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I broke off the end of a Threaded Tremolo bar in the Block.

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by stratcatt, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Holic

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    Theres no risk in trying to extract it yourself. If you dont, you're buying a new block right? So in its current state, it's basically broken already. Even if you do plan on buying a new block, I'd go ahead and take the opportunity to try and extract it, you'll be one try closer to being able to do it better/faster in the future.
     
  2. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Tele-Holic

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    I'd try drilling with a L/H twist drill bit should grab and remove the broken section.
     
  3. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Holic

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    An entire Fender MIM trem assembly is only $23 shipped from Amazon. Do you really think that it is worth taking to a machine shop? We aren't dealing with an original vintage part here.
     
    SLICKFASTER likes this.
  4. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    Go to the hardware store and buy a Reverse Twist (Left Hand) drill bit. 1/8" should be fine. Buy a center punch also if you don't have one.Take the bridge off the guitar and remove the saddles to remove the 3 screws holding the tremolo block. Take it off the work on it to spare your guitar and bridge plate from harm. Center punch the broken off stud and drill it. The reverse action of the bit will unscrew the broken stud. Nothing easy about an EasyOut. They usually break off before you get the stud to budge.

    If you don't want to fool around with it, just buy a new trem w. block. Just make sure to match your existing tring spread (2-1/16" MIM vs 2-3/16" USA). There sellers on eBay who sell Genuine trem bridges for $22 incl shipping so it's not usually worth messing sround trying to extract the broken stud and a block only is just a few dollars cheaper than a complete new bridge.
     
  5. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    Do yourself a favor and put the spring in the trem arm hole so you're not trying to overtighten it to keep it from "swinging". In a pinch, cut the rubber eraser off the end of a pencil and push it in the hole, it will act like a spring and keep the arm in place. The teflon tape is a waste of time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
    Asmith likes this.
  6. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    Just buy a new block. An Easy Out is a little expensive and not a guaranteed fix, esp. if you haven't used one before. Very necessary for something like an engine block with a broken stud, not so much with a Fender tremolo.
     
    teleplayr likes this.
  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    What I do is slice off the end of the block, drill the bar hole in the bridge plate to 8mm, and install a $16 Floyd push-in bar kit.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008VU6INE/?tag=tdpri-20

    It has an adjustable clutch that allows setting the swivel tension anywhere you like, with no extra play in the bar attachment.

    Problem solved forever.

    Fender purists will freak out about this, but they'll also be fiddling with that screwy loose arm attachment scheme...plumber's tape...and that goofy little spring that really doesn't work...for the rest of their lives ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  8. SLICKFASTER

    SLICKFASTER TDPRI Member

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    If you do attempt to drill it I’d try to get hold of a drill press...bet ya geter done!!
    Luck to ya!!
     
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  9. TwangBrain

    TwangBrain Tele-Meister

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    Totally a job for a small brad-point bit and a screw extractor bit...and no, it's not as difficult to DIY as some might tell you. A drill motor w/ the right bits, a vice or table clamp, and a steady hand is all you need. And the guy's comment above me is ideal, the drill press.
     
  10. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    If the bar broke off a bit down from the bridge plate, use a small (1/16" or so) drill bit with enough masking tape around it to take up most of the gap in the vibrato arm shaft. The tape both centers (roughly) the bit and keeps it from scraping up any hardware or threads.

    If the bar is broken off close to level with the bridge plate, drill out a piece of wood to use as a centering guide for the drill bit, and clamp it down to the bridge (which should be held in a vise by the block, with enough saddles removed so that you can clamp it).

    Then, the quick and easy way is to use a purpose made screw extractor bit.

    Failing that, a reverse threaded screw of the right size can (though not always will) work, with a lot of fumbling and slippage and cursing.

    You can probably do all this safely without pulling the bridge...but if you do, be careful of finish melting that can be caused by the drill bit heating up the bridge. Only drill a little bit at a time, with cooling breaks. One time I decided that I would add extra screws to the top of my Hipshot. Had just finished a long process of a multi-layered paint job – designed to wear easily over the years, exposing the multiple layers. The guitar was finally done after months of work. All I had to do was get that Hipshot screwed down better. I figured I could just leave the Hipshot in place and drill. Nope. Top layer of the lacquer finish melted and bulged around the edges of the plate! It was so little that some people would have left it, but it bugged the hell out of me. I pulled everything off the body, leveled the blobs, filled, and oversprayed. Hours added to my project, and more finish thickness working against my "future relic" plan (which already probably wasn't too viable of a plan with as little as I'll probably play the guitar over the years). Lesson learned. Even if you're skilled enough to never slip, in general, don't drill hardware when it's installed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  11. stratcatt

    stratcatt TDPRI Member

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    Well, I installed the bridge many years ago. I'm pretty sure I bought it from GuitarFetish.com. I think it's a Gotoh, and I bought a solid steel block after that. Large. The string spacing is 3 1/16 I believe. I've gotten onto the waiting list for a solid brass replacement block. (Guitar Fetish is out of stock...for the last two months!) But they only want about a third of what everyone else of what everyone else that sells them wants. I already have 3 different tremolo bars so I'm covered there. No worries. I'm a very patient man. I really like the bridge though, and I've got it totally wired on how to dial it in so that it returns to tune/pitch every time, intonation and consistently staying in tune during bending and strumming. Why is it we guitarists never to seem to be happy with what we've got? There's always something else we need or a change or repair that needs to happen. :cool: Funny.
     
  12. richbike

    richbike Tele-Meister

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    imho if the bridge is nothing special and especially if the block is soft grey alloy just save up and get a half decent replacement. ill vouch for the mid to high end Wilkinson ones.
    main thing is to get one with the same mounting screw locations.
     
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