vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

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fleezinator
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vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by fleezinator » Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:01 am

The previous owner of my JM somehow cut one of the vibrato mounting screw heads off so it effectively has only 5 instead of 6 screws securing it to the body.

Any tips for getting that headless screw out? Where does one purchase mounting screws for a JM vibrato? I could only find ones for pickguards, pickups & neck plates.

Thanks!

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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by timtam » Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:27 am

MIA trems use #5 x 1" that go by 0015610049 / 001561000 in JM parts lists ...
https://darrenriley.com/store/fender-br ... 015610049/

MIM guitars' trems are usually actually S Korean-made, so likely metric screws, as with MIJ. But probably close to Imperial size.

Screws with broken heads are difficult to remove. Various special bits are available, that may or may not suit your screw. Sometimes you can hammer a flat head slot into what's left that will turn it if it's not stuck. Otherwise you may have to drill out and dowel the bigger hole for a new screw. Search for 'screw extraction' videos on youtube for various approaches. Leaving it may be one of them. ;)
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:18 am

fleezinator wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:01 am
The previous owner of my JM somehow cut one of the vibrato mounting screw heads off so it effectively has only 5 instead of 6 screws securing it to the body.

Any tips for getting that headless screw out? Where does one purchase mounting screws for a JM vibrato? I could only find ones for pickguards, pickups & neck plates.

Thanks!
Can you remove the whole unit, leaving the broken post of the screw standing above the guitar body? If it is, then I would first try and remove the whole unit, and see if you can grab the screw post with pliers and unthread it that way.

If that fails, then you'll need to try the screw extraction methods listed above.
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by fleezinator » Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:34 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:18 am
Can you remove the whole unit, leaving the broken post of the screw standing above the guitar body? If it is, then I would first try and remove the whole unit, and see if you can grab the screw post with pliers and unthread it that way.

If that fails, then you'll need to try the screw extraction methods listed above.
Unfortunately, what remains is flush with the body, like the dude took a dremel to chop off the head. Aesthetically it bothers me but I don't know if it is worth the trouble if it ultimately doesn't affect sound or function.

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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:01 am

fleezinator wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:34 am
Larry Mal wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:18 am
Can you remove the whole unit, leaving the broken post of the screw standing above the guitar body? If it is, then I would first try and remove the whole unit, and see if you can grab the screw post with pliers and unthread it that way.

If that fails, then you'll need to try the screw extraction methods listed above.
Unfortunately, what remains is flush with the body, like the dude took a dremel to chop off the head. Aesthetically it bothers me but I don't know if it is worth the trouble if it ultimately doesn't affect sound or function.

You could try cutting a slot in the head with a dremel do you can get a thin screwdriver into it, and heating the screw with a soldering iron to expand it, in the hope it’s a little easier to move as it cools. But the risk of damaging the finish beyond what is covered by the trem plate is significant, and the chances of getting the screw out are low.

Five screws will hold it on there fine. If you are bothered by the missing screw head (and I probably would be), you can cut a head off another screw with a dremel and stick the head on to the countersink in the plate. I did that once on a Tele bridge that someone had abused. Be careful that the screw will get really hot when you cut it (I wasn’t!) and I’d suggest going easy with the glue - you don’t want it to get under the plate and stick that down.
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:34 am

fleezinator wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:34 am


Unfortunately, what remains is flush with the body, like the dude took a dremel to chop off the head. Aesthetically it bothers me but I don't know if it is worth the trouble if it ultimately doesn't affect sound or function.
That's too bad- if it's any consolation, it will affect neither sound nor function.
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by HNB » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:49 am

I repaired a screw like that by using a hollow tube bit and doweled and redrilled. You cannot even tell it was repaired unless you take the tremolo off.

Just get one of these kinds of bits and tape off the depth to the length of the screw.
ImageIMG_20201215_150439 by Christopher Louck, on Flickr

Use a scrap piece of wood to help keep the bit from wandering at first. You drill through the scrap wood and hold the piece of wood with the hold centered over the screw. It will help keep the drill bit from jumping all over when you touch the body. Once the drilling has started, you can remove the board guide and use the existing start of your hole to drill to the right depth. You should then be able to use plyers and a small flat head strewdriver to gently press the wood plug left and right to be able to pull the screw and cylinder of wood out.
ImageIMG_20201215_150431 by Christopher Louck, on Flickr

Once out, cut a matching dowel to the right length and glue it in.
ImageIMG_20201215_172914 by Christopher Louck, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20201215_173127 by Christopher Louck, on Flickr

Once glued and flush, put the tailpiece on and use a center punch to mark the center where the hole needs to be and use a drill press to drill a new pilot hole. Make sure the bit isn't too small or your new screw could snap off. The bit should be just slightly smaller than the screw thread. Too small of a hole is usually how these screws snap. It shouldn't take a ton of force to screw in the screw. If you are having to turn it hard, the hole is probably too small. If you mess up and make the pilot hole too big, just put glue on a toothpick and drop it in the hole and screw the screw in. The toothpick helps fill some of the space and the wood glue secures it to the screw hole. It is a common way to fix stripped screw holes. :)
ImageIMG_20201216_092137 by Christopher Louck, on Flickr
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by fleezinator » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:58 am

Wow everyone, thanks for the insights!

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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:13 am

HNB wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:49 am
I repaired a screw like that by using a hollow tube bit and doweled and redrilled. You cannot even tell it was repaired unless you take the tremolo off.

Just get one of these kinds of bits and tape off the depth to the length of the screw.
ImageIMG_20201215_150439 by Christopher Louck, on Flickr
That is absolutely the proper way to do that - nice job!

Out of interest, do you know what those bits are called? I tried looking for those back when I bodged the tele, and never found them in the UK, and still can’t locate them now.
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by HNB » Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:20 am

Bradley-Jazz wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:13 am
That is absolutely the proper way to do that - nice job!

Out of interest, do you know what those bits are called? I tried looking for those back when I bodged the tele, and never found them in the UK, and still can’t locate them now.
They are called screw extractor bits. I got mine here I think.

https://www.woodcraft.com/products/scre ... RYQAvD_BwE

They come in different sizes so you just order the one that would fit around your screw body. :)
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:50 am

HNB wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:20 am
Bradley-Jazz wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:13 am
That is absolutely the proper way to do that - nice job!

Out of interest, do you know what those bits are called? I tried looking for those back when I bodged the tele, and never found them in the UK, and still can’t locate them now.
They are called screw extractor bits. I got mine here I think.

https://www.woodcraft.com/products/scre ... RYQAvD_BwE

They come in different sizes so you just order the one that would fit around your screw body. :)
Many thanks for that. For some reason they really don’t seem available over here. Screw extractors here are just the ones that tap into damaged screw heads (no use if the head is missing). I’ll have to keep looking, or order from America.
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by HNB » Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:16 pm

Yeah in my experience those don't work. At least I haven't ever been able to get them to work right...
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by HNB » Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:24 pm

This is a UK seller I think? They have the three sizes.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264270080451 ... SwUYtdsynE
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:08 pm

HNB wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:24 pm
This is a UK seller I think? They have the three sizes.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264270080451 ... SwUYtdsynE
No, they seem to be in Vienna West Virginia and don’t post to the UK, sadly, even though it’s on eBay.co.uk. But thanks so much for having a look!
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Re: vibrato mounting screws: where to buy?

Post by HNB » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:46 pm

Dang. :( I searched using UK's ebay thinking it would show me UK results. Sorry. :(
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