Strap peg screw sheared off. Now what do I do?

Was trying to replace the strap pegs on my new guitar so I could use my quick release straps. The front one was fine but when I went to unscrew the back one, the wood screw broke in half. The other half is still deep in the hole. Not sure what to do at this point. The screw isn’t long enough to put the old screw back in and have it be secure.

I was thinking of drilling a new hole a little bit above the old one but not sure how far up so that it won’t split later. Maybe a toothpick with some wood glue and shove it in the old hole?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


if it is broken fairly deep and you can indeed cover the hole with a toothpick, i would likely do that and drill a new pilot hole - as long as you drill the right size hole you can probably be within 0.25" of the original hole.

to use the right size drill bit, hold the new screw behind the drill bit - when it is the proper size bit, you should be able to see the threads of the screw but not the ‘body’ of the screw peeking out to either side of the bit.

also may help to use a little wax on the screw before you drive it home - paraffin, candle, or beeswax are all fine. it will help the screw drive in easier. just rub the screw across the wax briefly.


Good advice. Drill bit same diameter as the shank.



I would use a hollow core drill bit to extract the broken screw, glue in a dowel, and redrill.


Only bummer there is the required sanding and refinishing, or that would be my suggestion too. It’s probably what a luthier would do if they couldn’t drill out the old screw.

1 Like

If the core drill bit is roughly the diameter of the screw, sometimes you can catch it and back it out by drilling in reverse. You could also make your own bit with tubbing and a file if necessary. In that case it would probably just require a few glued in toothpicks and the strap lock would cover the hole. No sanding necessary.

1 Like

Yeah might be possible and a good option

…and that’s why we consult the collective. Brilliant.


Quick update for those that are interested:

RuknRole’s post made me realize I was being quite dumb/overcomplicating about it. In looking at the 2 screws, the old broken one was significantly smaller than the new screw. By that I mean the old screw + its threads combined were still smaller than just the shaft of the new screw.

That made the whole thing easy.

I grabbed a 1/8 metal bit and just used it to drill the new pilot hole straight through the old screw. The remnants of the old screw are now nothing more than a pile of metal shavings in my vacuum cleaner. The new one went in without issue and now I have my beloved quick release style strap peg.

Couple things: I wrapped some painter’s tape around the drill bit at the length of the new screw so I didn’t drill farther than I needed to. I also put a strip of tape over the area I was working on so as to protect the finish. This is my new guitar which has the “natural” wood finish with a satin texture but nowhere near as delicate as the finishes on my other guitars.

All in all, a pretty painless process once I realized just how different the screw sizes were.

Side note: Jeez, ESP, you really think that tiny TINY (5/64) and cheap screw would have been able to stand up to the abuse of normal use?


Glad it worked out! Post some pics of the finished product!

1 Like

Sure thing!


Good job! It looks like it never happened!


To drill in reverse you need a lefthand drill bit…ie it cuts in reverse…using a righthand drill bit in reverse will do nothing but produce heat. there are kits that include a lefthand bit and if that doesn’t get the stub out the kit includes an easy out like tool that jams in the hollow and gives enough bite to remove it.

You misunderstood what I was trying to say. Object is to jam the screw and then back it out by running the drill in reverse.
That being said, if you make your own or find one with straight teeth you could use it bi-directionally.

Probably the best way to do it, but definitely something best handled by a pro. Too easy to really mess things up.