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Les Paul End Pin Repair Help Please

6 Posts
5 Users
New Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

Thanks for any help. New member here.

I bought a used Les Paul recently. I always install strap locks to secure LP's on a strap. While removing the existing end pin screw, it broke off rather easily. It appears that it may have been broken previously and 'glued' on.

I'm left with a 1/8" screw (approx.) left flush with the body surface. There's a chance that the screw was glued in and broke solely due to my unscrewing process.

Any advice is appreciated! Thanks, Joe

Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 848

Well it will be tough drilling becouse the steel screw is much harder then the wood body.. but its possable. I have a set of left haded drill bits that are great for this, but are pricy and hard to find. If the strap lock is bigger, maybe you can drill a new hole just off side of it, and the old screw will be coverd by it.

Paul B

New Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

Thanks for your thoughts. I sent an email to a regional luthier who's done some major repairs for me. I'm sure he'll have some direction.

I did find out that screw extractors are too big for this small screw.

Thanks again. Joe :)

Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1630

I second the idea by s1120 - Paul! 8)

Having seen this before, there isn't much that one can do, without risking damage. If you could somehow score the remainder of the screw and use a manual extractor, it might be okay, but even then, the risk of damage is just too high. This a set up! It is just waiting to bite you and maybe make you sorry?

Clearly decide what you are willing to attempt, and possibly bring it to a good guitar dealer as well, for an opinion. Because, if you decide to go with the new screw alongside the old one, you should be making that permanent, and accept it. Strap lock pins are not that big, unless you look at a Planet Waves, nevermind, they are hardware-less, so see here for a good-sized alternative to Schaller and Dunlop, I guess?

However, in the long run, the end of the strap is going to cover it anyway.

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Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 180

If you're comfortable with power tools, drilling the remainder of the screw out really shouldn't be that difficult, aside from maybe getting the process started without your drill bit wandering all over the place. The whole repair process would go a little something like this:

-Apply masking tape around the hole to protect the finish from wandering drill bits
-Drill out old screw
-Get wooden peg or dowel that's ever-so-slightly larger than the hole you just made
-Coat dowel with wood glue
-Carefully tap dowel into hole, wipe off any excess glue immediately
-Wait for glue to dry, trim dowel flush with guitar body if needed
-Drill small pilot hole in dowel, install new hardware
-Rock on

I've done this exact repair (albeit never on a nice LP) several times in the past, works like a champ. The same technique works for any wooden object with stripped out screw holes or broken hardware. :)

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5840

If you do decide to attempt to remove the screw, invest in a punch. Place it in the middle of the screw end and hit it with a hammer - just hard enough to put a noticeable dent in the end of the screw. This will reduce the chances of a drill bit wandering - it won't remove the possibility, just reduce it, so care is still needed.

The chances that the end of the screw broke absolutely flat are zero, so any drill is going to wander "downhill" and onto the wood. A dent from a punch will reduce the propenstity to wander.

Having said that, if the screw was glued in place, you may do more damage than good.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
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