Member

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    I can offer up this suggestion: Using a left-handed drill bit, you can sometimes get the screw partially or all the way out. At some point, the drill bit will bite into the metal and start to apply torque. Often, that will be enough to start unseating the screw. If it comes all the way out, great; job done. If it comes part way out, you can grab the head with pliers of vice-grips. If it doesn't come out at all, and you just have a hole, then buy a small screw extractor and twist it out.
     
  13. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    plug cutter.. Luxury...(said with a Yorkshire accent)...:lol:

    I dug this tuner screw out with a nail that I hammered the tip into a fine blade and hammered it down beside the screw to break the thread connections....it fought all the way..
    I kept the divot inside the old tuner depression, replugged /sanded and screwed the tuner back on.... you'd never know if you never took the tuner off...

    good enough for the bush...:D

    tuner screws3.JPG
     
  14. Southboundsuarez

    Southboundsuarez TDPRI Member

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    Looking at the update and the picture it appears that we have several obstacles to overcome here.
    First off it does appear that the strap button had at some point crushed itself deeper than the surface of the finish. As it appears that way from the indentation pictured in the photo. So the remaining shank of the screw is likely and actually deeper than finish it is actually below the depth of the indented cratered wood.
    As the area is cratered, it makes it difficult to simply drill a pilot and drive a new screw off axis and right up to the edge of the old screw because the new strap button wont center into the indentation...... UNLESS the replacement button is larger diameter to sit flat over the top of the indentation. If this is possible, this would be the best simple DIY solution.....
    Unrealistically the most wishful thing would be to back that remaining threaded screw shaft out without digging out or chewing up the surrounding wood. This is very likely not going to happen to some extent, even for the most patient and meticulous craftsman is going to somehow going chew up the surrounding wood.
    I just dont see how the heck anyone could safely cut a horizontal slot in the remaining broken screw shaft below surface. First off the diameter of the shaft is too thin. Remember this is a tapered very coarse cut threaded shaft. the way that the threads are fluted makes for a very small diameter of actual solid metal material that would be solid enough to cut a significant slot. Cutting that slot is going to be below the surface. You would need a rotory cutter wheel of smaller diameter than the indentation but would be impossible to likely cut deep enough perpendicular due to enough clearance without rubbing the shaft against the sides of the outside surrounding body. You would be cutting at an angle not to mention just one slight slip and more disaster. It just cant be done without slicing wood.
    MY WISHFUL remedy would be to go at it with the reverse drillbit and extract the remaining screw that way.... However results are going to likely be less than what might be idealized. for any type of extractor it is always crucial that the bit is absolute centered and cutting the solid metal of the screw shaft. First with the top of the screw broken off it will be impossible to center the bit without it walking off the top of the irregular broken metal screw shaft. Again the diameter of actual center shaft is small and precise. The threads or the flutes of the screw are much broader a target but any type of extractor off of center axis and beyond or outside the solid center of that screw shaft is going to be digging and gouging into the wood and making a better stuck and more possibilty of breaking off and making a tougher more problematic mess. To drill precise center could with extreme care possibly be done if one has machinist type skills but it requires methodical precision to accomplish. You would first require you to fly cut or grind the top of that broken screw flat. Remember the screw is sub surface , so that is going to mean the some wood is going to be removed around that screw. You can afford only to lose as much wood as can be hidden under the strap button. Now that it is flat you need to center punch perfectly into the center of the screw shaft. My extraction tool would be that reverse drill bit. I would start drilling into the center of that remaining screw and with great amount of luck maybe the bit would grab and screw would back out before the bit began to wonder off axis and outside of the center or broke off. Breaking off or wondering off center is likely to happen first. What ends up turning into a gouged out mess as you maul all around the surrounding area of wood. The Tappered inclined plane of that screw with its vast area anchored into the wood is likely to withstand the forces exterted by small enough diameter extraction tool . A wood screw has much greater area than a machine screw... You likely end up gouging all around the outside of that screw trying to get enough grab to twist it out with pliers ,vise grips, whatever.... It will result in amateur look what they did here type of looks...
    The most professional way is to bite the bullet and use the plug cutter. If you can buy one smaller, you are all the better.
    I certainly would not settle on a .25" hole ..... If I couldnt source a plug cutter smaller, I would make my own tooling as mentioned earlier a piece of metal tubing sharpened with teeth cut into the end. However I would look to something such as steel. I dont have faith in something as soft as K+S hobby brass or aluminum tubing.... Of course practice with the tool on scrap. Remember that this thing isnt going to want to cut straight as soon as it touches the surface its going to grip and want to run off without it having a center pilot bit.
    Plug cut that screw out and glue in a new plug of the proper diameter made from hardwood dowel. Bonus points if you slightly taper the dowel and can tap into the body, lubricate it with some fish glue or titebond and tap it into the hole for a tight interference fit. flush cut it and drill a pilot for the screw and replace the strap button..... everything is golden .

    It appears that I am not the only person to install Dunlop straplocks and have the screwhead utterly strip out before the strap button fully seats into the the wood and the button now becomes a straplock swivel. Again I mention that deeper pilot holes must be predrilled before screwing in the smaller longer diameter recessed straplock screws.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  15. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    what I would do at this point is drill another screw hole beside the broken off screw. keep it tight to the stub. use a new screw same size as the new strap button has and run that in the new hole. put wax on the screw and run it in a bit, then back it out, in a little deeper, back out etc until theres enough threads to install the new button. you will not see the original broken screw once it is installed.

    if there is any indication the tapping screw is getting weak or the head is buggered, get another one. and yes, the screws with the Dunlop buttons are rubbish, they should be ashamed.

    yes the plug is a really good repair but maybe not for the feint of heart. and besides, you can always do that later if this doesn't work. on tuner screws you would have no choice but here you have a lot of latitude where to put the new hole. plus the fact that the button is big enough to cover everything if you do it right
     
  16. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Hell yeah, buddy. I like it.
     
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  17. LightningPhil

    LightningPhil Tele-Meister

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    This is a very long thread. My name is Philip. What have you all been doing with my screws? They’re all loose so should be easy to remove, even if a bit worn. But don’t loose them, they mustn’t go the way of the marbles.
     
  18. watercaster

    watercaster Tele-Meister

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    Cover the top of the screw with super glue, let dry, then vise grips on the button.
     
  19. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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  20. zeke54

    zeke54 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I agree too , a little JB Weld should've done the trick to begin with . A little late now though :( . Plug cutter is the solution now .
     
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