Removing broken screw from bass

I am having one of those days again… This screw broke while installing Dunlop Strap Lock thingy…

I saw some videos of people drilling it out with a tube like DIY tool and a couple of kits in Amazon but was curious if any ordinary guys like myself had to do something like this?

Or should I just take it to a Luthier and hope for the best?


Is that on your new G&L?? Did it shear right off when you tried to get it out? Wow…


I wouldn’t do it myself, but if you (or a buddy of yours) have the necessary tools and skills, you could give it a go. Otherwise (and my advice): take it to a professional!

This sucks, but no reason to make things worse :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Sadly yes. Yesterday we made a deal with the seller that I pay him and test the bass for a week or so then decide to keep it or give it back…

Guess I am keeping it :smiley:

I am taking it to a shop today. They told me that they will take care of it in a day and would cost 10€ which is great for me. A bullet dodged there!


Is this the screw that was in the strap button that came with the bass or the Dunlop?
For next time…. Dunlop strap locks are bigger screws than what come in most bases. A little drilling out is necessary to have them go in safely.

My grandfather had a lot of ‘annoying’ sayings when I was a kid. Turns out he was always right on every count. One of them was “Never force a thing”, applies here. BTW, another of his was “never plug two heat things into the same outlet”….that one is a bonus for today folks.


I thought so. But today I inspected it again and noticed it was one of the screws that I got from the hardware store and trimmed the head a bit so that it passes through the first hole of the strap buttom.

The screw was the same size but it goes deeper into the strap button to leave space for the lock to enter. While the original stays level with the button. So as you said I should have drilled it!

Your grandpa was a wise man!


To add to @John_E wisdom. My favourite phrase from my father is:
“Advice is free, experience has to be paid for”

Thanks for posting, so hopefully another Bassbuzzer can avoid your pain.

One extra thing if you use a small amount of chapstick or an equivalent on the thread of the screw into wood it can help it screw in easier. It won’t affect how the screw holds.


Just in case anyone didn’t know the card for a Dunlop strap lock opens up and in the inside are the instructions for drilling, lubing the screw etc

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HA! Never saw those! Yikes.

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You sir just made this thread complete!

That’s wisdom I will pass on to my kids “RTFM: Read the fucking manual!”


My Grandpa (pre-WWII cavalryman and military engineer: tough as nails and twice as heartless) used to say “Never force anything. Always use a hammer”).


Do you have a friend who is a jewelry maker? Jewelers use tiny metal cutting disks that would allow to make a small cut into the screw without damaging the wood, or hardly. The cut would allow to apply a screwdriver to remove the broken screw.
Using a hollow bit to cut the broken screw out is going to leave a larger diameter hole in the wood of your bass. That hole would need to be filled with a “dowel” to be able to put in a new screw. All that would probably leave a larger visual damage.


Or a drop of wood glue. It’s also pretty “luby” when wet. It also has the added bonus of swelling the wood around the screw a bit as it soaks in, giving the screw in the hole more grip. Not really a thing in denser hardwoods, but definitely helpful in a wood of lesser density or hardness.


Regular soap will do the trick, too. Some people use WD-40.

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Or candle wax