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'Mapleflame Mod" - I HATE MYSELF!!!

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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Thanks to a fellow LPFer, I got hold of a set of 2" 6/32 nickel brass posts to "mapleflame" my almost brand new 2011 R8. Living in France, we only have metric stuff here... :rolleyes:

The guitar was perfectly fine, and sounding great, but being how I am, I knew it could be better. :fc

To make a long story short, I know it's been said before, but BE VERY VERY VERY careful when installing those brass posts. I carefully rounded the ends with a dremel so they were smooth, made sure all the threads were clean, waxed the hell out of them, pilot drilled the exisiting holes in the guitar with a 2,5mm fresh drillbit, drove the posts a quarter of a turn at a time (took forever!). Only thing I didn't do was to thread the holes as I can't find a 6/32 tap over here.

I started with the treble side, turning carefully the posts in, it went pretty smoothly in the expected 1 1/2 inch. Not sure it bottomed out, there might be a millimeter or two still left.

Moved to the bass side, same scenario. Why I hate myself is because the post went in about 1 1/2 inch, but my fucking brain though "one extra turn couldn't hurt" (in french we say something like "better is the enemy of good"). Sure enough, without a warning, the damned post snapped right off, flush with the top of the guitar. Leaving behing just under one millimeter of post exposed, impossible to grab with a plier (even the small ones).

Now I don't even know if I'll ever be able to "unscrew" the 1 1/2 inches of brass rod that's in the body of the guitar. I'm looking around to see if I can find a small enough "screw extractor" but I doubt I will, and doubt it will work if I find one.

I thought about cleanly cutting a small slot on top of the post to try to unscrew with a jewelers screwdriver, but my bet is that it will just make the post collapse...

It leaves me with the option of drilling the post with a metal bit, but that's something I'd like to avoid as much as possible.

Ideas welcome... :)

Holy crap, I guess if someone took a picture of my face when the rod snapped, it'd be worth framing it. I thought I was going to pass out!!!

One last time:

BE VERY CAREFUL WITH BRASS POSTS


P.S. : good thing I have another LP to keep playing, otherwise I'd be totally... screwed!
 

TedB

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Jul 16, 2001
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Unfortunately, I am on the same side of the ocean as you for several more weeks, and I do not think I have a spare post at home. This creates a twofold problem. Unless another LPF member can assist with a single 2" nickel plated brass post, I'd have to order another length of threaded stock and wait until I return.
 

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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Hi Ted, and thanks for your reply. I just saw you were in London at the moment... No need to order another length of stock for just one 2" post...

If any LPFer charitable soul reads this and has a 2" piece of nickle brass threaded stock, please send me a message. (that is provided I ever get the broken screw out!)
 

Ulli

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Jun 9, 2011
Messages
432
Oh man. That's sounds horrible.

But I think I'd do it that way:

cleanly cutting a small slot on top of the post to try to unscrew with a jewelers screwdriver

If you do it properly, the post shouldn't collapse. Maybe you can try it with another one first ?

Best regards and good luck :salude
 

sharky

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Jan 25, 2012
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this happening to metal machine screws, a tool (in german it is called Linksdreher) will solve the problem. I do not know if it is possible with the post of such a small diameter, but technically it is easy. A whole of about half the diameter of the screw to be removed is drilled into it. The tool is screwed in the post counterclockwise (the threads are counterclockwise) and as it gets tighter it loosens the fractured post and all together can be just screwed ot of the wood.

I am damn sure, that a good luthier has similar tools to do so and can remove the post in a heartbeat without causing any further damage to your guitar.

And to the problem with your character: same with me. I really would love to have all the money that i destroyed by doing things a little over the top.
 

joemags54

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wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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Thanks all for the input.
I tried the "slot" for the screwdriver at lunch break, using a thin cutoff wheel on the dremel. The slot was nice and clean, but the brass is too soft and just disintegrated when turning with the screwdriver!
The "easy out" solution is something I also thought about but impossible to find one small enough, and I'm 99% sure it will end up the same as with the screwdriver slot...
Last option I have before drilling/plugging is to cut in the maple around the post with a sharp small chisel, just enough to get a good grab with pliers. If that doesn't work, off to the luthier I guess!
 

wild.joz

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+1 for the Easy out. I did the same thing on an 8mm bolt for my motorcycle. Just have a glass of wine to stay calm. The Easy out will work.:)

I hear you. Problem is those screws are 6/32, barely over 2,5 mm...
 

joemags54

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May 17, 2011
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I hear you. Problem is those screws are 6/32, barely over 2,5 mm...
Man that sucks..... I think it's luthier time, as he/she will probably have a drill press. You will need to be very steady, drill out may be option. (skip the vino till afterwards!)
 

Scott L

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Nov 4, 2008
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If you can get to a good drill press with a large base for the body of the guitar you can start with a small diameter drill bit and progressively go up in size to remove more and more material.

Keep moving up in diameter to the point where you can remove the outer parts with a fine needle nose pliers / forceps in pieces. Not quick but very effective.
 

Red Baron

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Jul 14, 2004
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I thought the traditional Mapleflame mod requires steel poles, not brass? :hmm

Steve?
 

MapleFlame

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I thought the traditional Mapleflame mod requires steel poles, not brass? :hmm

Steve?

Correct, but I think he was doing the version of going Deeper. You have to be very careful, and not over tighten. I call it Bull in the China shop syndrome. Been there done that. it's best to practice on a piece of wood first.

Sorry this happened, you have to find a machine shop specialist that has an overhead drill press and make sure the guitar sits motionless. Be patient and don't try to do this on your own. I also get to the point where I need my friend Larry who is a specialist.
 

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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If you can get to a good drill press with a large base for the body of the guitar you can start with a small diameter drill bit and progressively go up in size to remove more and more material.

Keep moving up in diameter to the point where you can remove the outer parts with a fine needle nose pliers / forceps in pieces. Not quick but very effective.

Thanks Scott. I guess it's wiser to do it that way. I'll call a luthier I know near me to see if he as a drill press. I got frustrated to the point where butchering the guitar with a chisel is an option, but probably not the best one. Better leave it to the pros. I would hate to have to get the post hole plugged and re-drilled.

Re: the needle nose pliers part: how can you get to the pieces of metal that are 1 1/2 inches deep?
 

dwagar

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Apr 18, 2005
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the only other thing I could suggest, with a drill press that's big enough to handle a guitar, perhaps a left handed (reverse) drill bit may start pulling the post out as you drill into it.

I think before sinking brass posts deeper, it might be a good idea to tap the hole with a stainless steel screw first.
 

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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1,924
Correct, but I think he was doing the version of going Deeper. You have to be very careful, and not over tighten. I call it Bull in the China shop syndrome. Been there done that. it's best to practice on a piece of wood first.

Sorry this happened, you have to find a machine shop specialist that has an overhead drill press and make sure the guitar sits motionless. Be patient and don't try to do this on your own. I also get to the point where I need my friend Larry who is a specialist.

Thanks MapleFlame, and you are correct. I was only trying to ge the posts deeper. The guitar is (was...) bright enough, that's why I favored sticking to the original nickel plated brass. I guess it's one of those "if it ain't broke..." moments. I would kick my own ass if I could! :##
 

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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1,924
the only other thing I could suggest, with a drill press that's big enough to handle a guitar, perhaps a left handed (reverse) drill bit may start pulling the post out as you drill into it.

I think before sinking brass posts deeper, it might be a good idea to tap the hole with a stainless steel screw first.

lesson learned!
 

TedB

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Jul 16, 2001
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Don't panic. You'll get it out. Be patient and find a small extractor set from a good hardware supply. If you have trouble finding one of suitable size, the remnant can be carefully drilled out with a bit of patience. Just be patient and work carefully. Better that it takes a little while to get it than to rush and make a small problem a larger problem.
 
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