Just don't EVER drill out the tuner holes on your headstock. Another good thing to try for lubricating screws is a wax ring made for installing a toilet. I always use my caliper to measure both the screw and the bit. Ugh. Syringes, glue, clamps, sanding, re-application of tung oil. Most of the guide-holes you will be required to drill when assembling a guitar are pilot-holes, for all of the various screw-mounted hardware; things like tuners, string trees, strap buttons, control plates, output jacks, and pickup rings. How do you safely get this broken screw out? To find these dimensions, use a digital caliper. I use candle wax by lightly scraping the screw threads across a candle, it just takes a little to reduce the initial cutting friction. Sorry to hear about your buddy’s misfortune! So be careful when using it on unfinished wood that you plan to put a finish on. I chuckle about the whole experience now, but at first, I thought the world was over. With this tool I made a small dent exactly where I would drill my pilot hole. For proper bite, the pilot-hole you drill must be smaller than this. Besides splitting the wood, you also run the risk of twisting the head off the screw, leaving the shank embedded in the wood – a vexing problem with no easy fix. The human mind recogni If you intend on ‘chamfering’ your pilot holes, use a slightly larger drill bit and spin it backwards by hand to control the depth and size of your chamfer. As always, pay attention to how much resistance you feel as you drive the screw into the wood. Aggghhhh! …, After the enormous success of our "Hard Times Make Great Music" instrument contest, we decided we're As you learn and gain experience, it is always useful to practice on scrap wood. Trying to join two pieces of wood together without a clearance-hole in one of them usually results in a gap between them. Drilling a clearance hole into the first piece of wood allows the screw to draw the two materials together before it cinches tight. While using a hand drill and a standard twist drill bit, you've probably discovered that the bit wants to pull all the way through the wood. Win prizes from CBGitty.com, Building the "One Way Ticket" Steamer Trunk Guitar - A Photo Diary, The Humo Barnwood Guitar by Michael Copado: A detailed builder's diary, Hum and Buzz - Some Tips for Effective Electrification, Build a Piccolo Cigar Box Guitar - Half scale gives mandolin tones. I also like to add a little candle wax from my wife’s smell good candles to the threads! I suppose you could use a small finishing type nail instead of the punch if you were careful, but I thought the punch was worth it. Good luck Chris Nichols. But, like most things, StewMac sells a tool for that: http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Routers_and_Bits/Bits/Guitar_Screw_Rescue_Kit.html. Thanks for the post! …, C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply I have another screw issue. The difference between pain and laughter is time. Most of the guide-holes you will be required to drill when assembling a guitar are pilot-holes, for all of the various screw-mounted hardware; things like tuners, string trees, strap buttons, control plates, output jacks, and pickup rings. This is the center core that runs the length of the screw within the threads. I put new tuners on a new maple neck after drilling pilot holes for the tiny screws. And when you're countersinking for tuner bushings, you want the bit to go only as deep as the bushing is tall. So this is a huge help to me! This happens because the screw tightens into the first piece of wood before it has tightened into the second. Maybe. You can now easily see how deep the hole must be. All rights reserved. I have a small dremmel tool that I use with a cutoff disk. Untrue. Now I’m on number three! A properly drilled pilot-hole should be the same diameter as a screw’s “root” or “minor” diameter. I was an idiot when I first bought it at 16 and decided to isntall some Sperzel locking tuners. I nearly cried like a baby…THEN…I learned how to fix it! Then with the neck flipped over, fretboard down, I put a straight edge against the tuner bodies to make sure they were all in line and turned them all slightly until they were perfectly straight. I had purchased a tool like a punch, I don’t remember the exact name of the thing. Back the screw out, re-measure, and re-drill the hole. JW out. it makes for easy threading and smells good too! …, Every once in a while, a certain guitar will stop you in your tracks. If the screw is too small for this, look for a drill bit that is about 30% smaller than the major diameter size. Great article. Stop. The Stew Mac kit is very good,,,, I made my own extractor using stainless steel tubing, I filed a few slots in the end and it works great,,,,, I always throw the supplied screws away when I instal new tuners,,, and put in high quality stainless steel screws. You can easily split/splinter your headstock by trying to drill out a larger hole in the smaller one. Pilot-holes are drilled into the neck itself, to relieve pressure on the wood and keep it from splitting as the neck-screws bite into it.