Bridge Problem Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Troubleshooting » Archive through June 11, 2010 » Bridge Problem « Previous Next »

Author Message
harald_rost
Intermediate Member
Username: harald_rost

Post Number: 180
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 1:23 pm:   Edit Post

Hello,
when I opened the door to my music room yesterday I had a bad surprise. The strings were hanging down on my 1976 Series 1 and the bridge was on the floor. The only explanation in my opinion is that the neck had moved and pulled out the bridge from the wood. As you can see in the pics the screws are broken. Probably the movement of the neck was caused by the heating of our house which we started some days ago.
So what to do? How to put the rest of the screws out of the wood to get new screws in? Drilling new holes? How long should the new scres be without damaging any elecrtonic? Any advice is highly appreciated.
Harald from Germany
(I hope my english is correct)
Bridge
Bridge

(Message edited by davehouck on October 04, 2009)
pauldo
Advanced Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 294
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 1:27 pm:   Edit Post

Harald - dare I say that is a catastrophic failure. I could give advice but feel that the Mothership should be involved with this one.

I certainly hope that Mica can offer you the best solution to repairing this.

good luck
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1750
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 2:27 pm:   Edit Post

I seem recall at some point several years back that Mica or Susan was recommending replacing the original bridge screws with stainless steel or something like that, for this reason. Of course, I haven't done so, but maybe now I will..

Brass screws are relatively soft, so it should be possible to drill them and use an "easy-out" (reverse-threaded screw) to remove them. I would check with a machinist about it.

John
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1702
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 3:02 pm:   Edit Post

Wow that is some failure. Looking at the length of the screws i would have expected more wood damage as they were levered out of their holes. Thankfully not. I'm sure Alembic could fix this no problem. It would be interesting to find out what caused it.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8825
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 3:32 pm:   Edit Post

You should get Mica's input. I'll move this thread to the Troubleshooting section where she will be more likely to see it sooner.
afrobeat_fool
Intermediate Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 118
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 4:31 pm:   Edit Post

Did you buy this new? It looks as if there is epoxy on the screw threads, and the bottom of the tailpiece. If you did not buy it new I think someone tried to repair it in the past.
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1400
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 4:36 pm:   Edit Post

To start with you will need to use an easy out or similar device to remove the remaining parts of the screws from the body. This is not for the faint of heart as it requires drilling a hole in the middle of the screw stuck in the body. After removing the screw I would use threaded inserts to fasten the tail piece. My suggestion is you refer this repair to your luthier. This what I would do if the bass belonged to me.

Keith
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8826
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 4:49 pm:   Edit Post

As for how this happened, maybe I'm not thinking this through right, but it seems to me that when heating up your house, you're removing moisture from the air, reducing humidity, which means there should be more relief in the neck and thus less tension on the strings instead of more. Thus, I don't think heating the house would have caused this. But then I don't know what would have caused it either.
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1752
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 4:57 pm:   Edit Post

There is an old thread on this somewhere.. I think the issue is that the screws get more torque during installation than they, being soft brass, like.. Failure may not happen for years from stress fractures administered at, er, "birth" of the instrument, for lack of a better term...

John
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8828
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 5:06 pm:   Edit Post

John, that seems to make sense; much more so than my theory, which is that someone broke into the house in the middle of the night and yanked on the strings really violently, and then quietly sneaked back out of the house.

Harald, I think you should get Mica's opinion before you do anything; but Keith's suggestion sounds like a good plan.
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1755
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 6:12 pm:   Edit Post

As long as they weren't leprechauns, then your theory is entirely viable. I believe leprechauns would have also chewed up the headstock.

John
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 867
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 7:01 pm:   Edit Post

Of course Mica's input is always valued in any situation...

Screw extraction is a delicate operation as Keith indicated. If you attempt this on your own be sure to use a center punch tool to make a definitive starting point to help the drill bit from sliding off center. It's really not that hard if all the correct tools are used. If you get the old screws out clean and the lack of initial damage to the wood (a really good thing), you could possibly get away with only a replacement screw though I would probably start with a minor wood plug to give you added strength in the area when remounted.

Is that a type of glue in the picture under the bridge?
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1756
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 7:10 pm:   Edit Post

It looks like a walnut veneer to me. I would guess maybe to provide a sacrificial layer should the tailpiece adhere to the body/finish?

John
artswork99
Senior Member
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 869
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 7:26 pm:   Edit Post

John that does look like a veneer. Maybe a very thin layer of clear silicone which still appears in several of the string slots, around the screws and a small ball of it in the last few pictures??

(Message edited by artswork99 on October 04, 2009)
harald_rost
Intermediate Member
Username: harald_rost

Post Number: 181
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 12:19 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for moving this thread to the right place Dave and thank you all for the advices.

I bought this bass in 1999 from a bass player from Austin so I don't know his history before. It seems like there is some kind of silicon under the tailpiece - for what reason ever. May be to assist the screws holding the tailpiece. Yes, maybe there was a similar problem in the past with that.

Of course I will wait if there is an input from the mothership to fix this, may be Mica will read this thread or I will send an E-Mail. I'm not sure if I can get out the rest of the screws properly so I will look for an luthier here in this area. Also I'm not sure about the best way for a solution that this doesn't happen anymore. I'm glad there was no more wood damage.

A lot of luthiers settled down in this area where I live after second world war and the factory of Hoefner is not far away. Also here was the beginning of Framus where Warwick later came out from. I think there are still some small guitar builders in this area I have to look for.

So many responses in some hours, this is a great community.

Harald
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1087
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 2:40 am:   Edit Post

Brass screws are soft but it still would take a lot of tension to do this and if you notice all three have failed..this is strange as if all three must have been pulled at the same tension..each string is at a different tension due to their guage.
The string retainer looks odd..a thin brass plate with a thick piece of wood??? surely Alembic would not build a item like this as the wood would wear quicker than the plate where the ball ends of the string are located.
You could drill them out yourself but the bass would have to be firmley anchored in a jig and a drill on a fixed vertical stand would have to be used utilising a hardened bit and turned very slowly to gently drill out the remaining brass remains.
This is an unusual event, if you want help from Mica then supply her with all the relative info(serial number and a pic if possible)
Good luck in the repair
adriaan
Senior Member
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2324
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 3:26 am:   Edit Post

Terry - the brass/wood combo for the tailpiece is actually how Alembic did it for the first couple of years. Nowadays it's a standard feature on the Brown Bass.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8830
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 6:16 am:   Edit Post

As Adriaan suggested, a brass tailpiece with a wood shim, is not unheard of. A relatively thick piece of Ebony can often be used for a nice visual effect, setting off the tailpiece from the body in a manner similar to accent lams setting of a top body wood from the main body.
georgie_boy
Senior Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 970
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 6:51 am:   Edit Post

As David said.........The wood is how it was done back then!
I have the same tailpiece, and it's wood on the underside. They didn't have the facilities at the time to machine the solid brass.
This looks to be a real bad problem here, and I would say that it's nothing to do with heating a house!
I live in Scotland, and during the Summer, my windows are slightly open...no probs. In Winter, the windows are closed, and the central heating is on.
Result??
NOTHING!
Seems that, no matter what I do at home.or even live, she doesn't move at all. Great for me, but not so good in this case!!
I'm sure, that a competent luthier could fix this no problem.

George
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1088
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 6:52 am:   Edit Post

Well you learn something everyday..personally I prefer the solid metal approach, the BadAss II was a great improvement on my old P bass.
Adriaan/Dave..what did you think about my comments on the tri fracture of the screws?? as I said they would all have to have equal tension to cause that..it is very bizarre how it has happened.
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1402
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 7:39 am:   Edit Post

Terry,
You are talking apples and oranges here. The Fender style bridge also contains the tail piece. On the Alembic the tail piece is not part of the bridge so it has minimal if any effect on the tone or sustain.

Keith
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8832
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 7:47 am:   Edit Post

I really don't know; I suppose the screws could have fractured one at a time over time, with the last holding everything together until it too let go.
fc_spoiler
Senior Member
Username: fc_spoiler

Post Number: 972
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 8:19 am:   Edit Post

I think (Iím almost sure) the solid Brass tailpiece has a huge impact on the sustain of Alembics, but that's a bit of topic I guess... :-)

Ugly sight... :-(
Clearly moving wood/metal (brass) fatigue case if you would ask me.
I think everyone with Brass screws should follow Mica's advice as stated in 811952's first post in this topic.
Whether or not he recalls it right, it makes a lot sense to me and I think it will prevent more birds from flying out...

Hope you get her well again soon.

(Message edited by fc_spoiler on October 05, 2009)
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1403
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 10:02 am:   Edit Post

The bridge is where the largest effect on sustain and tone comes from. Keep in mind the vibration of the string is between the bridge and nut not the tailpiece and nut. The whole idea behind the bridge block and massive bridges is to keep the energy in the string and not let leak outside of the area between the saddles and nut.

Keith
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1757
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 11:21 am:   Edit Post

Once the first screw lets-go, there is increased tension on the remaining two. Once the second screw lets go... it's going to be a chain-reaction of failure (not unlike many things I've been involved with, but I digress..).

John
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1089
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 11:42 am:   Edit Post

keith h..I wasn't talking about the sustain factor, merely the durability of the string retainer, if the ball ends were digging into the wood than along would wear the retainer out.
Sorry for the confusion.
811952..I agree that as one goes that the other two would go due to increased strain..I am going to try something like this in the garage later this week to see if a brass screw is really that weak..but I ain't using my bass!!!
toma_hawk01
Intermediate Member
Username: toma_hawk01

Post Number: 132
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 12:06 pm:   Edit Post

"I would Gorilla glue it back."

Tap all the ends, and around base, and clamp it down."

How can anyone go into the wood, and extract the broken screws, without adding more damage?

Also, if you try to make an attempt to remove the broken pieces, you are definitely going to have to make the holes (which are trapping the screws) larger than the original hole.

I would glue it, and if that failed, then I would perform major micro surgery.

Secondly, As how this happened?

Heat didn't cause this...

I believe it is highly unlikely that all three screws broken at the same time. I believe they were broken from somebody tightening them too tight, or if they were on too tight, somebody tried to remove and possibly broken just enough to go undetected!

From the closer looks from the breaks, they look to be at different areas. Also, I see no corrosion. The breakage looks sharp and jagged at the ends, and I don't see the broken inner core giving a new sheen, as a fresh break. Those breaks look old.

I would like to take look at the heads of the screws. I would bet, machine was used by someone years ago.

I suspect it was an hidden accident, waiting to happen.


PS...

Oh, wait a minute.... do I see silicon around the screws and on the body of the bass and screws?

Looks like it, maybe this bass had the problem before you knew about it... Hmmmm mmmmm

Good luck.



(Message edited by toma_hawk01 on October 05, 2009)
toma_hawk01
Intermediate Member
Username: toma_hawk01

Post Number: 133
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 12:53 pm:   Edit Post

Warning!

Consider the risks when removing brass screws in general.
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1404
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 2:30 pm:   Edit Post

Terry,
I just assumed you were talking about the effects on sound as opposed to the general construction.

I own a Brown bass which uses an ebony shim under the brass tailpiece. There is very little wear on the wood as all of the stress is on the brass. I cannot speak for the earlier basses but on my BB the brass is thicker at the front and the ebony is thicker at the back.

Keith
toma_hawk01
Intermediate Member
Username: toma_hawk01

Post Number: 134
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 2:55 pm:   Edit Post

Here's another solution...

Fill the holes with wood a wood filler, let it dry, and hand screw (with a screw driver) the screws back into the wood filled holes. With the additional compacted wood dust should hold the threads of the screws. I would still tap the tail piece with glue just for assurance.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 6406
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 2:59 pm:   Edit Post

From the looks of the broken screws, they have actually been broken for some time - there's only a tiny bit of bright brass colored metal, the rest is well-oxidized. As you know we're not using the brass screws for many years now. I'll be happy to send you a set of the stainless screws (email me your shipping address, I already have them packed up for you).

But of course, you'll need to get those broken brass screws out. The reverse-thread screw is an excellent suggestion, but if it doesn't work, you'll need to drill out the screw, leaving a larger hole. It really doesn't matter since you'll have to fill the hole either way.

Once you fill the hole with a dowel and titebond wood glue, then drill a pilot hole for the stainless steel screws and replace the tailpiece.

I too am relieved that there wasn't more catastrophic damage. I'm also a little curious about the silicone, nobody here remembers using it in that location before. Learn some bit of Alembic trivia every day!
lembic76450
Intermediate Member
Username: lembic76450

Post Number: 173
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 3:46 pm:   Edit Post

Mica,

Are the stainless screws the same size as the brass screws? I guess what I am asking is if you replace the brass ones with stainless do you recommend plugging the original holes and redrilling for strength?
thanks
Kenn
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 1001
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 4:18 pm:   Edit Post

Harald - I had the same problem with one of my prior basses. The tailpiece failed in the same manner as yours did. I had to drill out the original screws and install stainless steel screws. I did have to do the dowel and Titebond glue trick as Mica described. I then replaced all the tailpiece screws on the rest of my old basses before this happened to me again!

Michael
tdukes
Intermediate Member
Username: tdukes

Post Number: 170
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009 - 7:59 pm:   Edit Post

Should I be concerned about the screws holding the bridge on my 1977 6-string guitar? They appear to be brass as well. Has anyone had this kind of failure with a guitar, or is it just a problem for basses.

Todd.
harald_rost
Intermediate Member
Username: harald_rost

Post Number: 182
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - 12:16 am:   Edit Post

Again Thanks to all for your comments and help and especially to Micah for great customer service (I sent you my shipping address via E-Mail for the screws).
Michael, good to see that I'm not the only one with this kind of problem. I was really shocked at the first moment. But if the damage was in the past before I bought the bass in 1999 it was not my fault that this happened. May be the seller didn't know that or didn't tell me that.
But to look forward, I will do the dowel and glue trick. I worked with wood in the past an this will not be a problem for me (I hope). I even found a distributor for Titebond here (never heard that brand before).

Harald
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1090
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - 1:26 am:   Edit Post

toma_hawk..I have performed removal of screws, broken bolts, inserts from wood to engine casings, if it set up securely, using a high quality hardened bit with a vari speed drill mounted in a vertical stand then it is easy.
If you wanted to 'over engineer' this problem then go down to you local fastener supplier and get threaded inserts and appropiate bolts but the dowel and glue is just as good.
Brass is only good for effect as it looks nice..not very good for loaded or stressed fixings.
keith h..yes i was..sorry for that.
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 2442
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - 4:24 am:   Edit Post

terry, just veering slightly but I have to remove several sheared bolts from my MG bodyshell. Are you saying that the slower I run the drill the better? And what sort of speed do you recommend?

Back on track - good luck with the repair Harald

graeme
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1760
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, October 06, 2009 - 7:54 am:   Edit Post

Easy outs, in my experience, work best with a very slow drill. Don't rush it, and if you're not certain about it don't be embarassed to take it to a machine shop to have that done. If you're replacing with identically-sized screws, you shouldn't need to modify the holes at all. If the screws are slightly smaller or threaded differently, my personal inclination would be to glue at toothpick-sized dowel in the side of the hole(s) and use the existing holes. That way the screws will still be into the hard neck woods and not into a softer dowel...

john

(Message edited by 811952 on October 06, 2009)
slawie
Intermediate Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 113
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 07, 2009 - 2:05 am:   Edit Post

Engineering rule of thumb!

The smaller the drill bit the faster the speed

An easy out should only ever be used with a "T" wrench
or stock. Never ever use a drill.

Do not try to lubricate the screws to get them out you will only absorb the lubricant into the wood.
This could possibly stain the wood and most likely make it swell.
You can try some freeze spray to shrink the screw/wood interface slightly
just before using the easy-out.

slawie
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1311
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 07, 2009 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post

Slawie nailed it: Any one familiar with the easy-outs would use the T-handle to back them out. And they'll back out fine. Mica does this for a living, folks: The glued hardwood dowels filling the holes after the screws back out will do the trick.

The older Alembics with the wodd beneath the tailpiece used VERY hard woods like ebony as spacers, not as coupling devices to the top.

I DEFINITELY would not fill the holes 'as is' and glue to the top!
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1099
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 7:26 am:   Edit Post

jacko...on metal the drill should be considered like a lathe tool..run it slow and lube with emulsified oil to keep it cool(or any oil) but not spray lube like WD40 as it will evaporate with the heat.
I couldn't tell you how many revs/min but just enough to begin cutting into the bolt and producing swarf.
Drill a pilot hole with a smaller drill so the larger bit point will fit into the smaller hole and prevent run off.
Clamping/jigging everything tight is the key here so there is no movement whatsoever of the piece to be drilled and the mount the drill into a fixed stand.
Once it begins to run off it is a pain to correct.
Good luck with removal
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1100
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 7:33 am:   Edit Post

jacko...on metal the drill should be considered like a lathe tool..run it slow and lube with emulsified oil to keep it cool(or any oil) but not spray lube like WD40 as it will evaporate with the heat.
I couldn't tell you how many revs/min but just enough to begin cutting into the bolt and producing swarf.
Drill a pilot hole with a smaller drill so the larger bit point will fit into the smaller hole and prevent run off.
Clamping/jigging everything tight is the key here so there is no movement whatsoever of the piece to be drilled and the mount the drill into a fixed stand.
Once it begins to run off it is a pain to correct.
Good luck with removal
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 2445
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 7:47 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for that Terry. Unfortunately the sheared bolts are in a position that means the drill will be hand held. I'll let you know ho I get on.

Graeme
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1765
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 10:52 am:   Edit Post

I don't see why they would require hand-held. I would clamp it (on carpet with soft clamps) in the drill press to drill holes in what's left of the screws. A press is far more accurate and controllable than my hands, and is setup for the right spot before any drilling happens.

john
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8851
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post

John; Graeme is talking about his MG automobile, which might be a bit of a mess on the carpet.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1104
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 2:20 pm:   Edit Post

right on dave..once my mother went apeshit with me because I had a Triumph Bonneville crankcase in the oven to heat it up so I could get the crank bearings in...she was very understanding as my late dad was also a motorcyclist...I recall him painting a frame in the lounge!!
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1408
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 2:24 pm:   Edit Post

A guitar player I used to play with had a Triumph Bonneville. I seem to recall him keeping it in the living room during the winter. Fortunately he was single so no wives or moms to contend with.

Keith
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1766
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 4:30 pm:   Edit Post

Maybe Graeme just needs a bigger drill press...

John
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 439
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 5:31 pm:   Edit Post

A while back when I still lived in an apartment I used the shower stall as a spray both to spray a new coat of shellac on my old Double Bass ! I made a big mess on the walls but the manager never found out because I painted over the mess on the walls . The biggest problem was dispersing the fumes and preventing them from going down the hallway to the other apartments . .
LOL !!!!!!!!!!!
lenny_d
Junior
Username: lenny_d

Post Number: 22
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Thursday, October 08, 2009 - 6:24 pm:   Edit Post

Well, I read this thread with a little fear and trepidation. During my 'cleanup' of my SII this summer I remember removing the tailpiece screws and noting they appeared to be cut off. I didn't think any more about it until this read and then got worried. So I disassembled the tailpiece again and verified that they were indeed truncated. An ill feeling came over me as I poked in the holes with an icepick that revealed shiny metal. Uh oh. But then I remembered the battery cavity was directly underneath the tailpiece on the back. I opened it up and was relieved to find three clean holes for the tailpiece screws and little tiny scratches on the back battery. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good!
A pic is worth a thousand words dept. -




So should I request stainless screws or can I just find the same number screw at a hardware store and cut them to fit?

(Message edited by davehouck on October 09, 2009)
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 2446
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 12:50 am:   Edit Post

Just to clarify, the sheared bolts I need to remove are in the firewall/bulkhead of an MG Midget Car bodyshell I'm restoring in the garage. I can't get a pillar drill into position and the shell definitely won't fit on the bench ;-) In Fact, one is in a position that will probably require a flexible extension.

Graeme
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1106
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 1:25 am:   Edit Post

jacko..I think there is a tool that you can get at machine mart to do this awkward job..will have a look on website(and I suppose you will do same)
One way would be to drill and tap with a reverse thread and use a corresponding bolt so as you tighten the reverse thread bolt you unscrew the seized bolts.
Pain the ass jobs but when you get it right it is rewarding.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1107
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 1:31 am:   Edit Post

Lenny d..think I would order some s/steel one from Alembic or find a fastener supplier who can do the exact replacements..I am sure they will be common sizes. As said before brass looks nice but not a good engineering fixing.
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 1002
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 4:27 am:   Edit Post

Lenny - I got my stainless screws from Basil's on Transcontinental. They have lots of stainless fittings.

Michael
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1767
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 8:17 am:   Edit Post

Graeme, you need a sawzall. j/k ;)

John
nnek
New
Username: nnek

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2009
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 8:50 am:   Edit Post

(I tried posting this before but it didn't appear.. maybe the .jpg size problem?)
On my 76 series I the tailpiece seems to have had the screws replaced with nuts and bolts some time back...Batt compartment
jimmyj
Intermediate Member
Username: jimmyj

Post Number: 125
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post

Hey Kenn,

Nice looking bass! I'd say your tailpiece is secure with that bolt and nut setup but it's time to re-solder those battery connectors. Both negative wires are disconnected and being physically held to the battery terminals by the snap connector, and you're about to loose the positive wires too. Because we disturb these wires every time we change batteries it's one of those things that needs to be occasionally repaired.

Harald, crazy strange situation you have there. It might be worth looking in your battery compartment to see if you can see the other side of the broken screws. If they are cut off like Lenny's maybe you could drill and extract them from the back?

Jimmy J
lenny_d
Junior
Username: lenny_d

Post Number: 23
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 11:36 am:   Edit Post

Thanks, guys, for the replies.
I'm thinking of the hardware store route for stainless wood screw replacements, and yes, Michael, Bassil's is my favorite spot for that (and close, just a short bicycle ride over there!)
I might even contemplate a repair like Kenn's, recessing the holes a touch to accomodate nuts; I like that setup - 'though i don't want to overkill...

Hey Jimmy - been looking to catch you around somewhere to say hi, I left you an understated accolade in my intro. last month. Carry on!!

Lenny D
dela217
Senior Member
Username: dela217

Post Number: 1004
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 1:01 pm:   Edit Post

Lenny -

Bassil's is my fav too. I am in there most weekends it seems! A short trip for me too, as I live 4 houses from our mutual friend Mike W.

Michael
nnek
New
Username: nnek

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2009
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks for the heads up Jimmy I new someone would see that... I did resolder all the wires right after the photo..
(I don't generally use the 1/4inch jack to play so I never noticed the loss of electric power)

Kenn
harald_rost
Intermediate Member
Username: harald_rost

Post Number: 183
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 2:13 pm:   Edit Post

OH, those pics were exciting. Of course I opened the battery compartment at once. No holes or screw ends to see! Probably a matter of scale length? My screws of the tailpiece are above - or the battery cavity is lower as the bridge - how you look at ;-)) My Series I is 34 length.
But the good thing is that I took out two very old batteries I forgot. I used them before I got the 220 --> 110 Volt adapter to use the old power supply which came with the bass here in Germany. I'm glad the batteries didn't drain off.
Now I'm waiting for the new Alembic screws.
lenny_d
Junior
Username: lenny_d

Post Number: 24
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 3:13 pm:   Edit Post

Back from Bassil's, they didn't have anything that was an exact replacement - in stainless or steel. So, the more I consider this, I may just go with the screw/nut arrangement...something I didn't like when I removed the screw to take to the hardware store was that I noticed the center screw is angled - in the wrong direction, towards the headstock. That means there is torque from the tensioned strings pulling on the tailpiece. I can't say I can see that it has moved, but, well, stress is stress. I need to evaluate all this but I have to gig this entire weekend, so..early next week.

Harald, good luck with screw remains extraction and here's hoping the new ones work well.

Michael, I'll have to come pay you a visit. I'm close to Adams JH.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 6413
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 3:45 pm:   Edit Post

I rather think that the nuts are on Kenn's bass because the top was deemed too thin to anchor the wood screws. I would not recommend that modification if your screws are anchoring the tailpiece well, which it seems they are since the tailpiece hasn't yet flown off.

What I would be more concerned with is the removal of the tailpiece for cleaning and not filling and drilling the holes. Certainly just leave them the way they are for now and email me your mailing address. I can send you the screws you need. Just make sure you fill and drill when you replace them.
lembic76450
Intermediate Member
Username: lembic76450

Post Number: 174
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 3:48 pm:   Edit Post

This is just a little trippy, Kenn, Kenn here. I also opened the battery cover today and found your pic could be my '76 Omega, Maple/Walnut neck, Series I. I also have the same nuts and bolts. I believe they are original, I have had my bass since '78.

Kenn
pace
Senior Member
Username: pace

Post Number: 436
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 3:55 pm:   Edit Post

Harald,

Two years ago I bought a '75 Series I guitar with the same problem. At the time, I figured that a previous owner had glued the screws in place, and some other unsuspecting previous owner tried to unscrew them! Needless to say, I was too chickens*&t to attempt to extract & dowel them myself. I guess we can take consolation in knowing that all of us lucky enough to own a vintage Series instrument will sooner or later have to go through this!
lenny_d
Junior
Username: lenny_d

Post Number: 25
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Friday, October 09, 2009 - 4:16 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Mica!

Lenny D.
harald_rost
Intermediate Member
Username: harald_rost

Post Number: 185
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, October 17, 2009 - 8:44 am:   Edit Post

Just a short note that the repair went well and # 76 278 is grooving again.
Thank you all for the help an Mica for shipping the screws.

Harald
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 8901
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 9:33 pm:   Edit Post

Congrats!!

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration