I screwed in my bar on my ultra-cheap Strat clone a long time ago, and in my attempt to unscrew it again years later the bar broke off just above the screw threads. Can anyone give me tips on how to get the busted threads out of the hole (drilling perhaps?) Also, are whammy bars generally interchangeable, or do I need to look for a replacement of the right size?
They are similar in diameter, but often slightly different threads (a Fender is a 10-32 where a Squire is a 10-24), I can't possibly speak for the army of Strat clones out there. The broken screw will be easier to remove if you remove the bridge from the guitar. If you give the broken screw a squirt of penetrating oil (Liquid wrench, Marvel Mystery Oil etc) and let it sit a while, you should be able to work it out with longnose pliers, I find a sharp edge against the broken edge of the screw is often enough to get it started moving (like 1 side of a pair of scissors). If that does not do it, get yourself a set of easy-outs to remove the broken end. You can pick them up at the local hardware store, home center, or a Harbor Freight if you have one near. Just make sure to drill the hole as much in the middle of the broken bolt as possible (and drill the correct size). You may find that just the act of drilling the piece is enough to loosen it up. Again, with all these sharp tools and drilling, you should take the bridge out of the guitar first. Once you have the broken screw out, you'll be able to verify the thread size for a new bar.
Or for about the same cost (and probably overall less time), you could just pop for one of the million cheapo fender style bridges on ebay and save yourself the angst of fiddling around with it.
However, I'd bet shillelaughs to shekels that you broke the arm off down inside the hole, eh?
There's a way to get it out (easy-out, as suggested), or you can simply find a rod the right size, jam it into the hole, and drill a new hole! Thread it, and you're all set. (Well, you'll still need to buy a new arm. )
My preference would be to simply procur a new unit, and mount that into the guitar. Much less hassle, and only a few bucks, if you don't go for the gold-plated version.
Rule #1: All Lives Are Final. Make sure that the life you have just been issued is appropriate for your needs, before departing the womb.
Rule #2: In case you don't like the life you have, see Rule #1.
Much less hassle, and only a few bucks, if you don't go for the gold-plated version.
But how will I maintain my killer tone unless I spring for the gold-plated oxygen-free bar?
Thanks for the tips, I hadn't even considered just buying a new bridge. Since this guitar was so cheap in the first place I'll probably just fix it up with whatever is least expensive method... if I bother to repair it at all.
Post by thetragichero on Jul 21, 2011 1:19:15 GMT -5
just dealt with this problem earlier tonight after muttering a few words i shall not repeat for the sake of the younger members of the forum, i used the smallest drill bit i own to drill ~1/16-1/8 hole in the center, and then got the allen wrench that came with one of the four gfs trems i've just installed few taps of the hammer to make sure it got a good grip and i was able to unscrew it to await my replacement arm hope this helps anybody who goes through the same thing