Screw head broke off, on my 1965 Firebird. Need help

Mike M

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I was removing the truss rod cover on my 1965 Gibson Firebird Non-Reverse this morning and the screw head sheared off, leaving the remainder in the headstock. Does anyone have an easy solution to get this out, with the least amount of damage? There is nothing to grab on the screw shaft. It is flush with the flat part of the headstock. Any tips or ideas are very much appreciated!

Thanks
Mike
 

judson

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a) you could just leave the cover off

b) you could hold it in place with the other two screws remaining

c , for cringe) this one will get hate mail....but its an idea

small exacto knife and slow and carefully remove wood around the snapped screw until you could grab the shaft with a pair of needle nose pliers and twist it out...

the screws are very small and should not be difficult to grab and twist out once you can get to it.

when you get a new screw, the small area you cleared trying to get to the screw will not be seen when the cover is on over it if you get a screw that is slightly longer than original

if the guitar is pristine...use a) or b) NOT c)

an extractor might do equal damage as the exacto knife but im just guessing

use b) if you get no buzz and wont drive you bat shit crazy knowing its not "right"

suggestion d)....wait for someone that has the correct answer. :dunno:

i remove truss rod covers on some of my guitars as i dont see the purpose of them really....but thats just me
 

Gfunk_Minor

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After reviewing Jusdon's message, and some screenshots of Firebird TRC's, I'm leaning more to his option A or B.
 

slug_maine

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I would go with dental tools. Pick away little fragments of wood around the screw until it's loose. If the hole is too big afterwoods just drop a piece of toothpick in there.

edit: my dental
hygienist is glad to give me old sets of tools.
 

LuthierVandross

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I would go with dental tools. Pick away little fragments of wood around the screw until it's loose. If the hole is too big afterwoods just drop a piece of toothpick in there.

edit: my dental
hygienist is glad to give me old sets of tools.
Harbor Freight has sets for cheap. I have a set from my mechanic days. These tools work great for the rubber O rings that get eaten up in carburetors.
 

BadMongo

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Rather than digging around it, if there's really nothing sticking out to grab with vampliers or something similar, you can always drill it out.
Get a small piece of stainless steel tubing that's got a slightly bigger internal diameter than the screw, cut teeth in the end with a Dremel, chuck it in a hand drill using one of the other screws as a depth reference, and work very slowly. Then you just glue in a little mahogany plug and cut it flush. A little nerve-wracking, but not hard.
 

judson

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the TRC screws are so small and dont really need to secure anything that pulls at them, i think the dental pick would remove less wood and could accomplish the job without need to go the drill and plug and drill again method, which is a great idea for larger and more difficult screws to extract.

.when you place the cover back with a new screw you can throw the scrapings back in the hole with a drip of wood glue and leave it to dry then screw it back it

i had tuner screws that i did just pick them out then put needle nose and twist out...but trc should not be that difficult really
 

the great waldo

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That mini extractor will do the job. I would heat the screw with a good soldering iron (be carefull with any laquer nearby as it can blister or catch fire in worst case scenario)

Cheers
Andrew
 

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